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Built Environment

Whether renovating, building or operating your building and facilities, issues face your organization at every turn. Energy efficiency, water use, healthy materials are but a few of the considerations as we focus on sustainable development.
  1. Renewable Energy

Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES)
Created in partnership between the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanical Garden (USBG), the Sustainable Sites Initiative is the first performance benchmark and rating system for the design, construction and maintenance of...

Ten Ways to Green Your Operations

When it comes to the way your organization conducts business, there are plenty of opportunities to green your organizations operations and reduce your environmental footprint while increasing the value of your offerings. The following are a list of “low hanging fruit” or strategies that are easy and low cost to implement.

Contractors: Do You Know How to Build LEED?
The Contractor plays a significant role in the creation of a LEED project by implementing all design strategies and provides documentation for a third to half of the credits normally attempted with a LEED project. In one way or another, the contractor has an effect on all but a total of seven credits. Planning is the key to success with...

Green Incentives
Need a financial reward for going green? Here you will find a list of the most common incentives, with state-by-state and federal links in areas of energy efficiency, green building, alternative fuels, renewable technology and more.

A Beginner's Guide to Eco Charrettes
An Eco Charrette is an intensive problem solving and planning session where multi-disciplinary teams assemble to solve complex sustainability problems and meet green goals.

How to Mess Up Your LEED Rating
Tips and tricks to ensure LEED Certification.

How to Get a LEED Rating for Any Type of Building
Steps to achieve a LEED Rating for any building type.

LEED for Neighborhood Development
LEED for Neighborhood Development is a third-party rating system that encourages smart growth, healthy, vibrant and livable communities and green infrastructure and buildings.

How to Become a LEED AP
Learn the ins and outs of becoming a LEED Accredited Professional.

What is the Living Building Challenge?
Part manifesto, part call to action, and part rating system, the International Living Building Challenge (ILBC) is a standard that rates buildings, communities and infrastructure projects using the metaphor of the flower.

Building Healthy Communities Through Design
Learn about new urbanism - pedestrian friendly development that is getting us out of our cars - into walkable neighborhoods, and walking towards sustainability, one community at a time.

Everything You Need to Know About LEED

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is a voluntary, consensus based rating system for evaluating the environmental performance of building and community design, construction, operations and maintenance.


Green Roofs
Saving energy, creating visual green space, prolonging the life of your roof and creating bird habitat - just a few of the myriad benefits of green roofs.

8 Hallmarks of a Green Building
Here's a listing of the top concepts that identify a green building from a conventional one.

From Grey to Green
Imagine green strategies such as green roofs, parks and landscaping features that serve as amenities that enhance property values, provide recreation areas and habitat, and responsibly manage stormwater.

Reclaimed Water
Any water that we are able to take back, process and treat, and then re-use is reclaimed. Learn the basics about water reclamation and it's appropriate uses.

Why Save Water?
Water conservation is a big thing, but every little bit helps, so don't think that what you do doesn't matter.

How We Use Water
Water is our most precious resource. Water is vital to life. Humans, plants, and animals are made up of mostly water. All living things would die if it weren't for water. We use water for drinking, washing, cleaning, cooking, and growing our food as well as many, many other things.

People Need Water
Every eight seconds, a young person in a third world country dies from insufficient water supply or lack of pure water. Right now most of us have plenty of water and by just turning on the faucet, it is at our disposal. What we have plenty of with such little effort, we often take for granted.

Water Pollution
Scientists have specified eight general categories for the major kinds of polluntants. These categories include sediment, sewage and organic wastes, plant nutrients, infectious agents, organic chemicals, salts and mineral substances, radioactive substances, and thermal (heat) pollution.

How To Conserve Water Indoors
How To Conserve Water Indoors

How to Conserve Water Outdoors
Reduce the amount of water you use outdoors.

How to Conserve Water Outdoors
Reduce the amount of water you use outdoors.

Water Efficient Landscaping
Lawn and landscape maintenance often requires large amounts of water, but using native plants could reduce the amount of water that you need. When you landscape with the plants that are native to your area, you are helping to conserve water because native plants don't need as much water as some other plants that are not accustomed to the climate...

Rainwater Harvesting
Rainwater Harvesting

What is Greenbuild?
Hosted by the US Green Building Council, the annual Greenbuild Conference & Expo boasts over 1,000 exhibitors and the largest gathering of over 25,000 architects, engineers, developers, contractors and building owners and operators involved in the greening of the built environment in the world.

The 3 Rs Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Every year, Americans throw away 50 billion food and drink cans, 27 billion glass bottles and jars, and 65 million plastic and metal jar and can covers. More than 30% of our waste is packaging materials. Where does it all go? Some 85% of our garbage is sent to a dump, or landfill, although we are quickly running out of space. We've all heard of...

Women Sustainability Leaders
Female leadership blends economic and social value creation in a combination of so-called 'masculine' and 'feminine' values with, among other things, competition, linear and rational thinking on the one side, and cooperation, holistic and intuitive thinking on the other. The following women embody soulful leadership and are transitioning our...

WaterSense: Saving Water Made Easy
WaterSense is a voluntary program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that develops water efficiency specifications, partners with product manufacturers to create products that meet the specifications and then promotes those products to consumers.

What is Biomimicry?
Biomimicry, as defined by the Biomimicry Guild, is an innovation method that seeks sustainable solutions by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies, e.g., a solar cell inspired by a leaf. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies-new ways of living-that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul.

Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
What we do and dont - bring into our buildings can have a significant impact on the quality of the environment within and Building Related Illness or Sick Building Syndrome can result.

What Causes Sick Buildings?
Poor ventilation, toxins introduced in building materials and furnishings, and biological contaminants such as mold and viruses are all contributors to sick building syndrome.

One Planet Living
Solutions for living within the carrying capacity of one planet - a program developed by BioRegional and WWF.

One Planet Living Framework
The framework for One Planet Living can be broken down into ten basic principles.

What is a Resilient City?
Resilience refers to future proofing our cities and their built fabric in the face of future shocks and stresses from climate change and peak oil.

Resilient Design Principles
Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change, so as to still remain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks. To prepare for the future, Resilientcity.org has created Resiliency Design Principles.

2030 Districts
District sustainability is the next big thing; reshaping and recharging the vitality of our urban framework and addressing issues such as climate change within existing communities.

Design a Rainwater Harvesting System in 6 Steps
Rainwater harvesting is the collection, conveyance, and storage of rainwater for future use - flushing toilets, irrigating landscaping, or in some cases, for drinking.

How to Calculate Indoor Building Water Use
The first step to reducing water use is to understand how much we are using in the first place similar to tracking our monthly spending you cant reduce it until you measure it!

Retrofitting Indoor Fixtures to Reduce Water Use
So, you know that you want to retrofit the fixtures in your building to reduce water use, but aren’t sure where to start? Well look no further.

10 Steps to Climate Responsive Building Design
With buildings contributing close to half of the energy use in the United States, and energy use being the number one contributor to global warming, an obvious means to mitigate climate change is to design low or no-energy use buildings using the local climate as your guide.

Green Lease 101
Creating economically sustainable, environmentally preferable and healthy office spaces makes excellent business strategy. Because buildings are the number one cause of global warming, green building operations and LEED certification are a major part of the solution.

Green Lease 101
By developing and implementing eco-strategies into your corporate real estate lease, building owners and tenants have the power to improve their work environment while minimizing its environmental impact.

Regenerative Design
Regenerative design is the process of creating opportunity for all of living things to thrive in a way that creates a holistic, healthy consciousness - healing the rift between humans and nature through our relationship to the built environment.

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