Sustainable/Green Information Websites and Resources
- Canadian Green Building Council
- US Green Building Council
- Green Globe
- Environment Canada
- United States Environment Protection Agency
Life-Cycle Assessment Tools
ATHENA® - An environmental assessment tool that lets building designers compare the relative environmental effects or trade-offs among alternative design solutions at the conceptual design stage and is based on life-cycle analysis of structural products, a range of cladding products, gypsum boards, and other individual building products. The program has been developed by The ATHENA Sustainable Materials Institute, a not-for-profit organization incorporated in early 1997 to carry forward work started in 1991 by Forintek Canada Corp. with the support of Natural Resources Canada.
BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) - The BEES software is a useful technique for selecting cost-effective green building products. Developed by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Building and Fire Research Laboratory with support from the U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program and the HUD Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), the tool is based on consensus standards and designed to be practical, flexible, and transparent. Version 3.0 of the decision software, aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers, includes actual environmental and economic performance data for over 65 building products. The software and user manual may be downloaded free of charge.
ISO 14040 Environmental Management: Life-Cycle Assessment, Principles,and Framework - Provides a clear overview of the practice, applications, and limitations of LCA to a broad range of potential users and stakeholders. The document has also been formally adopted in the U.S. as an American National Standard and as a CEN standard in Europe.
SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) - Technical Framework for Life-Cycle Assessments - Developed by contract research labs, consultants, industry, universities, public interest groups, and governmental agencies, the Technical Framework establishes the components necessary to perform full life-cycle assessments.
U.S. Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database - Created by NREL and partners, this publicly available database allows users to objectively review and compare analysis results that are based on similar data collection and analysis methods.
Building Rating Systems
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) - One of the first environmental labeling program for buildings, was developed in the UK by Building Research Establishment beginning in 1990, and has been in use there since 1993. It also has been applied in several countries in the Asian Pacific. The Canadian Standards Association officially adopted it in 1996.
LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) - Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED® Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven building rating system based on existing proven technology that evaluates environmental performance from a "whole building" perspective over a building's life cycle. The LEED® system defines a set of prescriptive and performance based "credits" which can be earned by implementing various environmental measures. Depending on the number of credits earned, a building will be rated as a Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum LEED® Building.
First Source - Sponsored by the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) - Provides information on numerous construction products.
Green Building Pages - A web-based resource guide for green building materials and green building.
Sweet's Catalog Online - Provides manufacturer's product information on numerous construction products.