Buildings produce nearly 25% of California's greenhouse gas emissions. A recent cost-benefit study showed that green design saves between $50-70 per square foot, more than ten times the additional cost of building green.
- Plan to Build Green
- Longer Term Investments to Build Green
Plan to Build Green
Select a Business Location within a Certified Green Building
Lease office or retail space in a certified green building to save money on energy bills. Green buildings have been shown to improve occupant comfort and health, thus increasing worker productivity and reduceing missed work days.
Design and Build New Facilities as Green Buildings
Complete a green building checklist to identify green building features for new construction projects.
Design and Build New Homes as Green Buildings
Small business home builders can design and build new homes to meet the Green Point Rated or LEED for Homes green building rating system. When green building features are included as part of the original design, there is no upfront added cost for construction. Home builders can also use the green building features as a marketing edge to sell more homes.
Longer Term Investments to Build Green
Maintain and Operate Facilities to Green Building Criteria
Review the LEED for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) checklist and operate existing buildings according to these guidelines.
Engage in Smart Growth and Sustainable Development
Energy and water resources can be conserved through environmentally-friendly landscaping, use of low-impact development strategies, smart transportation and more. To learn more about specific resources to green your business, visit the US EPA’s Smart Growth and Sustainable Development website.
- California’s Green Building Initiative
Governor Schwarzenegger committed California to leading by example in improving the energy and environmental performance of existing and new state-owned buildings. Executive Order S-20-04, calls for reducing electricity consumption in state buildings 20 percent by 2015.
- U.S. Green Building Council
Non-profit organization that developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System™ to provide a guidance and rating system for green buildings.
- Plan to build a new building? Explore LEED for New Construction.
- Plan to retrofit an existing building? Explore LEED for Existing Buildings.
- Are you a tenant or a designer? Explore LEED for Commercial Interiors
- Are you a retail organization? Explore LEED for Retail (pilot).
- Green Building links collected by USGBC staff and members.
- US Environmental Protection Agency's Green Building Program
Describes green building components, provides specific ways to green commercial buildings and provides information about funding opportunities.
- Green Building-related Tools
- Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability 4.0 (Developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology) offers a powerful technique for selecting cost-effective green building products. The tool is based on consensus standards and is designed to be practical, flexible, and transparent.
- I-BEAM (US EPA's Office of Air and Radiation's Indoor Environments Division) is a computer software program that integrates indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and building economics into a unique building management tool.