<< Green Building Research

Green Building Links

Links to resources collected by USGBC staff and members to facilitate green building research.


USGBC is proud to be a platinum-level sponsor of InformeDesign, a free service that translates academic research results into applicable guidance for practitioners.  InformeDesign’s core competency is of significant value to USGBC toward fulfilling its own goals of integrating research into practice and informing evidence-based design and operations.

AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Projects
Each year, AIA COTE recognizes notbale high performance, sustainably designed buildings.

Construction Carbon Calculator
The Construction Carbon Calculator uses averaged data to calculate the rough amount of embodied carbon, the carbon that was released when a building was constructed. The calculator takes into account average amounts for building materials, getting them to the site and installation.

High Performance Building Perspective and Practice

Through case studies of over a dozen LEED projects, this documentary, created by USGBC and the Rocky Mountain Institute, provides the business case for building green.

High Performing Buildings
A complementary quarterly magazine, published by ASHRAE, that focuses on energey-efficient building design and operation.

Whole Building Design Guide
The National Institute of Building Sciences provides information on integrated whole building design guidance, project management, and operations and maintenance.

Table of Contents

Associations & Non-Profit Organizations
Case Studies
Campus Initiatives
Codes and Standards
Commissioning & Post-Occupancy Evaluation
Design & Simulation Tools
Design Resources
Facilities Management
Government Initiatives & Guidelines
Life Cycle Analysis & Costing
Materials, Guides & Certification
Product Certification & Testing
Residential Resources
Research Centers

Associations & Non-Profit Organizations

American Concrete Institute
American Indoor Air Quality Council

American Institute of Architecture Committee on the Environment (COTE)
American Planning Association
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
American Solar Energy Society
Architects, Designers and Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR)
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Better Bricks (productivity)
Boston Area Solar Energy Association
Boston Building Materials Co-op (BBMC)
Boston Building Materials Resource Center (BMRC)
Building Commissioning Association
Building Concerns
Building Owners and Managers Association
Build It Green
Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
Canada Green Building Council
Climate Action Network (CAN)
Community Greenhouse Foundation
Congress for the New Urbanism
Construction Materials Recycling Association
Daylighting Collaborative
Development Center for Appropriate Technology
Education Design Showcase
Ecological Design Institute (EDI)
Environmental Defense
Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA)
Florida Green Building Coalition
Global Environmental Options (GEO)
Global Green USA
Green Building Alliance (Pittsburgh)
Green Building Council Australia
Green Building Finance Consortium
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
Green Round Table: Sustainable Architecture and Design
Green Pages (Canada)
Health House
Healthy House Institute (HHI)
International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA)
Metropolitan Partnership for Energy
Mexico Green Building Council
National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)
National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities
National Environmental Trust
Natural Resources Defense Council
Natural Step (US)
New Urban Guild
North East Sustainable Energy Association- NESEA
NW Energy Efficiency Alliance
Second Nature
Society of Building Science Educators
Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS)
Solar Living Institute
Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC)
Sustainable Energy Coalition
Urban Ecology
Wisconsin Green Building Alliance (WGBA)
World Green Building Council

Case Studies

901 Cherry in San Bruno, California
Adam J. Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
Agents of Change
AIA COTE Top Ten Green Projects
Audubon House: Building for an environmental future
Bachelor Enlistied Quarters, Great Lakes Naval Training Center
Barney-Davis Green Renovation - Denison University
Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZED)
Better Bricks
Big Horn Home Improvement Center - Silverthorne, CO
BRE Environmental Building at Garston
Building Sustainably
Civano - Tucson, AZ
CIWMB case studies
Cobb Hill Cohousing - Vermont
Daylighting and Productivity Study by Heschong Mahone Group
Desert House, Phoenix, Arizona
Earth General
Ecology House - evaluation report
Energy & Environmental Building Association - success stories
European Green Building Forum - Best Practices
GreenerBuildings case studies
Green Building Alliance - Pittsburgh case studies
Green Building Challenge 2000
Green Building Success Stories
The Greening of the White House
Innovative Design Inc. - daylighting in schools
International Case Study compilation - Hong Kong University Architecture
King County, WA - Sustainable Building program case studies
LEED Project Profiles
MIT Building Technology - Sustainable Urban Housing in China
Natural Ventilation- A strategy for sustainability (MIT)
NESEA - Northeast Green Building Awards
New Buildings Institute - Getting to 50 Database
NEXT 21 (Osaka Gas Experimental Housing)
Northland College - McLean Environmental Living and Learning Center
NREL Commercial Building Design and Performance
NREL High Performance Buildings Research Projects
OIKOS case study compilation
Pennsylvania Cambria Office - Department of Environmental Protection
Pennsylvania’s First Green Building: DEP’s Southcentral Regional Office Building
Property2us article: High Rise Apartment Building in Battery Park City
re-ARCH: Initiative for Renewable Energy in Architecture
Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth (RITE) office
Rocky Mountain Institute - Green Development Case Studies
San Diego Environmental Services' Ridgehaven building
Smart Growth Network - eco-industrial parks and other case studies
South Lake Union - Seattle, WA
Takenaka Corporation - University buildings
Ten Shades of Green
Thoreau Center for Sustainability, San Francisco
UNEP International Environmental Center
The Universal Design Living Laboratory
U.S. EPA Case Studies and Spotlights
U.S. DOE High Performance Buildings Database
Vital Signs Case Studies
William McDonough + Partners Projects
Zion Canyon Visitor and Transportation Center, NREL

