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Understanding federal compliance and the "Guiding Principles"

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Working on a project for a federal agency? Odds are, you’re familiar with the Guiding Principles

United States federal agencies, from EPA to NASA, voluntarily abide by the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Building, a set of standards for building, renovating and operating optimal, efficient buildings. This is one of the reasons why the federal government has been a leader in the green building sphere, with thousands of LEED buildings that conserve resources, save taxpayer dollars and set a leadership example for the country and the world.

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) has been working with these federal agencies to offer assessments of each agency’s work to meet the Guiding Principles. GBCI can help you evaluate your success, streamline reporting, and guide your efforts toward complying with the principles. GBCI's depth and breadth of knowledge of green building certification makes the process easy while giving your program robust independent validation. 

Here’s how it works


Step 1: Tell us about your project

Once we know more about your project we can pair you up with a dedicated GBCI team member (your “coach”) and get you on your way. Check out the Getting Started Guide to learn more and fill out the interest form to begin. If you’re also pursuing LEED certification for your project, we’ll help streamline the process to avoid duplicative work on your end.


Step 2: Demonstrate compliance

The Guiding Principles compliance verification forms will guide you though the process, showing you all of the options for compliance and documentation.


Step 3: Submit data to GBCI

Send all documentation to your GBCI contact. When done, let your GBCI coach know you are ready to begin the review process. 


Step 4: Your Assessment Report

Once the assessment is complete, the project will receive a report indicating status of compliance with the Guiding Principles and an official GBCI certificate. 

Getting Started Guide

Ready to dive in? Access the Getting Started Guide.

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    Melissa Gallagher-Rogers made 10 contributions in the last 6 months

Melissa Gallagher-Rogers

Director, Technical Solutions U.S. Green Building Council

3 commentsLeave a comment

Merrick & Company
the link to that form isn't working for me!
Senior Digital Marketing Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Kathryn, please visit to download the guide.
Sustainable Design Leader, LEED Fellow, HOK
Melissa, this is an exciting new program that will make many of our project teams lives simpler (saving time and money). Thanks for all the hard work you guys put in on this.

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