The US Green Building Council has a useful USGBC Knowledge Exchange definitely worth checking out, passing on, and adding to your library’s online library of resources! The Resource Catalog is a collection of cataloged free digital resources that relate to green building, energy efficiency, urban design, etc. If you want a link added, you can email them (KnowX@usgbc.org) the resource link. There is also a Podcast – USGBC Knowledge Exchange offering audio podcasts by experts in the field on latest in innovation and best practices in sustainable design, construction, operations, planning and LEED – through iTunes store. There is also a link to the Knowledge Center containing USGBC’s in-house library with a collection of more than 500 items. Soon they will be adding a Speaker’s Registry. Check it out!
and thanks to Anne Less of the USGBC for her work on this resource and bringing it to my attention!
Are you building or remolding your library? Check out Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. It’s a “third party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.” (LEED Rating System Info) LEED looks at 5 areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
For new construction check out LEED for New Construction. There are 4 levels: certified, silver, gold, platinum (levels are according to how many points you are awarded for meeting criteria in design, operations, construction and management). There is also specific LEED Certification for K-12 school (which can included higher ed)
Why LEED? There are environmental and financial benefits to getting certified green building (from LEED certification site):
- Lower operating costs and increased asset value.
- Reduce waste sent to landfills.
- Conserve energy and water.
- Healthier and safer for occupants.
- Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
- Qualify for tax rebates, zoning allowances and other incentives in hundreds of cities.
- Demonstrate an owner’s commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.
Read this article/study which shows LEED Buildings Outperform Peers for more info. The US Green Building Council Web site also provides many resources, details, templates, guides, and tools that would be a great help when considering LEED certification.
You also don’t have to be constructing a new building to go green. Here is an article on how to take existing buildings and transform them into LEED for Existing Buildings Certification (for Operations and Maintenance).