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Learn & Plan Topics

  • What is Sustainability

    Sustainability is best thought of as a process, rather than an end state. Sustainability means to create and maintain conditions that balance the ec...
  • Keys to Success

    Sustainable design, construction, operation, and renovation are best thought of as an integrated process, rather than a collection of things. The pr...
  • Integrative Design Process

    Integrative thinking looks for synergies among strategies - strategies that enhance one another. It also looks for strategies that, taken together, ...
  • Project Guidance

    For each project there is a selection of issues and questions you should consider before selecting specific materials or products. This will help...

  • 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. ...

  • Energy & Atmosphere

    Buildings and facilities rely on the operation of mechanical systems and electrical systems to maintain a high level of indoor environmenta...

  • Water Efficiency

    Buildings are significant users of the Earth’s freshwater supply. The goal of a responsible building operator should be to encourage a sma...

  • Sustainable Sites

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

  • Buildings' Energy Use

    Buildings represent about 76% of electricity use and 40% of U.S. primary energy use, making it essential to reduce energy consumption to reduce cost...
  • Water Consumption

    Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population nearly doubled. However, in that same period, public demand for water more than tripled. Americans now...

  • Buildings' Water Use

    Water use in commercial and institutional facilities, such as office buildings and hospitals, acc...

  • U.S. Waste and Recycling

    The U.S. generated approximately 251 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2012. Almost 87 million tons were recycled and composted, whi...

  • IEQ and Asthma

    Indoor contaminants such as dust mites, molds, cockroaches, pet dander, secondhand smoke and some chemicals can trigger asthma attacks. One in 11...

  • Materials, Furniture, and Furnishings Replacement

    Daily wear and tear means that materials, furniture and furnishings require periodic replacement.

  • 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....

  • 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.

  • Building Systems Upgrades

    This page details Sustainable Strategies to consider as your space undergoes a building system upgrade to improve energy, water use, and occupant co...
  • Building Operations and Maintenance Services

    Follow these sustainable strategies as your space renovations are complete and the building and interiors are operated in an environmentally sustai...
  • Environmental Programs

    Environmental programs, both federal and third party, help buyers identify products and services with posit...

  • Using Acquisition Lifecycle Tools

    Guidance on how government tools and resources can be utilized during each phase of the procurement lifecycle.
  • Plug Loads

    Plug loads refer to energy used by equipment that is plugged into an outlet. In an office, key plug loads include computer and monitors, printers...

  • Enhancing Resilience and Reducing Vulnerability to Observed and Expected Changes in Climate

    Adapting to observed and expected changes in climate is a complex, long term process that requires personnel to work together across their organizat...
  • 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...
  • Energy Management Systems (EnMS)

    Energy Management Systems (EnMS) are a set of business processes that enable facility managers to act on energy usage data and optimize efficienc...

  • Sustainability Program Development

    Sustainability Programs incorporate all building stakeholders into the green design process, promoting awareness, goal development, implementatio...

  • SFTool Product Search

    GSA has expanded our SFTool with a Product Search that streamlines sustainable product procurement for vendors and buyers.

    LED Price Drop

    LED prices have dropped rapidly in recent years.  They are now more lifecycle cost effective than fluorescents in every lighting application...

  • Building Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

    Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) accounts for approximately 44% of commercial building energy use.Source: U.S....
  • 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 ...
  • 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 ...

Whole Building Systems Thinking

Unlike conventional design processes, where components and disciplines are treated separately, sustainable design requires an evaluation of whole systems. When retrofitting an office, consider the space as a whole. This means thinking not only about the lighting, the flooring, the windows, the HVAC system, and the furniture as separate components, but also thinking about the relationship between each of these components and the ways that those relationships create the space, and how that fits with sustainability goals.

Check out the Whole Building Systems section in Explore for information on building systems, their relationship to one another, and the integrated design team necessary to reach sustainability goals.

For example, if a project’s goal is to save energy from lighting and improve occupant comfort, it should think not only about the type of lighting fixtures needed, but also how the space will be used by the occupants, the amount of sunlight streaming through the windows at different times of year, how that light gets bounced into the space, how the light levels are controlled, and even the colors of the walls. By thinking holistically about the lighting system, rather than simply about the lighting components, a more comfortable, efficient, healthy and productive space can be created. In addition, the project “system” is nested within larger systems, such as a watershed, an air shed, a forest, a neighborhood and city, and so forth; these larger systems should also be considered. 

