Green Buildings Links & Tips

Sustainability issues that impact AOBA members are diverse and often complex. Here, you'll find numerous helpful websites.

Energy Efficiency

EPA Energy Star
To maximize your building's energy efficiency, you need goals and a plan. You also need to be prepared to continually evaluate your building's energy performance to ensure you're meeting your goals. The EPA's ENERGY STAR website can help you get started, as well as help you locate the products you may need to cut costs and increase efficiency!

Virginia Energy Sense
Features consumer-friendly info and resources about how to become smarter energy users from step-by-step videos, to a range of easy, budget-friendly tips, like how to use appliances more efficiently and save on heating and cooling costs. It also features an innovative tool that allows Virginians to automatically track their energy consumption and compare their use with friends and neighbors and receive discounts from retailers.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and regulations regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency.

EPA Energy Star Site for Buildings
Search for Energy Star service providers, read guidelines for energy management and learn about environmental building design.

United States Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Provides information on buying green power, alternative fuels, energy programs and state programs.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Provides consumer resources as well as program and policy information.

Alliance to Save Energy
Learn how states are promoting energy efficiency through laws and regulations. This website also includes information and resources regarding incentives and available funds, with links to relevant state and local websites.

Clean Energy Partnership
CEP is a non-profit dedicated to the creation of a cleaner, better future. CEP works to support practical solutions to today's most pressing environmental challenges -global warming and air pollution.

The Homeowners Guide
An informative homeowners guide with tips and links to help green home care, maintanice and reduce costs.


You'll find everything you need to know about the US Green Building Council's LEED standards for Existing Buildings.

Leonardo Academy
This educational organization specializes in helping firms evaluate their current environmental impact and to develop effective, measurable strategies to enhance sustainability, including LEED consulting.

Water Management & Air Quality

Water Efficiency
EPA Energy Star WaterSense Program
Improving water efficiency in a building can reduce costs in many areas, including gas, energy and waste. The EPA's WaterSense program provides both products and tips that can assist your business' effective water use.

Waste Reduction
EPA WasteWise Program
Waste from building construction and renovation can generate over 100 million tons of waste each year. The EPA's WasteWise brochure includes information on reducing waste during construction and contact info for helpful organizations.

Water Quality
The DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) will schedule meetings with property management representatives to discuss how to maintain water quality in commercial office buildings. Commercial members interested in meeting with a DC WASA representative may call (202) 612-3440 to schedule a session. To view WASA's water quality brochure for commercial buildings, click here.

Air Quality
EPA Large Building Air Quality
Upgrading ventilation systems and having your building assessed for air quality can reduce costs and improve your tenants' health. Visit for info on maintaining quality air in your facilities.


The DC Commercial Recycling Guide
This guide outlines the fines and requirements for commercial recycling in the District and offers info on how to reduce waste. Prince George's County mandates recycling for multifamily rental facilities as well as businesses. Also, see updated flyer from Montgomery County on Think "Reduce and Recycle" at Apartments and Condominiums.

Montgomery County's Business Recycling and Waste Reduction website has recycling regulations, required forms and worksheets, recycling posters, decals and videos as well as a business recycling handbook. The Apartment and Condominium recycling site offers regulations, tips and suggestions, information for property managers and awards for outstanding recyclers.

Arlington County Guidelines: Recycling for Business and Non-Residential Properties includes requirements for recycling as well as planning forms, material guides and education tools.

Fairfax County requires recycling for Apartments and Condominiums as well as all Non-Residential Commercial Properties. Also, Fairfax has put together a NEW tool kit on recycling at:

Loudoun County also mandates recycling, for both Businesses and Residents/Multi-family buildings.

Also, here's a handy site with lots of tips for recycling: Wine Bags

Green Building

EPA Green Building Site : Focuses on specific areas such as air quality, water efficiency and waste management. Explains the importance of each and gives advice and EPA programs that address these issues.

Green Depot: Environmental Living and Building : A comprehensive website featuring LEED certification information, green building data, green building products, resources and training programs.

Green Furniture Guide - Information and tip about buying furniture made sustainably.

RiverSmart Rooftops Green Roof Rebate Program : The District RiverSmart Rooftops Program was started in 2006 and has since greatly contributed to the installation of green roofs District-wide.  DOEE seeks to promote the voluntary installation of green roofs for the purpose of reducing stormwater runoff and pollutants. As a result, DOEE offers a rebate of $10 – $15 per square foot for voluntary installations of green roofs around the District. The specific rebate amount depends on whether the proposed green roof is located within the combined sewer system ($10/sq.ft.) or the municipal storm sewer system ($15/sq.ft.).  Determine in which area your parcel is located.

USGBC National Capital Region Chapter :  The website for the DC-MD-VA Chapter of the US Green Building Council features events, resources and news from the area between the Shenandoah and the Chesapeake.

More Resources

Local Sustainable Business Organizations

Bethesda Green
Bethesda Green is a non-profit organization that provides programs and services to promote a healthy economy and sustainable practices through collaboration with the community, government and businesses on the local level. There are many helpful resources available on their website.

For more excellent sustainability resources, see those provided by our national affiliates: BOMA and NAA.

Tips for Office Building Employees and Apartment Residents

By taking simple steps, office building employees and apartment residents can save energy used to make electricity, conserve precious fuel and water, and reduce waste. Please download the following brief Green Tips - in handy Bookmark size - and distribute them widely to co-workers, friends and neighbors!
Note to AOBA members: If you would like to receive art files so that you can adapt these Green Tips for corporate use, please email

Green Tips for Office Employees
Green Tips for Apartment Residents

Also, Arlington County, VA has developed the following resources:

Arlington County Tips for Office Building Managers
Arlington County Tips for Office Tenants
Arlington County Sustainability Toolkit for Multi-family Properties

BOMA International's Commercial Lease: Guide to Sustainable and Energy Efficient Leasing for High-Performance Buildings

This update to BOMA s best-selling Green Lease Guide includes more green clauses reflecting the evolution of the market over the past several years. This definitive guide helps property professionals execute a lease that addresses building operations and performance to maintain an energy efficient and high performance property. To purchase this publication, visit BOMA.

Green Glossaries

This glossary defines the terminology associated with green building. Revised by its original author, engineer Ashok Raiji, P.E., a principal at ARUP, this glossary has been recycled from the book, Big & Green: Toward Sustainable Architecture in the 21st Century, published in 2002 by Princeton Architectural Press in connection with an exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC.

Green Building Encyclopedia: Key terms often used when discussing green construction, building, engineering or management.
Calculating Your Building's Carbon Footprint

Keep in mind that calculating a carbon footprint can vary greatly from source to source. Try doing several, and take into account that each one asks different questions! Some websites to try: Your Car's Carbon Footprint area