Lessons Learned Tools & Resources



7group brings together the expertise of five different firms to advocate for more sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings and communities.

The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building
The Integrative Design Guide to Green Building focuses on the “how” of sustainability: how to make the best decisions, how to work with others to creatively address the issues of sustainability, how to address complex issues that threaten living systems, and how to be more and more deeply purposeful in pursuing what is required of us to achieve these objectives.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

The ACEEE is dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protections.  ACEEE’s key program areas include energy policy, buildings and equipment, utilities and industry.  The ACEEE website provides a guide to energy efficient commercial equipment, building performance programs, evaluation tools, case studies and information on emerging energy-saving technologies.

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)

ASHRAE standards are used as the basis of most energy codes and measurements of building performance. This site is a source for information on high performance buildings, providing access to ASHRAE standards and references, magazines, and guides.

Energy Efficiency Guide For Existing Commercial Buildings: The Business Case For Building Owners And Managers
This two-book set includes both Energy Efficiency Guides for Existing Commercial Buildings (EEG-EB).  Although a part of the highly successful Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) series, the EEG-EB series concentrates solely on existing commercial buildings.  The first in the series provided a business case for energy efficiency and was targeted to building owners and managers, and the second is aimed at providing technical guidance in undertaking existing building renovation programs

High Performing Buildings Magazine
This magazine from ASHRAE helps the building industry learn about the benefits of high performance design through case studies of exemplary buildings.

The Architectural Record provides information on design ideas and trends, building science, business and professional strategies, and exploration of key issues, news, products and other topics.  The publication features a green resources section with information about green building.

Architectural Record – Green Architecture

Building Owners Managers Association (BOMA) International

The Building Owners Managers Association (BOMA) International is an international federation of more than 100 local associations and affiliated organization.  Founded in 1907, its 16500-plus members own or manage more than nine billion square feet of commercial properties. BOMA International’s mission is to enhance the human, intellectual and physical assets of the commercial real estate industry through advocacy, deduction, research, standards a and information.

BOMA 7point Challenge
BOMA International issued the 7-Point Challenge in July 2007, calling on the commercial real estate industry to improve energy efficiency by 30 percent by 2012. BOMA members are answering the call. The final results of the Challenge will be announced at BOMA’s Winter Business Meeting in January 2013.

BOMA 360 Performance Program
The BOMA 360 Performance Program evaluates six major areas of building operations and management and benchmarks a building’s performance against industry standards. “Energy” and “Environmental/Sustainability” are two of the six categories that applicants must satisfy to earn the BOMA 360 designation, with requirements that include ENERGY STAR® benchmarking, energy audits and commissioning and policies on waste management, indoor air quality, green cleaning, water management and more.


The Construction Carbon Calculator is a tool for developers, builders, architects, and land planners to approximate the net embodied carbon of a project’s structures and sites.  The tool estimates the embodied energy and subsequent carbon amounts released during construction. The measurements account for building materials, processes and carbon released due to ecosystem degradation or sequestered through landscape installation or restoration.

BuildingGreen helps building industry professionals broaden their expertise, improve environmental performance, and streamline project management with authoritative, independent information on environmentally responsible design and construction. Their online and print resources include:

LEEDuser helps members certify building projects with tips, action checklists, sample documentation, forums, and templates for the key commercial and institutional LEED rating systems: LEED-NC, LEED-CS LEED-CI, LEED-Schools and LEED-EBOM. LEEDuser also helps save time and money with frank advice on how to accomplish each credit requirement.

Environmental Building News™ is a print and searchable online resource covering the essential topics related to sustainable building – from renewable energy and recycled-content products, to land-use planning and indoor air quality.  Includes free access to LEED- and AIA HSW-approved continuing education courses.

GreenSpec® online database provides fast, in-depth searches of the greenest 10 percent of building products by keyword, CSI MasterFormat category, certifications and green attributes.  Members save time and avoid manufacturer greenwashing with guidance on material selection and hazard assessments, in-depth analysis to substantiate sourcing decisions, independent expert opinion, and first-hand peer experiences.

BuildingGreen Suite™ is a comprehensive online resource offering instant access to thousands of articles, in-depth features, product reviews, news and opinions. This information is searchable and cross-references by CSI MasterFormat division, LEED™ credit, and green topic, and includes a database of over 275 high-performance building case studies.  Includes unlimited access to Environmental Building News and GreenSpec®

BuildingGreen, Inc.


















The California Sustainability Alliance (the Alliance) is designed to help meet the state’s aggressive energy, climate and other resource and environmental goals by increasing and accelerating energy efficiency in combination with complementary green measures and strategies.

