Understanding federal compliance and the "Guiding Principles" | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in Industry
Published on
Written by
Posted in Industry

Updated January 2017

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

The Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) offers a third-party assessment of compliance with the Guiding Principles for new and existing buildings. This offering is a robust analysis coupled with simple, easy to use tools. We can help you evaluate your success, streamline reporting, and guide your efforts.

Long a leader in sustainable, high performance buildings, the federal government has criteria that define a high performance building: the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Building and for the Department of Defense the UFC 1-200-02. Setting and meeting high performance targets is one of the reasons why the federal government has been a leader in the green building sphere, with thousands of buildings certified by GBCI that conserve resources, support the agency’s mission and set a leadership example.

The combination of the federal requirements and a third-party assessment of compliance work together to ensure the best possible performance in federal buildings. GBCI's depth and breadth of knowledge of green building practices and extensive experience as the world’s premier third-party verification organization makes the process easy while giving your program robust independent validation. The program is easy to use with simple tools and clear guidance from an experienced team that you know and trust.

Ready to dive in? Fill out the interest form to begin.

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 and get you on your way. If you’re also pursuing LEED certification for your project, we’ll help streamline the process to avoid duplicative work on your end through a crosswalk of LEED and the Guiding Principles requirements.


Step 2: Collect and assemble documentation

Review the Guiding Principles Assessment Handbook and Technical Guide. These documents will take you through the process; showing you all of the options for compliance and documentation.


Step 3: Submit data to GBCI

Send all documentation to GBCI and complete 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.

Additional resources

Ready to dive in? Access the Getting Started Guide.

USGBC Articles can be accessed in the USGBC app for iOS or Android on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
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Total 8 commentsLeave a comment

Facility Planner / Sustainability Consultant, Jacobs
Hi Melissa / Nora, I tried using the link above in the article, and the one in Nora's comment, to download the guide, but cannot get it to connect in Chrome or IE. It goes to the page where I fill in my info, then hit 'download,' but then cannot connect after that. Help?
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Emily, Once you fill out the form and click the Download button the PDF will open, please note that it may take a few minutes to load. Thanks!
Facility Planner / Sustainability Consultant, Jacobs
Hi Nora, That's what I've been trying, but the page it goes to just says "This webpage is not available." There's no delay or anything, like something is loading, it just goes straight to that message. If I click on the 'details' button, it has this text: "The server at bit.ly can't be found, because the DNS lookup failed. DNS is the network service that translates a website's name to its Internet address. This error is most often caused by having no connection to the Internet or a misconfigured network. It can also be caused by an unresponsive DNS server or a firewall preventing Google Chrome from accessing the network." I have tried the link on Chrome and IE, with the same error. Is there a way you can email it to me?
Director of LEED Support, U.S. Green Building Council
Sorry for your difficulties Emily; I'll email you offline...
Project Manager, JLL
the link to that form isn't working for me!
Digital Marketing Manager, U.S. Green Building Council
Hi Kathryn, please visit go.usgbc.org/guiding-principles to download the guide.
Vice President and Sustainable Design Leader, Health & Wellness, 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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