Sustainability Standards

Review Design Standards General Statements before utilizing this web page.

On this page:
Building Codes & Industry Standards
Denver Service Center (DSC) Requirements
Government Directives & Government Standards
National Park Service (NPS) Requirements
Executive Orders (EOs)

Building Codes & Industry Standards

  • ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers)
    • ASHRAE Guideline 0 2013 The Commissioning Process
    • ASHRAE Guideline 1.1 2007 HVAC&R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration) Technical Requirements for The Commissioning Process
    • ASHRAE 52.2-2012 Method of Testing General Ventilation Air-Cleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size
    • ASHRAE Standard 55 2013 Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy
    • ASHRAE Standard 62.1 2013 Ventilation for Acceptable IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)
    • ASHRAE Standard 90.1 2016 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
    • ASHRAE Standard 189.1 2014 Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings
  • IBC 2024 (International Building Code)
  • IEBC 2024 (International Existing Building Code)
  • IECC 2021 (International Energy Conservation Code)
  • IgCC 2021 (International Green Construction Code)
  • SMACNA IAQ (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractor's National Association)
    • IAQ Guidelines for Occupied Buildings Under Construction
    • IAQ: A Systems Approach

Denver Service Center (DSC) Requirements


Historic Buildings

Products & Materials


Sustainability Rating Systems

  • Green Globes - The genesis of this system was the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method) In 1996, the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) published BREEAM Canada for Existing Buildings. In 2000, the system became an online assessment and rating tool under the name Green Globes for Existing Buildings.
  • LEED™ Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - A third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark of the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED™ provides building owners and operators with the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance.
  • Living Building Challenge - "…calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature's architecture. To be certified under the Challenge, projects must meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including net zero energy, waste and water, over a minimum of 12 months of continuous occupancy."
  • STARS (The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System) - A voluntary, self-reporting framework for gauging relative progress toward sustainability for colleges and universities.
  • The Sustainable SITES Initiative - The SITES program was developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden.

Government Directives & Government Standards

Department of the Interior (DOI) Policies

National Park Service (NPS) Requirements

Management Policies 2006 - The Guide to Managing the National Park System

  • Chapter 1 The Foundation
    • Facilities
  • Chapter 4 Natural Resource Management
    • 4.9 Soundscape Management - Preserve, to the greatest extent possible, the natural soundscapes of the parks.
    • 4.10 Lightscape Management (natural ambient) - The effective use of good design to appropriately light areas and minimize or eliminate light clutter, the spill over of light into areas where light is not wanted, and light pollution, all of which wastes energy and impacts park visitors, neighbors and resources.
  • Chapter 9 Park Facilities
    • Sustainable Energy Design - "...All projects that include visitor centers or major visitor services facilities must incorporate LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards to achieve a silver rating."
    • Acquisition of Environmentally Preferable and Energy-Efficient Products
    • 9.1.7 Energy Management
      • Alternative energy
        • 9.1.5 Utilities
        • 9.2 Transportation Systems and Alternative Transportation
        • 9.4.5 Miscellaneous Management Facilities
      • Charges to concessionaires - Utilities and Services
      • Conservation
        • 9.1.1 Facility Planning and Design
        • Construction Sites
        • 9.2 Transportation Systems and Alternative Transportation
      • Efficiency
        • General
        • Acquisition of Environmentally Preferable and Energy-Efficient Products
        • 9.1.7 Energy Management
        • Campgrounds
        • Hostels and Shelters
      • Performance - 9.1.1 Facility Planning and Design
      • Use of environmentally friendly and energy efficient products - Acquisition of Environmentally Preferable and Energy-Efficient Products
  • Chapter 10 Commercial Visitor Service
    • 10.2.2 Commercial Visitor Services Planning - Adopts appropriate energy and water conservation, source reduction, and environmental purchasing standards and goals.

Director's Orders (DOs)

  • DO 13A: Environmental Management Systems (EMS) - Articulates the principles and policies for developing and implementing a Servicewide EMS approach that guides environmental decision-making and actions at all levels. Its purpose is to help ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and a commitment to pollution prevention, waste reduction, sustainable planning, environmentally preferable purchasing, and the incorporation of environmental best management practices
  • NPS Director's Order 77-2: Floodplain Management - Articulates NPS policies regarding development and actions in areas subject to flooding.

Handbooks, Reference Manuals (RMs), Strategies, Plans, & other Professional Materials


Public Law (PL)

  • PL 102-486 - Energy Policy Act of 1992
  • PL 109-058 - Energy Policy Act of 2005 - Among other things this legislation requires:
    • Reduced building energy consumption by at least 30% (20% for renovation) compared with ASHRAE 90.1 / IECC (where LCC (Life-Cycle Cost) effective).
    • Reduced water usage.
    • Specification of premium efficiency motors.
    • Procurement of both on-grid and off-grid renewable energy generation systems (solar hot water, solar electric, solar outdoor lighting, small wind turbines, fuel cells, etc.) where such systems are life-cycle cost-effective.
    • Specification of recovered minerals in cement and concrete as recommended by EPA guidance in their "Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines".
    • Provides a mechanism whereby design firms may obtain an income tax credit up to $1.80 per square foot of designed building, when design can be shown to meet specific energy targets.
    • Requires the use of Energy Star or FEMP designated products - for products covered by either of these programs.
  • PL 110-140 - Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 - Among other things this legislation:
    • Lengthens study period for LCC analyses from 25 years to 40 years.
    • Requires projects to dramatically reduce their use of fossil fuel derived energy. See reference below in General Design Guidance, Energy for link to comparative Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data for calculation.
    • Requires projects to derive at least 30% of their energy for water heating from solar (where LCC effective).
    • Projects with a footprint exceeding 5,000 square feet must use site planning, design, construction, and maintenance strategies to control storm water runoff. (See DSC Briefing Paper - Project Hydrology Requirements of EISA.)
    • Summary of Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
  • 42 USC (United States Code) Chapter 82 Solid Waste Disposal §6962 Federal Procurement - Procure products that meet RCRA (Resource Conservation Recovery Act) Section 6002 where applicable.
  • Section 9002 of FSRIA - USDA Department of Agriculture Biobased Affirmative Procurement Program - Procure products that meet FSRIA (Farm Security and Rural Investment Act) Section 9002, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) biobased preference program where applicable.

Executive Orders (EOs)


Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

  • FAR Parts 2, 4, 7, 11, 12, 13, 23, 42, 45 and 52.2 - FAR addresses environmental considerations in contracting and procurement procedures. These parts outline acquisition planning, energy and water efficiency, renewable energy, use of recovered materials, biobased products, hazardous materials, and waste reduction.

Last updated: May 9, 2024

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