Campus Initiatives

American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment
Arizona State University
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Ball State University
University of Colorado- Boulder
Bowdoin College
Brown University
California Polytechnic State University
Carnegie Mellon University
Clemson University
Connecticut College
Dartmouth College
Duke University
Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit
Emory University
Florida Gulf Coast University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Harvard Green Campus Initiative
Harvard Green Campus Initiative - LEED NC Project Scorecards and Case Studies
Lewis and Clark College
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Michigan Technological University
Middlebury College – Guiding Principles
Northwestern University
Pitzer College
Pomona College
Princeton University
Santa Clara University
State University of New York at Buffalo
Sustainable Development on Campus [IISD]
University of Florida
University of Oregon
University of South Carolina
University of Vermont
University of Washington

Codes & Standards

American Concrete Institute
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Building Codes Assistance Project
Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development - codes compilation
International Code Council
International Organization for Standardization
U.S. DOE BTS - Codes and Standards program
U.S. DOE EERE - Building Energy Code Resources

Commissioning & Post-Occupancy Evaluation

Building Commissioning Association
Portland Energy Conservation Inc. - Commissioning Resources
Post Occupancy Evaluation

Design & Simulation Tools

Building Design Advisor
Construction Carbon Calculator
Continental Automated Building Association
Daylight and Thermal Simulation Quality Assurance
Energy Design Tools
Energy and Environmental Building Association Bookstore
EnergyStar Target Finder
Environmental Support Solutions
EQUER (France)
Green Building Advisor
Green Building Studio
Interactive Tools Survey [University of Weimar, Germany]
International Association for Impact Assessments (IAIA)
International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA)
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab- Simulation Research Group
U.S. DOE Building Energy Software: Tools Directory
U.S. DOE EnergyPlus Energy Simulation Software
Whole Building Design Guide

Design Resources

Advanced Buildings
American Concrete Institute
Architecture and Building
ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides
Built It Green
Earthship Biotecture
Environmental Building News
Environmental Resource Guide - American Institute of Architects
Field Guide to Sustainable Construction
Green Building Pages, Inc.
Green Building Primer
Green Design Sustainable Architecture
The Hannover Principles
International Stormwater BMP Database
LISA (LCA in Sustainable Architecture)
New Buildings Institute
Research Design Connections
Sustainable Architecture
Sustainable Building Sourcebook
University of California-Berkeley, Green Design/Sustainable Architecture Information Sources


Green Building Finance Consortium
Green Economics Institute

Natural Capitalism


Advanced Buildings
Alliance to Save Energy
ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides
ASHRAE GreenGuide
Better Bricks
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
The Energy Foundation
Energy Services Coalition
National Association of State Energy Officials
New Buildings Institute
Sustainable Energy Coalition
U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
U.S. DOE and U.S. EPA -- Energy Star program
U.S. Department of Energy Library
U.S. Department of Energy - EnergyFiles
U.S. National Energy Policy
U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory
World Bank energy projects

Facilities Management

Building Owners and Managers Association


Bridgemer: Funding and Investing in Green Buildings
Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development - funding sources
Enterprise Community Partners
Funding Green Buildings
Kresge Foundation - Green Building Initiative
State Energy Offices (U.S.)
Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP)
U.S. EPA Green Building Funding Opportunities

Government Initiatives & Guidelines

National/International Government

Federal Energy Management Program - Greening Initiatives/Tools
Federal Greening Toolkit
Field Guide to Sustainable Construction
Greening Federal Facilities
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
OECD Project on Sustainable Buildings
U.S. Air Force Environmentally Responsible Facilities Guide
U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
U.S. DOE and U.S. EPA -- Energy Star program
U.S. DOE Building Technologies Program
U.S. DOE High Performance Commercial Buildings: A Technology Roadmap
U.S. EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)
U.S. GSA Sustainable Design and LEED
U.S. GSA - Great Lakes Region - Build Green
U.S. National Park Service - Guiding Principles of Sustainable Design
U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command - design policy
Whole Building Design Guide

State/Provincial Government

California Integrated Waste Management Board - Green Building Program
Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS)
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
Green Buildings BC
Maryland Environmental Design Program
Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide
New Jersey Clean Energy Program
New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA)
New York State Green Building Tax Incentive Initiative
Oregon Department of Energy
Pennsylvania Buildings - Governor's Green Government Council
Performance Contracting Legislation by State

