Green Commercial & Civic Buildings
Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG)
Find green buildings in Alameda County (or anywhere else) by searching the Green Building Information Gateway, hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Green buildings are better for the environment and the people who live and work in them. Benefits include:
- Energy savings
- Water savings
- Healthy indoor air quality
- Waste reduction
- More livable communities
Voluntary Standards & Mandatory Requirements
A number of rating systems and programs have established voluntary standards for high performance building and site design, construction and maintenance. In addition, California's green building code, known as CALGreen, has minimum mandatory requirements for green construction practices in the state. Here's a brief rundown of these standards:
California was the first state in the country to adopt mandatory green building measures in its building code. The California Green Building Standards Code (commonly called “CALGreen”) raises the floor for green construction practices in the state. While the basic code requirements are not as stringent as the requirements for LEED or ENERGY STAR labeled buildings, CALGreen does provide a good starting point for improving the environmental performance of buildings.
ENERGY STAR, a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, labels best-in-class energy efficient and high performance commercial buildings. To obtain the ENERGY STAR label, commercial buildings must be verified to perform better than comparable buildings.
In 2012, StopWaste developed a green building checklist for small commercial projects. The Small Commercial Checklist is intended to address new construction and renovations/expansions up to 10,000 square feet or $3 million.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This green building rating system is a voluntary national standard managed by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED provides a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building or neighborhood development was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes is a rating system that recognizes excellence in high performance landscape design, construction and maintenance in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was originally developed by StopWaste in Alameda County and is now offered throughout the Bay Area by the Bay-Friendly Landscaping & Gardening Coalition.