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Commercial Green Building Resources

Green Building Guidelines:

Energy Star Commercial Building Design provides information about commercial buildings to help architects make informed decisions about energy efficiency during the design process.

BetterBricks is an initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance which is chiefly funded by Northwest electric utilities. NEEA’s mission as a non-profit is to make affordable, energy-efficient products and services available in the marketplace. BetterBricks provides information, resources, tools, and events to help businesses in the Northwest become more energy efficient.

U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

LEED Resources help with LEED certification, including reference guides for each rating system, templates for submitting projects’ documentation, and other reference documents.

Green Business Certification Institute (GBCI) provides third-party project certification and professional credentials recognizing excellence in green building performance and practice. GBCI administers project certification for commercial and institutional buildings and tenant spaces under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating Systems™ addressing new construction and ongoing operations. GBCI also manages the professional credentialing programs based upon the LEED Rating Systems including the LEED Green Associate and LEED AP credentials.

Green Building Initiative (Green Globes) is a green management tool that includes an assessment protocol and a rating system and guide for integrating environmentally friendly design into both new and existing commercial buildings. GBI™ offers the Green Globes software suite as a guide for integrating environmentally friendly design into new or existing buildings. The system includes an assessment protocol, rating system and suggestions for making buildings more environmentally friendly.

Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG)  is a web-based portal providing government and industry practitioners with one-stop access to up-to-date information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria and technology from a ‘whole buildings’ perspective.

Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide is a recognized suite of technical resources, training and information that provides a prescriptive path for the design team wishing to create high performance commercial buildings that stand out for their energy efficiency and healthy environments. Core Performance™ is Advanced Buildings’ step-by-step simplified approach to achieving predictable energy savings in small to medium-sized buildings without the need for modeling. It also provides work-saving tools for professionals already experienced in sustainable design.

Green Schools:

Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) developed a technical resources for schools, districts and practitioners on the design, construction, maintenance and operations of high performance schools.

DOE Energy Smart Schools lists information about planning, financing, designing, and constructing energy efficient schools.

Technologies and Products:

BuildingGreen is an online GreenSpec® Directory which lists product descriptions for over 2,000 environmentally preferable products.

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) is designed to help vendors, businesses and consumers find and evaluate information about green products and services; identify federal green buying requirements; calculate the costs and benefits of purchasing choices; and manage green purchasing processes.

Sustainable Sites Resources:

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) supplies green roof infrastructure and association information.

EPA Low Impact Development is an approach to land development that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. By implementing LID principles and practices, water can be managed in a way that reduces the impact of built areas and promotes the natural movement of water within an ecosystem or watershed.

Low Impact Development Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Low Impact Development technology. They provide a wide range of publications, fact sheets, and brochures.

Sustainable Sites Initiative is an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design>, construction and maintenance> practices.

Water Efficiency Resources:

WaterSense partners with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to provide links to learn about WaterSense labeled products, saving water, and how businesses and organizations can partner with WaterSense.

Case Studies:

GreenSource Project Case Studies  GreenSource’s project case studies provide examples of sustainable design and green-building performance. Archives can be searched using more than a dozen criteria—from location to LEED scores and LEED ratings; from total cost to carbon footprint and energy usage; from project program to project size to which brand of products were used—in 40 categories.

Idaho Resources:

Idaho Chapter U.S. Green Building Council   provides news, information, resources, and events promoting green building in Idaho.

Idaho Power Energy Efficiency Programs Summary  lists Idaho Power’s Energy Efficiency Programs.

Integrated Design Lab [IDL] dedicates efforts to the development of high performance energy efficient buildings in Idaho and Eastern Oregon. This is approached through research, education and outreach efforts with students, owners and professional design and construction teams to with the goal of designing and constructing buildings that are more comfortable for people, require less energy to maintain and operate, and enhance the health and productivity of inhabitants.

City of Boise Climate Protection Program – details the City of Boise’s five step plan to reduce greenhouse gases emissions in the local community through such measures as energy-efficient building practices, alternative fuels, and improved transportation and land-use planning. The City of Boise was the first city in Idaho and the 280th city in the nation to endorse the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement.


DSIRE: Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency  [DSIRE] is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the NC Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency  A list of tax credits for consumers with links to tax credits for homebuilders, tax deductions for commercial buildings, and stimulus information for State and local governments.

Calculators and Models:

Building Energy Software Tools Directory  provides information on 370 building software tools for evaluating energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability in buildings. The energy tools listed in this directory include databases, spreadsheets, component and systems analyses, and whole-building energy performance simulation programs. A short description is provided for each tool along with other information including expertise required, users, audience, input, output, computer platforms, programming language, strengths, weaknesses, technical contact, and availability.

eQUEST  Department of Energy’s modeling tool performs detailed analysis of building energy use without requiring extensive experience in building performance modeling.