Local Government

Alameda County, CA, Waste Authority - Green Building programs
Arlington County, VA - Green Building Incentive
Austin, TX, Green Building Program
Boulder, Colorado - Green Points Program
Cambridge Sustainable City
Cities Go Green
Coconino County, Arizona - Sustainable Economic Development Initiative
Hennepin County, MN - Sustainable Design Guide and Rating System
Issaquah, WA - Sustainable Building
King County, WA - Green Building Program
National Association of Counties - Green Government Database
New York City High Performance Building Guidelines
Oakland, CA - Green Building Resource Center
Philadelphia, PA – Schools: Save Energy Campaign
Portland, OR - Green Rated
Portland, OR - Office of Sustainable Development
San Francisco, CA - Green Building Program
San Jose, CA - Green Building Program
Santa Barbara, CA - Innovative Building Design initiative
Santa Monica Green Building Guidelines & Ordinances
Scottsdale, AZ, Green Building Program
Seattle City Light - Built Smart program
Seattle Sustainable Building
Toward a Sustainable Community - A Toolkit for Local Government
U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
Washington, DC - Metropolitan DC Council of Governments

Life Cycle Analysis & Costing

ATHENA Sustainable Materials Institute
BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) [NIST]
BuildingGreen.com - Life Cycle Assessment
California Life Cycle Cost Assessment Model
ENVEST (environmental impact estimating design software) [UK BRE]
LCA Center
Life Cycle Analysis of Wood Products
LISA (LCA in Sustainable Architecture)

Materials, Guides & Certification

Advanced Buildings
Advanced Buildings Core Performance Guide
American Concrete Institute
ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides
ASHRAE GreenGuide
Building Materials Resource Center
Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES 2.0)
CIWMB Recycled Content Product Database
Concrete Network
Construction Materials Recycling Association
Environmental Design + Construction magazine
Environmental Resource Guide- American Institute of Architects
Forest World - Sustainable Forest Products Resource
Good to be Green
Green Building Databases & Design Resources
Green Building Materials: A Guide to Product Selection and Specification, Second Edition
Green Building Products Initiative
Green Guide for Health Care
Green Home Guide
Green Sage
GreenSpec, from Environmental Building News
Minnesota Green Affordable Housing Guide
NY Wa$teMatch Materials Exchange: Building Materials Reuse Calculator
oikos - Green Building Source
Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing
SpaceMedGuide - A Space Planning Guide for Healthcare Facilities
Sustainable Design Resource Guide
Sustainable Products Corporation
U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
Whole Building Design Guide


Building Design + Construction
BuildingGreen Suite/Environmental Building News
Environmental Building News
Environmental Design + Construction Magazine
Environmental News Network
HGTV - Green Building Pages
Journal of Green Building

Product Certification & Testing

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Forest Certification Resource Center
Forest Stewardship Council (in U.S., with international links)
Green Seal
Scientific Certification Systems

Research Centers

Carnegie Mellon University Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics
Carnegie Mellon University Green Design Institute
Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Technologies (CEERT)
Center for Green Roof Research
Center for the Built Environment - UC Berkeley
Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems (CMPBS)
Center for Sustainable Building Research
Centre for Sustainable Design
Environmental Energy Technologies Division - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 
FICUS-Florida Internet Center for Understanding Sustainability
Green Building Research Center
Hong Kong University - Building Energy Efficiency Research
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory-Building Technologies Dept.
MIT Building Technology Group
National Association of Home Builders Research Center
National Institute of Building Sciences
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory-Buildings Technology Center
Pacific Energy Center
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Renewable Resource Data Center
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)
Rutgers Center for Green Building
Sandia National Laboratories Renewable Energy Office
The Vital Signs Project

Residential Resources

16 Ways to Green Your Home - US Green Building Council
Consumer's Guide to Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Fine Homebuilding - Green Building Guide
Green Home Guide.com
Health House
Healthy Home Brochure - Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection
National Association of Home Builders Research Center
Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing
Residential Energy Services Network


Agenda 21

Agenda 21 and other UNCED agreements
Agenda 21 - National Information
ICLEI (Local Agenda 21 Campaign)


Ecosystem Valuation
What is an Ecological Footprint?


Ecosustainable - Sustainable Environment
Education for Sustainability Profiles (Second Nature)
The Florida Center for Understanding Sustainability
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Design
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
National Centre for Sustainability (NCFS)
Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development
Redefining Progress - Sustainablity Indicators
Sustainable Development Gateway
Sustainable Energy Authority of Victoria, Australia
Sustainable Measures
The Natural Step
Towards Sustainability
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Sustainable Development Programme
World Bank
Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy

Urban Sustainability

Congress for the New Urbanism
Global Development Research Center - Virtual Library on Urban Environmental Management
Green Communities Assistance Kit
Livable Communities
Smart Growth Network
SURBAN (database on sustainable urban development in Europe)
Sustainable Urban Design and Climate
Urban Ecology Australia

This list is not exhaustive and will remain a work in progress. Please note that the USGBC cannot be held liable for the contents of the referenced websites nor the inclusion and/or omission of websites in this list.

This web page was last revised on February 4, 2009.