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Green Building

Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency

Energy is the first step to green

Most people would agree that a green building must be an energy efficient building. But not everyone agrees on how to define and measure efficiency. The links below can help you ensure your buildings deliver results.

For many types of existing buildings, you can rate energy performance on a scale of 1-100 relative to similar buildings nationwide using EPA's Portfolio Manager. Buildings rating 75 or greater may qualify for the ENERGY STAR.

EPA's Target Finder lets users establish an energy performance target for design projects and major building renovations. By entering a project's estimated energy consumption, users can generate an energy performance rating based on the same rating system applied to existing buildings. Outstanding projects are eligible for EPA recognition.

Essential to an effective green building policy that delivers energy efficiency is use of simple, standardized energy performance metrics throughout all phases of building design and operation.

New buildings must be designed to meet local energy codes, but should also be expected to meet aggressive energy use targets that are "Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR." These design targets should be verified when the building is built and operated. This feedback loop is important and often missing in building lifecycle.

The EPA Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings, recently adopted by over 18 federal agencies, including EPA, provide a good model. The Guiding Principles call for integrated design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, and materials aimed at helping Federal agencies and organizations:

  • Reduce the total ownership cost of facilities;
  • Improve energy efficiency and water conservation;
  • Provide safe, healthy, and productive built environments; and,
  • Promote sustainable environmental stewardship.

Links:
National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): Green Building Program
How To Choose A Green Building Professional


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