Sustainable Buildings Implementation Plan

The Department of Interior issued the Sustainable Buildings Implementation Plan (DOI SBIP) in response to Executive Order 13423 Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, Executive Order 13514 Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In response, the NPS developed the Sustainable Buildings Implementation Plan (NPS SBIP). The NPS SBIP improves the Service’s policy and practice in the following five areas:

  • Design and construction of buildings (new and renovation)
  • Operations and maintenance of existing buildings
  • Leasing practices for buildings
  • Concessioner operation and management of buildings
  • Disposition of unneeded buildings

The NPS SBIP states that all new construction and major renovation of bureau buildings must comply with the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings set forth in the 2006 Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding. The NPS SBIP identifies the requirement from Executive Order 13514 that by the end of fiscal year 2015, 15 percent of agency buildings 5,000 square feet or larger meet the Guiding Principles.  For the NPS, there are approximately 1,910 buildings that are greater than 5,000 square feet, which means that the NPS has to achieve guiding principle compliance in 287 buildings to meet the 15 percent target. 

NPS is already well on its way to achieving the lofty goals of the NPS SBIP.  The SOCC, in conjunction with the NPS’s Construction Program out of the Denver Service Center, is helping parks build, track and maintain more sustainable buildings and sites.

As of January, 2014, 71 NPS buildings meet the Guiding Principles—of which 51 are greater than 5,000 square feet.  An additional 122 buildings are considered as sustainable as possible because they have a minimal environmental impact.


The Guiding Principles represent an agreed upon set of sustainable buildings guidance between all Executive Branch Departments, including DOI. The five major categories in the Guiding Principles are:

  • Employ integrated design principles
  • Optimize Energy Performance
  • Protect and Conserve Water
  • Enhance Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Reduce Environmental Impact of Materials

Click here to view the Guiding Principles (PDF)

This NPS Sustainable Buildings Implementation Plan (SBIP) applies the NPS’s inherent commitment to sustainability found in the Call to Action and the Green Parks Plan to NPS building management. Through implementation of the NPS SBIP, the NPS will achieve greater energy efficiency, reduce the consumption of natural resources, provide healthier buildings and workplaces, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To further demonstrate its leadership in sustainability, the NPS will seek to incorporate the applicable Guiding Principles in all projects of any size, including non-building projects.
The SBIP builds upon work that many parks have been involved in over the years to ensure their buildings are more sustainable—including using the USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria to track and document the sustainability of their buildings.  As of January 2014, 80 park buildings have achieved various levels of LEED certification. .  The certification level, with Platinum as the highest level of achievement, is based on meeting prerequisites and successfully achieving criteria in the areas of Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality.