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Learn & Plan Topics

  • Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)

    Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is most simply described as the conditions inside the building. It includes air quality, but also access to da...

  • Energy & Atmosphere

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

  • 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...

  • 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....
  • Materials, Furniture, and Furnishings Replacement

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

  • 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...
  • 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...

Green Products

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Whole Building Systems

  • Water - DOE | Cooling Tower Water Efficiency Fact Sheet

    https://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/pdfs/waterfs_coolingtowers.pdf

  • Water - Single Pass Cooling Equipment

    Single-pass (or once-through) cooling equipment uses water for only one cycle before subsequently discharging it. Examples of this equipment include...

  • Water - Cooling Tower

    Water leaves the cooling tower system through evaporation, blow-downdrift, and basin leaks and overflows, and therefore has to be replaced. Since co...

  • HVAC - Green Tips and Strategies

    Test, adjust, and balance airside systems to ensure that your system is not over-cooling or under-cooling certain spaces due to improper air volume ...

  • HVAC - Green Tips and Strategies

    Prevent scale formation in cooling towers.

  • HVAC - WEc3

    Cooling Tower Water Use

  • HVAC - WEc3

    Cooling Tower Water Use

  • Water - WEc3

    Cooling Tower Water Use

  • Water - WEc3

    Cooling Tower Water Use

  • Water - Example Water-specific Questions from Green Globes New Construction

    If cooling towers are to be used, will they have water-conserving features?

  • Water - CIEB

    Does the building use once-through water-cooled units?

  • HVAC - Water Use

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

  • HVAC - Example Questions

    Is the building sited and oriented to optimize the effect of microclimatic conditions for heating and cooling?

  • Water - Green Tips

    Use alternate non-potable water sources such as gray water, rainwater, air handling unit condensate, cooling tower blow-down or discharge from other...

  • IEQ - Example Questions

    Are air intakes located far from sources of pollution such as parking areas, bus stops, cooling towers or stagnant water?

  • IEQ - Example Questions

    Is there a program of regular maintenance and cleaning of the cooling towers that includes monthly inspection for evidence of mold or slime?

  • 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. ...

  • 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 - Case4

    Finding: $30,000 in reduced wastewater fees from reclaiming cooling pond water.Scope: Pacific Northwest National Lab: BMP 4/5Source: http://energy.g...

  • 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...

  • Planted Roof - Energy Use Reduction

    Planted roofs reduce building energy use by cooling roofs and providing shading, thermal mass and insulation. Building-Level Energy Reduction The ...

  • Water - Conservation Measures

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

  • HVAC - System Adjustments

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

  • 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 - Lighting Engineer

    The lighting engineer ultimately determines the power used by the lighting system. The engineer’s equipment selection also affects how much of this ...

  • HVAC - System Specific Maintenance

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

  • HVAC - Green Globes Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings (CIEB)

    Green Globes CIEB encourages the proper maintenance of not only HVAC equipment but also building elements that have an impact on heating and cooling...

  • Water - Green Globes New Construction

    A sustainable water system is directly addressed in Green Globes New Construction certification system in the categories of project management, site...

  • Water - Green Globes Continual Improvement of Existing Buildings (CIEB)

    Green Globes CIEB encourages cognitive implementation and metering of water heating equipment for energy efficiency measures. With regards to water ...

  • IEQ - Green Globes for Existing Buildings (EB)

    Green Globes CIEB addresses a healthy indoor environment through questions pertaining to the ventilation system, filtration system, humidification s...

  • Planted Roof - Air Cleansing

    Planted roofs contribute to improved air quality by capturing greenhouse gases, particulates, pollens, and molds. The vegetation on a planted roof c...

  • Planted Roof - System Bundling

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

  • 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...

  • Lighting - Optimize Daylighting

    Large windows can provide daylight to interior spaces, but the daylight can be best used when complementary technologies are employed. Lighting cont...

  • 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 - 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...

  • 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...

  • Planted Roof - Urban Smog

    Fewer emissions and the cooling of ambient air temperatures reduce the potential for ground-level ozone production. Reduced concentrations of pollut...

  • Water - Alternate Water Sources

    Alternate water sources are not from freshwater such as surface or groundwater. Alternate water is typically collected and stored on-site and then ...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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

    While there is no unique credit that specifically addresses the construction of planted roofs, LEED for Building Design and Construction (LEED BD+C)...

  • Planted Roof - Ocean Acidification and Sea Level Rise

    If all of the ice located at the poles were to melt today, global sea levels would rise by 220 feet. Although this is unlikely to occur soon, scient...

  • 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 - 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...

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 ...
  • Under Floor Air Distribution

    Under floor air distribution systems supply conditioned air to an occupied space via diffusers in a raised floor. This system effectively maintains...
  • Thermostat

    A thermostat is a component of the HVAC controls system. Detection and communication of the space temperature is a critical component of overall HV...
  • Reach in Refrigeration

    Refrigerated cooler units can house chilled beverages, salads, and other pre-packaged foods. Units with doors are more efficient than those that ar...
  • Salad Bar

    Open display counters often house salad components, pre-made items, and ingredients for made-to-order items (see also Hot Food Service). Select equ...
  • 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 ...
  • Under Counter Refrigeration

    Under-counter refrigeration units should have fully-gasketed doors to fully contain the cold air within, and walls should be adequately insulated. W...
  • Freezer

    Walk-in and reach-in freezers should have fully-gasketed doors to fully contain the cold air within, and walls should be adequat...
  • Refrigerator

    Walk-in and reach-in refrigeration units should have fully-gasketed doors to fully contain the cold air within, and walls should...
  • Ceiling Fans

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