Green Leases Toolkit
The Alliance assembled an expert group of professionals with substantial experience in commercial real estate to develop and test strategies to overcome the significant barriers to greening the 90% of California’s commercial office space that is leased. This effort focused on “green leasing” (i.e., integrating sustainability practices into the entire commercial leasing process.) This includes service provider selection; marketing of buildings, development of green specifications; request of proposal and letter of intent drafting; site selection and due diligence; and the negotiation and drafting of realistic and enforceable lease language. 

California Sustainability Alliance









Con Edison’s energy efficiency programs for homes and businesses can help lower energy usage.  Offerings include free equipment upgrades, rebates, recycling programs, and home and business energy surveys.

Small Business Direct Installation
Con Edison’s Small Business Direct Installation Program sends out energy professionals to evaluate the lighting, ballasts, fixtures, HVAC system, and more at businesses. They make custom recommendations for improving energy efficiency that fit the needs and budget of the business.

Energy Efficiency Programs for Commercial & Industrial Customers
With Con Edison’s multifamily energy survey, Green Team Energy professional will come and evaluate building lighting, heating and cooling equipment, and appliances, and offer energy-acing recommendations.  Once a building is enrolled, residents can receive free CFLs, water saving devices, and smart strips.  Building owners are offered incentives and rebates for certain upgrades, including lighting fixtures, LED exit signs, chillers, HVAC systems, and more. In some cases, new ENERGY STAR® refrigerators will be provided at no cost!

Demand Response
Con Edison’s new demand response programs for business and residential customers provide financial incentives for participation and help lower the demand for electricity during peak periods when energy use is at its highest.  Programs range from emergency based to forecast based peak load shaving programs.

Free Programmable Thermostats for Central AC Systems
Con Edison is offering a free programmable thermostat that allows for control of the temperature in your business, even when you’re not there.  You will be able to adjust the temperature manually or remotely via the Internet or your mobile phone, while providing an efficient use of energy when programming features are used.

Commercial Energy Calculator
This site includes calculators that estimate savings resulting from energy and lighting upgrades.

Con Edison – The Power of Green






















The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization created to bring about a large-scale transformation in the way we make the things we make.  Rather than focusing on how industry can become “less bad,” the Institute is set up to be a resource for those who inspire to do “more good.”  They promote an innovation-oriented model for eliminating toxic chemicals and other negative environmental impacts.

Product Certification
Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM Products Program is a 5-criteria protocol that evaluates how safe and healthy a product is for humans and the environment.  This site has information on the steps toward certification and a registry of certified products.

Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute







DSIRE is a comprehensive source on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The searchable database allows searches by sector, incentive type, state, or technology.  It also offers a financial incentives summary list with key contacts and web links.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)


California’s Department of resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) brings together the state’s recycling and waste management programs and continues a tradition of environmental stewardship.  CalRecycle’s mission is to inspire and challenge Californians to achieve the highest waste reduction, recycling and reuse goals in the nation.  Their web site includes a number of resources to help business, homeowners, and other reduce waste.

Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)


In 2004, Enterprise set out to prove that it was possible to bring the health, economic and environmental benefits of green building to low-income communities nationwide.  In just five years, the Enterprise Green Communities initiative invested $700 million to build and preserve nearly 16,000 green affordable homes – while transforming local, state, and national policies.  Enterprise is continuing to lead and build on this important momentum with the net generation of Enterprise Green Communities, committing $4billion over the next five years.  Green Communities provides funds and expertise to enable developers to build and rehabilitate homes that are healthier, more energy efficient and better for the environment – without compromising affordability.  Funding options available include planning in construction and charette grants, predevelopment and contraction loans as well as low-income housing tax credit equity for building projects that adhere to their “Green Criteria.”

Enterprise Green Communities






The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is the voice of Canada’s wood, pulp, and paper products nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs.  Canada’s forest products industry is a $57.1 billion a year industry that represents 2% of Canada’s GDP. FPAC members strive to operate in a manner which is environmentally responsible, socially desirable, and economically viable.

Where to Buy Responsible Products
FPAC Member Companies must be certified to one of three internationally recognized certification standards – Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – as a condition of FPAC membership.  This site includes links to product listings from those three certification programs.

Forest Products Association of Canada







The FSC is an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes the responsible management of the word’s working forests through the development of standards, a certification system, and trademark recognition.

FSC Step-by-Step Guide
This is a guide to help managers and owners of small-scale and low intensity forest operations maintain or improve the management of biodiversity High Conservation Values (HCVs) within their forests. This guide is not meant to replace management plants - but to strengthen them.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)



The Green Lease Library is the result of collaboration among several stakeholders in the green leasing community and is maintained by the Institute for Market Transformation.  It consolidates green leasing resources to provide a one-stop shop for all audience types – from building owners and tenants to lawyers and building raters.  The library is organized by resource type and resources are tagged by relevance to audience and building types. 

