- Sustainable Buildings
Reclamation's Sustainable Building Program
Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Welcome to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Sustainable Building internet site. This site provides information on Federal sustainable building requirements and Reclamation policies, plans, guidance and tools. For more information regarding sustainable buildings, please contact Kerry Whitford, Program Manager. Additional sustainable building contacts in the Reclamation regions and the Technical Services Center may be found on the "Contacts" sub-page in the left-hand column.
Purpose and Vision of the Sustainable Buildings Program
Reclamation's Sustainable Buildings Vision
Reclamation shall strive to reduce the negative economic, social, and environmental impacts of its buildings through sustainable planning, acquisition, siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning.
By implementing more sustainable building construction, renovation, operations, and leasing, Reclamation strives to: improve efficiency of building systems and operations; decrease Reclamation's carbon footprint, energy and water consumption, and other environmental impacts; reduce use of limited and non-renewable resources; improve indoor environmental quality; and protect employees from exposure to harmful chemicals.
Reclamation's Sustainable Buildings program is coordinated out of the Maintenance Services Division within Policy and Administration. To facilitate the accomplishment of sustainable building goals, Reclamation established a Sustainable Building Team (SBT) in 2009. Reclamation's SBT is tasked with providing policy, directives and standards, guidance, recommendations, and training to assist Reclamation offices in accomplishing Federal sustainable building goals. The SBT has facilitated the development of Reclamation's Sustainable Building Implementation Plan, Reclamation Manual Policy, ENV-P08 (Sustainable Buildings), and the completion of over 25 sustainable building assessments to date.
Sustainable building (also known as green construction or green building) refers to structures and processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages. The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.
To reduce the environmental impact of its 500,000 plus buildings, the Federal Government has made sustainable building practices a top priority and has issued a series of regulations, Executive Orders, and "Guiding Principles" for sustainable building construction, renovation, operations, and leasing. See Sustainable Building Requirements in the left-hand column for more information. Reclamation has developed policy, directives, interpretive guidance and tools to facilitate the accomplishment of Federal Sustainable building goals.
- Yan Ji and Stellios Plainiotis (2006): Design for Sustainability. Beijing: China Architecture and Building Press.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (October 28, 2009). Green Building Basic Information. Retrieved December 10, 2009, from http://www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/pubs/about.htm