Whole Building Systems

  • Submetering - DOE | Better Buildings' Toolkit: Implement Energy Management Information Systems in your building portfolio

    https://betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov/toolkits/implement-energy-management-information-systems-emis-your-building-portfolio

  • HVAC - Example Questions

    Does the building have building automation systems (BAS)?

  • Planted Roof - Effect on Existing Building Systems

    A planted roof enhances the performance of existing building systems (see System Bundling). This lowers the operating costs and, when replaced, resu...

  • Submetering - Effect on Existing Building Systems

    A submetering system enhances building performance and resource use of existing building systems (see System Bundling).

  • Submetering - San Francisco City and County, California

    By January 1, 2014, tenants and landlords have the right to request submetering systems, are required in all new construction multi-tenant buildings...

  • Lighting - Example Survey Questions

    Has the building had an energy audit within the past three years for the lighting system?

  • IEQ - Green Tips

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

  • IEQ - Green Tips

    Regularly re-commission all building systems to ensure high IEQ is upheld.

  • Solid Waste - GreenGlobes NC

    Have systems and products been selected that facilitate building disassembly?

  • Submetering - ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1-2014

    Provides total building sustainability guidance for designing and operating high-performance green buildings. From site location, to energy use, to ...

  • 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...

  • HVAC - Green Tips and Strategies

    Get the most out of your building systems. Learn more about commissioning in the O&M Section.

  • Submetering - Green Tips and Strategies

    When it comes to procuring a metering system, resist the urge to ‘over-buy’ and focus on the specific metering equipment needed to accom...

  • Submetering - Green Tips and Behavior

    Simplify real-time and interval data collected by submeters in an energy metering system that organizes building resource use according to energy an...

  • Submetering - Green Tips and Strategies

    When considering adding supplemental submetering to existing building systems, consider ensuring branding compatibility with existing equipment and ...

  • 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...

  • Submetering - Building Owners

    Submetering systems help to efficiently manage a building’s resource use, thereby creating a more comfortable environment for all tenants and ...

  • Submetering - Facility Managers and Operations and Maintenance Staff

    No matter how sustainable a building may be in design and construction, it can only remain so if it is operated responsibly and maintained properly....

  • Submetering - Impact on Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

    Submetering systems help to improve resource efficiency and conservation practices in a building, which can be used to improve indoor environmental ...

  • Submetering - O&M Impact

    Optimizing operations and maintenance (O&M) strategies for building equipment technologies and systems improves operational efficiency, reduces ...

  • HVAC - LEED BD+C: New Construction (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) addresses HVAC systems through a number of prerequi...

  • Water - System Bundling

    When specifying or replacing a component of the water system, consider bundling that component with other building equipment and strategies. Buildin...

  • IEQ - Lighting Environment and Views

    Providing access to uniform general lighting, daylight and views has demonstrated beneficial returns in occupant morale, comfort, and productivity. ...

  • 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 - Green Tips

    Consider coupling photovoltaics with a planted roof to optimize performance (see Solar/Photovoltaic).

  • Planted Roof - Architect

    The Architect leads the planted roof design team. Since the roofing system is integrated into the building as a whole, the Architect should design t...

  • Submetering - Design Professionals

    Data provides important input to the design process. The availability of focused data can help establish direction for designing, building, and main...

  • Submetering - Green Tips and Strategies

    Ensure that building and system operators have access to training or are already prepared to provide cost-effective meter and invertor maintenance o...

  • 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...

  • Submetering - Wayne Aspinall Federal Building

    Wayne Aspinall Federal Building Explores the energy-efficiency design features of the Wayne Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Gran...

  • Water - Leaks

    On average, ten percent of the total water supplied by utility companies is lost due to leakage within the building.1 Identifying leaks early preven...

  • IEQ - Thermal Comfort

    Thermal conditions, which include air temperature, relative humidity, and velocity, greatly impact overall occupant comfort and associated productiv...

  • Submetering - System Bundling

    Submetering technology can work independently to track specific utility information or consumption for a system or space, however, its potential is ...

  • Lighting - Architect

    The interior architecture and building layout play a significant role on the lighting strategy. Maximizing daylight requires meticulous planning of ...

  • Lighting - Mechanical Engineer

    The mechanical engineer will size the heating and cooling equipment based on both internal heat loads and heat loss through the building envelope. ...

  • Lighting - Occupant

    The beneficiaries of a lighting system upgrade are the building occupants, who should be considered in all decisions regarding their environment. Oc...

  • Lighting - System Bundling

    When specifying or replacing a particular lighting component, consider coordinating that component with other related building equipment. Lighting t...

  • Lighting - LEED O+M: Existing Buildings (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design for Operations & Maintenance: Existing Buildings (LEED O+M: EB) addresses lighting systems through...

  • Lighting - Green Globes New Construction (NC)

    Green Globes certification for NC projects directly necessitates a sustainable lighting strategy in the categories of Site, Energy, and Indoor Envir...

  • HVAC - System Bundling

    When specifying or replacing a particular HVAC component, consider bundling that component with other related building equipment and strategies. Bui...

  • HVAC - LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors (v4)

    LEED for Interior Design & Construction (ID+C): Commercial Interiors is intended for certification of spaces smaller than the whole building. Ev...

  • Water - Owner

    The owner wants to maximize the project’s return on investment as well as the building’s market value. Implementing cost-effective water...

  • Water - Civil Engineer

    Civil engineers provide engineering expertise for the water related aspects of the building site, including how on-site water is supplied to the bui...

  • Water - LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors (v4)

    LEED for Interior Design & Construction (ID+C): Commercial Interiors employs a number of sustainable water system best practices in its certific...

  • Water - LEED BD+C: New Construction (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) addresses components of a sustainable water system ...

  • IEQ - Commissioning

    Systems can malfunction, drift out of spec, or become obsolete over the life time of the building. It is important to commission and regularly re-co...

  • IEQ - LEED O+M: Existing Buildings (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) dedicates an entire credit section to enhancing t...

  • Planted Roof - System Bundling

    When installing a planted roof, consider coordinating the installation with other related building equipment. Your building can operate more efficie...

  • Planted Roof - Green Globes New Construction (NC)

    Green Globes for NC emphasizes the benefits of a planted roof on other systems within the building. While it only mentions planted roofs directly on...

  • Submetering - Uses of Submetering Data

    Submeters are a versatile building technology that can provide diverse resource benefits. Metered data helps to verify utility accuracy, identify en...

  • Submetering - Tenants

    Submeters eliminate utility billing problems associated with arbitrary ratio-based measures (e.g. square footage) that favor high volume users over ...

  • Submetering - LEED BD+C: New Construction (v4)

    LEED Building Design and Construction (BD+C) requires building-level water and energy metering. This requirement is intended to help identify opport...

  • Submetering - LEED O+M: Existing Buildings (v4)

    LEED Operations and Maintenance (O+M) for Existing Buildings requires building-level water and energy metering. This requirement is intended to help...

  • Lighting - Health

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

  • Lighting - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: Existing Buildings

    Assessing existing lighting conditions and incorporating a building management plan to ensure lighting component upgrades are carried out as desig...

  • Planted Roof - System Overview

    A “roof over our heads” is an essential part of a building envelope, protecting occupants and building structures and systems from the e...

  • Planted Roof - Integrative Design Process

    A planted roof is a system just like mechanical or plumbing, and should be thought about in the larger context of the holistic building.  As it...

  • Submetering - Integrative Design Process

    The integrative design process understands that buildings, their components, and their use type and surroundings are interrelated. Involving all sta...

  • Lighting - Energy Use

    By consuming 17% of the building’s total electricity consumption and further influencing overall energy demand by the waste heat it emits, lig...

  • HVAC - Systems Optimization

    There is a good chance your building systems are not operating at their peak efficiency. The reasons for this are many, including but not limited to...

  • HVAC - Architect

    The architect has as much or more impact on the HVAC system than any other member of the integrative team. An architect’s decisions - the building ...

  • HVAC - Human Behavior on HVAC

    Human behavior and interaction with the building space plays a critical component in achieving holistic sustainability. Desired gains in energy effi...

  • HVAC - System Adjustments

    The most frequently cited measures/opportunities are: Adjust reset and set-back temperatures and temperature settings – Settings are often adjust...

  • Water - Water Harvesting (Water Catchment Systems)

    Harvesting systems capture alternate water sources, provide adequate treatment typically for non-potable applications to offset the consumption of p...

  • IEQ - Facility Manager

    By establishing green cleaning contracts and purchasing agreements that specify environmentally-friendly cleaning and office materials, the facility...

  • IEQ - Human Behavior

    The way occupants interact with and utilize the building space has a direct effect on overall IEQ as many times it is humans that introduce harmful ...

  • IEQ - Green Cleaning Plan

    A successful Green Cleaning Plan limits the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous chemicals, ensures pro...

  • Submetering - Meter-Related Costs

    Meter costs can be grouped into three main categories: equipment costs, labor costs, and recurring costs. Since submetering systems can vary greatly...

  • Submetering - ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013

    Provides the minimum requirements for energy-efficient design of most buildings, except low-rise residential buildings in the United States. Require...

  • HVAC - Commissioning

    The process of ensuring that your building is operating properly starts with commissioning. In general, commissioning is the process of ensuring tha...

  • Planted Roof - Roof Leak Prevention

    Leaks are generally caused by poor workmanship. Unless the problems are ubiquitous, a project failure will not result. However, the process of ident...

  • Submetering - Human Behavior on System

    People’s behavior is a critical factor in a building’s energy use and can often account for significant changes in the amount of energy ...

  • Lighting - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: New Construction and Modernization

    The lighting systems must be commissioned, and integrative design processes should be employed. A 30% reduction in energy use compared to ASHRAE ...

  • HVAC - Energy Use

    HVAC consumes an average of 30% of a facility’s energy use.1 Much of that use is wasted, at times right through the front door. Other times t...

  • HVAC - Integrative Design Process

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

  • Water - System Overview

    Typical Federal Office Building Potable Water UseA typical Federal office building with 200 employees uses about 3,000 gallons of water in one day...

  • Water - Energy Use

    Water efficiency measures do more than conserve water; they conserve a significant amount of energy as well. Federal facilities use sixty billion Bt...

  • 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...

  • Planted Roof - Roof Duarability

    Reduced temperature fluctuations reduce thermal stress.  Benefits of a planted roof are realized through the extended life of the roof membrane...

  • Lighting - Resources

    The lighting system has a tremendous impact on building resources, primarily through the electricity and associated energy it demands. Designing, im...

  • Lighting - Human Behavior on Lighting

    Human behavior and interaction with the building space plays a critical component in achieving holistic sustainability. Desired gains in energy effi...

  • 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...

  • Lighting - LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors (v4)

    LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors emphasizes daylight as a beneficial lighting strategy for the whole building. The rating system puts a preference on...

  • HVAC - Water Use

    HVAC components, particularly cooling towers, steam systems, and humidifiers, are responsible for large amounts of water consumption in our building...

  • HVAC - Facility Manager

    The facility manager collaborates with the building owner to reduce operating costs and works with the occupant to provide a comfortable space. The ...

  • HVAC - Mechanical Engineer

    The mechanical engineer is responsible for sizing the heating and cooling equipment based on both internal heat loads and heat loss through the buil...

  • HVAC - System Specific Maintenance

    The Federal Energy Management Program’s guide Operations & Maintenance Best Practices has detailed guidance and checklists on the maintena...

  • HVAC - Reporting Mechanism & Maintenance Plan

    Provide an easy to follow and convenient platform for building occupants to report noticeable malfunctions or complaints about the HVAC system to ma...

  • HVAC - LEED O+M: Existing Buildings (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) addresses HVAC systems through a number of prereq...

  • Water - Integrative Design Process

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

  • Water - Behavior Change

    An educational campaign stressing the importance and best practices of water conservation can quickly pay for itself. Employees should be encouraged...

  • Water - Corrosion and Water Quality

    Water contaminants in mechanical process equipment can form deposits, scales, or carryover if not properly expelled through blow-down. These deposit...

  • Water - Reporting Mechanism & Maintenance Plan

    Provide an easy to follow and convenient platform for building occupants to report noticeable leaks, malfunctions, or complaints about the water sys...

  • IEQ - LEED BD+C: New Construction (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) highlights indoor environmental quality in a fully ...

  • Solid Waste - Building Recycling Program and Janitorial Service Contracts

    A recommended approach to developing and managing a cost-effective, sustainable waste management program is to: Form a multi-disciplinary team to r...

  • Planted Roof - Resources

    Planted roof systems have a significant impact on the building's overall energy and material consumption. Take into consideration these impacts when...

  • Planted Roof - Mechanical Engineer

    The Mechanical Engineer conducts energy modeling and optimizes the HVAC system. The Mechanical Engineer’s perspective is important at the plan...

  • Planted Roof - P100 Facilities Standards

    The GSA P100 Facilities standards establishes various requirements for several tiers of high performance federal buildings, with more stringent requ...

  • Planted Roof - The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES)

    SITES is an interdisciplinary partnership to transform land development and management practices through voluntary guidelines and rating system...

  • Submetering - Resources

    Using the data from submetering systems to better manage building operations and maintenance can have a significant impact on a building’s ove...

  • Submetering - Lifecycle Cost Analysis

    Submetering systems are distinct among building retrofit investments in that they themselves do not reduce resource consumption. Their role in enabl...

  • Submetering - State of Washington

    Buildings with gross conditioned floor areas over 50,000 square feet are required to measure, monitor, record, and display energy consumption data f...

  • Submetering - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: New Construction and Modernization

    The Principles require installation of building level meters for electricity, natural gas, and steam using advanced or standard meters as appropri...

  • Submetering - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: Existing Buildings

    The Principles encourage the installation of building level meters for electricity, natural gas, and steam using advanced or standard meters as ap...

  • Lighting - Integrative Design Process

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

  • Lighting - Energy Policy Act of 2005

    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) established a number of energy management goals for federal facilities involving components of a sustaina...

  • Lighting - Energy Policy Act of 1992

    The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992) amended the National Energy Consumption Policy Act and gave federal agencies the authority to enter into ...

  • 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...

  • HVAC - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: New Construction and Modernization

    HVAC systems must be commissioned, and integrative design principles should be employed. A 30% reduction in energy use compared to ASHRAE Standa...

  • Water - Conservation Measures

    Commercial buildings have significant opportunities to conserve the quantity of water needed for daily operations through thoughtful design of the b...

  • Water - Occupant Behavior on Water Consumption

    Occupants have a direct impact on water use and are key to a building’s water conservation program. Significant water can be wasted from occu...

  • Water - Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings: Existing Buildings

    Install water meters. Use water efficient products. Reduce indoor potable water use by 20% compared to the specific building’s water use ...

  • Water - LEED O+M: Existing Buildings (v4)

    Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) dedicates certification credits to reducing the b...

  • IEQ - Green Cleaning and Integrated Pest Management

    It is no surprise that regular upkeep is necessary to maintain a high indoor air quality, as dust, dirt, and mold accrue on materials in the space o...

  • Solid Waste - Integrative Design Process

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

  • Submetering - System Overview

    Cost Savings Submetering itself does not reduce utility costs, but the data can guide management strategies, investment, and operational decision...

  • Submetering - O&M

    One of the best ways to save energy is to measure and manage it. There are two basic methods for managing resource use: through improved resou...

  • Lighting - Optimize Building Energy Efficiency

    Some water system components, when bundled together, can significantly reduce overall building energy consumption as over eight percent of total ene...

  • HVAC - Energy Policy Act of 2005

    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) amends EPAct 1992 and establishes a number of energy management goals for federal facilities involving co...

  • 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 - Entryway Systems

    Entryway dirt capture systems serve to isolate contaminants that would otherwise be carried into the interior space, leading to decreased IAQ, cosme...

  • 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...

  • Submetering - System Specific Maintenance

    Submetering systems must be installed and maintained properly by trained and motivated O&M staff to achieve the design performance objectives. O...

  • Lighting - Occupant Behavior on Energy Efficiency

    Occupant behavior plays a critical role in achieving the designed energy efficiency of lighting systems. Energy modeling accuracies can often vary b...

  • Lighting - Comfort/Mood

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

  • 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 - Watering

    In many areas of the United States it is possible to design vegetative roofs without irrigation, including much of the Midwest and East. Even in ari...

  • Submetering - Enabling Monitoring-Based Commissioning

    Enhances building performance by utilizing metered data to recognize system inefficiencies and energy anomalies. Identifies energy-consuming load...

  • Submetering - Identifying and Monitoring Efficiency Retrofits

    Resource audits based on metered data help to determine the value of making investments in system retrofits and replacements to improve a building's...

  • Submetering - Meter Saving Ranges

    Industry trends have shown that well-designed submetering systems can provide energy savings at varying levels of action. With unstable utility pric...

  • 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...

  • Solid Waste - System Overview

    Cost Savings The national average landfill tipping fee was $45 per ton in 2012. Diverting waste from landfills can lower total waste disposal cos...

  • Solid Waste - Resources

    By instituting an effective building recycling program, recyclable material replaces virgin material through multiple product lives. Recycling avoid...

Materials

  • Overhead Air Distribution

    Overhead air distribution is the most common approach to mixing and delivering conditioned air to a space, though the delivery method can vary from ...
  • Entrance Mats

    Entrance Mats located at the main doors of the building, either on the exterior or interior, trap the contaminants from foot traffic. Dust, dirt ...
  • Ceiling Fans

    Ceiling fans can offer occupants the ability to control ambient comfort without making adjustments to the room, zone, or building mechanical system....
  • Storefront / Curtainwall Assemblies

    Storefront or curtainwall assemblies are "built-up" systems of glazing and metal frames that can span full or multiple floors. These systems requi...