Green Buildings and Sustainable Landscapes: Building Economies, Conserving Resources
Collaboration between EPA and communities has led to innovative green building projects and sustainable landscapes on Superfund sites nationwide. Green buildings showcase design and construction practices which minimize energy and water use and use environmentally friendly materials. Sustainable landscapes restore and recreate natural processes, enabling water conservation, water filtration and irrigation.
Green buildings and sustainable landscapes promote healthier living by increasing access to healthy food and safe walking/biking routes, enhancing recreational access and facilities, and engaging and educating communities through programming and activities like community gardening. Model redevelopment projects showcase a variety of methods for improving air, soil and water quality. By providing new habitats and reducing use of materials that impact native plant and animal populations, green buildings and sustainable landscapes support biological diversity and site stewardship. Greening formerly contaminated sites also supports economic revitalization through new jobs, amenities and services, recreational assets and housing.
- Green Building Programs: EPA has a number of programs that provide resources to help people learn more about the components of green building and how to incorporate these green building concepts into different types of buildings.
- U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC): Nonprofit organization with more than 8,000 member organizations working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. USGBC's membership includes private corporations, federal agencies, state and local governments, industry and professional associations, and nonprofit organizations, and encompasses 70 local chapters and affiliates nationwide.
- Sustainable Sites Initiative: An interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.