Develop Design plans for the building itself


  • Consider building orientation, sun shading, and thermal mass properties (ability to hold heat) of materials, as well as the color and reflectivity of walls and roof surfaces.
  • Follow recommended practices for insulation and heating and cooling systems.
  • Use Energy Star windows or other high-performance window products.
  • Use standard size to limit waste of materials.
  • Design for flexibility, and consider potential future needs.

Orient and design building to site needs, climate, and local conditions.


  • Use suitable landscaping and plant materials that are tolerant of the soils, climate, and water availability at the building location.
  • Design drainage systems that allow water to drain from site without damaging building.

Maximize the use of natural daylight.


  • Consider light-colored interiors that will reflect light from windows and skylights throughout the room.
  • Use internal shading devices at windows to make the most of daylight and energy-efficiency features.

Investigate building materials.


  • Compare the environmental impact and energy use of various building materials throughout their life cycle. Include all steps involving raw materials, production process, packaging, shipping, installation, use and disposal or reuse.
  • Choose local and natural materials when possible. This helps the local economy as well as reduces over all energy use.