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Learn & Plan Topics

  • Occupant Comfort

    Comfortable workers are more likely to be productive and engaged with their work than those who struggle to work in spaces that create barr...

  • Health

    Good health has both physical and psychological components. Being healthy means the absence of disease and illness, as well as feeling posi...

  • Under 10,000 SF Interiors Gut Rehab Project

    This page provides Sustainable Strategies to consider as a space has or will undergo a major tenant gut rehab for projects under 10,000 SF.

  • Buildings and Health

    The challenge for building design and operations is to identify and eliminate health risks while also providing positive physical, emotional, and...

  • Circadian Light

    Circadian rhythms are physiological processes that occur in the body approximately every 24-hours. Medical research has linked circadian disrup...
  • The Importance of Daylight

    While many people prefer to be in spaces with abundant daylight, a critical question is to what extent the benefits of daylight matter to those who ...
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

    Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is most simply described as the conditions inside the building. It includes air qualit...

  • Materials & Resources

    In the construction and day-to-day operations of buildings, many materials and resources are used and a great deal of waste is generated. ...

  • Sustainable Sites

    Choosing a building's site and managing that site during construction are important to ensure a project’s sustainability. Environmentally r...

  • Integrative Design Process

    Integrative thinking looks for synergies among strategies - strategies that enhance one another. It also looks for strategies that, taken together, ...
  • Space Reconfiguration and Renovation Projects

    As needs change over time, tenants often need to convert space or phase the conversion of individual space or rooms to meet these changing needs....

  • Policies & Strategies

    This section is devoted to the broad policies and strategies covering the whole government or entire agencies, services or bureaus, which set the co...
  • Tools & Training

    This section covers and links to systems, methods, databases, calculators, checklists, etc. designed to help Federal officials and their partners ac...
  • Best Practices & Case Studies

    One of the best ways to learn and make the case for green building innovations is to point to others’ experience in implementing these innovat...
  • Child Care Centers

    Because children spend such long hours at child care centers, the design of their spaces is especially critical. The design effort must allow for...

  • Responsible Business Conduct

    This responsible business conduct module provides a framework for how best practices and resources for improving business conduct can be incorporate...
  • Biophilic Design

    Learn why nature is so important to us, what we know about the benefits of nature, and how biophilia is being applied in buildings, particularly in ...

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Whole Building Systems

  • IEQ - Green Tips

    Prevent adverse health effects through improved air filtration in the building ventilation system.

  • IEQ - Green Tips

    Establish ways for building occupants to report building-related health problems.

  • Lighting - Human Impact Case Study: Health

    /Learn/Details/244

  • HVAC - Human Impact Case Study: Health

    /learn/about/244

  • IEQ - Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

    http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/indoorairquality/index.html

  • Solid Waste - GSA | GSA/HHS Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations.

    http://www.gsa.gov/portal/content/104429

  • Lighting - Health

    Poorly designed lighting systems, characterized by uncomfortable fluctuations in luminance levels or excessive glare, causes visual discomfort and l...

  • Water - Health

    Leaks in the water system, if left unidentified and untreated, can serve as a catalyst for mold growth within the building space. Prolonged exposure...

  • IEQ - Health

    It is no surprise that our physical and mental well-being is directly impacted by our environment: the air we breathe, the temperatures we feel, and...

  • IEQ - Occupant Health & Productivity

    In aggregate, improvements in IEQ have been estimated to have potential annual savings of: $6-14 billion from reduced respiratory disease $1-4 b...

  • Planted Roof - Presidential Memorandum - Creating a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

    The President issued a memorandum directing U.S. government agencies to take additional steps to protect and restore domestic populations of pollina...

  • Lighting - DYK 1

    Improvements in indoor environments are estimated to save $17-48 billion in total health gains and $20-160 billion in worker performance.

  • IEQ - Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS)

    Research has shown that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke, from cigarettes, pipes, and cigars has cancer-causing airborne parti...

  • IEQ - DYK1

    IEQ improvements can save $10-30 billion from reduced symptoms of sick building syndrome.Source: Fisk, W.J,”Health and Productivity Gains from Bette...

  • Water - Water Impact on Humans

    Water, while essential for human survival and a necessity within the office environment, has additional human impacts relating to health and safety.

  • IEQ - Allergies, Asthma and Mold

    Poor indoor air quality resulting from dusts, molds, pests, and airborne contaminants like VOCs can lead to dizziness, skin irritations, asthma, sho...

  • Planted Roof - Planted Roof Impact on Humans

    Planted roofs can have positive health and well-being impacts on both building occupants and the general population.

  • Lighting - Lighting Impact on Occupants

    Lighting Ecosystem Lighting in the workplace can be better understood as an ecosystem that includes lighting design as just one component of a netw...

  • IEQ - Ventilation / Filtration

    Ventilation is the process of "changing" or replacing air in any space to remove airborne contaminants such as moisture, odors, emissions from build...

  • Lighting - Workplace Specialist

    Defining and establishing lighting quality and performance criteria for the daily activities of the worker is the role of the workplace specialist. ...

  • Water - Greywater Reuse

    Greywater is the water stemming from processes such as showers, hand basins, or kitchen sinks but does not contain any human waste. Reusing greywate...

  • IEQ - Controllability

    IEQ is all about health and comfort. The optimum indoor comfort "settings" for one individual is never the same as his neighbor. As a result, provid...

  • IEQ - Occupant

    The occupant’s health and productivity is directly affected by the IEQ and therefore their well-being should be considered throughout the inte...

  • IEQ - Workplace Specialist

    The workplace specialist role is important to have at the table, as he/she is tightly engaged with the human behavior aspect of creating a healthy a...

  • IEQ - Occupant Behavior on Indoor Environmental Quality

    Occupant buy-in and cooperation is essential to maintaining indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and the health, financial, and human impacts associat...

  • IEQ - Indoor Environmental Quality on Humans

    Research has demonstrated that some of the largest impacts on humans stemming from within the office building relate to chronic exposure to environm...

  • IEQ - Barriers

    IEQ investments can face barriers even with promising payback potential. Quantifying the economic benefit of improved occupant morale and performanc...

  • IEQ - DYK2

    The estimated benefits of a 30% reduction of dampness and mold in offices include 1.5 million days of avoided absence per year, worth $0.5 billion...

  • IEQ - Moisture Control

    Moisture can enter the office building in a number of ways, including leaks in the building envelope and plumbing systems or excessive moisture in t...

  • Solid Waste - Food Service Manager

    The Food Service Manager advises on sustainable concessions contracts, consistent with federal sustainability and health and wellness guidance, and ...

  • Planted Roof - Human Behavior on Planted Roofs

    Human behavior and interaction with the building space plays a critical component in achieving holistic sustainability. Benefits can only be achieve...

  • HVAC - HVAC Impact on Humans

    Providing high quality thermal and ventilation comfort as part of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) in commercial offices is a high priority for fe...

  • IEQ - Comfort and Productivity

    Studies have demonstrated likely productivity gains attributed to increased occupant comfort of 0.5 – 5% from direct improvements in the quali...

  • IEQ - Low-emitting Materials

    Building materials, such as paints, sealants, adhesives, office equipment and furnishings, can emit invisible, odorous, and potentially harmful gass...

  • IEQ - Ventilation and IAQ

    Ventilation, filtration, and the associated indoor air quality are important for maintaining occupant health and satisfaction. Providing ventilation...

  • IEQ - Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

    Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) are symptoms that affect a person within the building, primarily office spaces, but improve when away from the building...

  • IEQ - Integrated Pest Management

    Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an economically and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that utilizes preventative measures, m...

  • Planted Roof - Occupant Satisfaction

    The term "biophilia", meaning love of nature, is increasingly being used in high-performance building design. The goal of biomimicry is to recreate ...

  • HVAC - O&M

    An environmental conscious HVAC upgrade can reduce energy usage bills by lowering resource consumption and improving the indoor environment for huma...

  • IEQ - Integrative Design Process

    The integrative design process understands that buildings, their components, and their context are interrelated. Observe this principle by involving...

  • IEQ - System Bundling

    When considering an IEQ focused renovation project of any size, consider bundling components together to create strategies that deliver the largest ...

  • Planted Roof - The Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: Existing Buildings

    Promote strategies to reduce stormwater runoff and discharges of polluted water offsite to protect the natural hydrology and watershed health. T...

  • Planted Roof - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: Existing Buildings

    Promote strategies to reduce stormwater runoff and discharges of polluted water offsite to protect the natural hydrology and watershed health. T...

  • Lighting - Comfort/Mood

    Creating a sustainable and well-functioning lighting strategy by integrating efficient lighting technologies, controls, and space layout has been sh...

  • IEQ - Resources

    The resource impacted greatest from indoor environmental quality is not energy, water, or physical materials themselves; it’s the occupants th...

  • IEQ - Financial

    Improvements in indoor environmental quality have the potential to reduce liability to building owners, increase the resale value of the building an...

  • IEQ - O&M

    The commercial cleaning industry in the U.S. annually uses 8 billion pounds of chemicals annually.1 These chemicals, as well as operations and maint...

  • Submetering - System Impact on Humans

    Submeters offer an exciting look into a building's energy consumption. While submetering systems by themselves have no direct impact on resource use...

  • HVAC - Integrative Design Process

    The integrative design process understands that buildings, their components, and their context are interrelated. Whole-building systems observe this...

  • IEQ - System Overview

    Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors1 and as a result their comfort, health, and work performance rely heavily on indoor e...

  • Lighting - System Overview

    Lighting accounts for nearly 20% of the total electricity costs of commercial buildings in the United States.1 Effective lighting systems invol...

  • HVAC - System Overview

    Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are responsible for providing thermal comfort and fresh air to building occupants. This is...

Materials

  • Bio-Based Tile

    Bio-Based tiles are a type of resilient flooring comprised of  polymers made with plant materials rather than traditional PVC. The product cate...
  • Toilet / Shower Accessories

    Toilet and shower accessories include soap dispensers, soap dishes, hand dryers, paper towel dispensers, trash cans, etc. These items may contain...
  • Wall Tile

    Porcelain, stone, and ceramic wall tile are durable and cleanable materials that are frequently used in areas of high use or where liquids are prese...
  • Porcelain Tile

    Porcelain Tile is a durable, cleanable modular finish that is suitable in wet locations or areas prone to liquids or spills.
  • Fabrics / Upholstery

    Use durable and cleanable upholstery for soft-sided furniture, especially in rooms where coffee, drinks, or food may be present. Select upholsteries...
  • Electronic Waste

    Small electronics and batteries should be collected and diverted from the waste stream because of their high concentrations of acids and heavy metal...
  • Frozen Yogurt

    Frozen yogurt and soft-serve ice cream dispensers must maintain low temperatures all the time to provide a consistent product quality and freshness....
  • Cool Food Prep Area

    Surfaces used for food preparation should be easy to clean and anti-microbial. A sink should be within close proximity for both ...
  • Dish Washing Station

    Dish washing stations consist of multiple-compartment sinks or basins with faucets and pre-wash sprayers as well as high-tempera...
  • Food Washing Station

    Food preparation stations usually require access to clean water. Select faucets that carry a Water Sense label for water efficie...
  • Vinyl Base

    Vinyl wall base is a durable material that serves as a wall finish and functional protective border. Vinyl base should be used sparingly, as the m...