Green Lease Library




The business Council on Climate Change’s Green Tenant Toolkit is designed for use by tenants, occupiers, and owners of all classes and sizes of commercial buildings and may be used at all points within the life cycle of the lease.  The toolkit was developed by a diverse group of real estate and environmental professionals representing brokers, property management, large tenant groups, attorneys, electrical utilities and design and construction experts convened by the Business Council on Climate Change and SF Environment.  The toolkit was designed for San Francisco buildings, but may be adapted for use by any location.

Green Tenant Toolkit




GreenBiz offers resources on how to align environmental responsibility within business success by providing valuable news and resources to large and small businesses through a combination of websites, workshops, daily news feeds, electronic newsletters, and briefing papers. Topics include green procurement, facility management, energy efficiency, waste reduction, renewable energy, green cleaning and many others.  Resources are free to all users.

Produced by GreenBiz.com, this free, content-rich site offers hundred of resources on green buildings.






Increasing the energy efficiency of the city’s existing buildings is a central PlaNYC focus. To address the critical area of energy use in existing buildings, NYC has enacted a set of efficiency requirements for existing private and public sector buildings. In December 2009 Mayor Bloomberg signed the four legislative components of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, the most comprehensive set of efficiency laws in the nation: Benchmarking – Local Law 84; New York City Energy Code – LocalLaw 85; Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning – LocalLaw 87; Lighting Upgrades and Sub-metering –Local Law 88.

Energy Aligned Lease
The split incentive problem has long hampered energy efficiency investments. It occurs when one party pays for upgrades, but another party reaps the financial benefits of the energy savings. Working with the real estate industry, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability has developed model lease language that solves the split incentive problem in commercial gross modified leases.

PlaNYC Green Buildings and Energy Efficiency

Greener Greater Buildings Plan










The Green Globes system, administered in the U.S. by the Green Building Initiative (GBI), is a building environmental design and management tool. It delivers an online assessment protocol, rating system and guidance for green building design, operation and management. It awards points across seven credit categories including: energy, indoor environment, site, water, resources, emissions, and project/environmental management.   The Green Globes suite of tools is used to integrate sustainability goals into new consecution, renovations, and entire building portfolios.

Green Globs




The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) was founded in 2001 with the mission of improving human health and quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants.  In keeping with that mission, GEI certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a free resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments.

GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI)

The Green Home Guide is a community-based resource that offers a combination of tips, case studies, expert Q&A, articles and regional product directories.

Green Home Guide

GREEN | REAL ESTATE | NYC is a guide to all of the great green apartments and houses in New York City.  Aside from the fact that green buildings have a smaller impact on the environment, green apartments and houses are also better for the health and happiness of the people living in them.  The factors that contribute to a lower environmental footprint (better indoor air quality, more natural light, and more natural furnishings and building materials) can all contribute in a substantial and positive way to the health and happiness of the families occupying such buildings.




Green Seal develops life cycle-based sustainability standards for products, services and companies and offer third-party certification for those that meet the criteria in the standard. Green Seal specialized in more than thirty product and service categories, including: household products; construction materials & equipment; paints & coatings; printing & writing paper; paper towels, napkins, & tissue paper; food packing; institutional cleaning products; hands, soaps & cleaners; commercial cleaning services; hotels & lodging propertie

Green Seal




GreenScreen for Safe Chemical

The GreenScreen for Safer Chemical is a method for chemical hazard assessment to help move our society quickly and effectively toward the use of greener and safer chemicals.  It is the first free, fully transparent and publicly accessible tool to identify substances that are inherently less hazardous for humans and the environment.  This site has information on how the method works, GreenScreen trainings, and additional resource.

The Health Product Declaration (HDP) Forum is the home of the HPD Open Standard Working Group, a voluntary association of expert participants from the community of building designers, specifiers, owners and users. The HPD Open Standard Working Group was convened in July 2011 by the Materials research Collaborative, a joint initiative of Healthy Building Network and BuildingGreen, Inc.

The HPD Open Standard is a format for the reporting of product content and associated health information for individual building products and materials. An initial version of the form has been drafted and is available for viewing here. It was used in a Pilot test program by 30 manufacturers and reviewed by 50 users. It is now undergoing revision based on feedback from the Pilot. Version 1.0 for public use is planned for release in November 201.

Health Product Declaration Forum





The HBN is a national network of green building professionals, environmental and health activists, socially responsible investment advocates and others who are interested in promoting healthier building materials as a means of improving public health and preserving the global environment.

Healthy Building News
This biweekly email update includes insights and analysis on building materials and environmental health.

Healthy Building Network (HBN) 




This partnership between the U.S. Green Building Council and Home Depot will launch a line of USBGC-approved green buildings products on Home Depot’s site.  Although Home Depot already sells a bevy of green products, the new categorization will make it quick and easy for customers to find the sustainable products they need online.

Home Depot – Sustainable, LEED friendly product supplier