Green Building for Everyone | U.S. Green Building Council
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Green Building for Everyone

GBCI: 0920014152

Green buildings are all around us and impact where we work, live, learn, and play.

Published on: November 13, 2017

Average: 4.3 (12 votes)


An introduction for everyone and anyone who wants to learn about the green buildings where they work, live, learn and play.

Learn about how these spaces impact the environment, economy, and your life, and learn how to identify the specific green building features.

Log in – or if you don’t already have one, create a free user account – to access these materials.

Get to know green building!


What is green building and what does it look like?

Green building is a holistic concept that starts with the understanding that buildings can have profound effects, both positive and negative, on the natural environment, as well as the people who inhabit buildings every day. Green building is an effort to amplify the positive and mitigate the negative of these effects throughout the entire life cycle of a building.

While there are many different definitions of green building out there, it is generally accepted as the planning, design, construction, and operations of buildings with several key considerations: energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material section and the building's effects on its site.

To learn what green building is:

Watch the videos:

  • “What is green building”
  • “What does green building look like?”

Read the “Your Turn: Explore a Green Building” worksheet to discover green building features in the spaces where you live, work, learn, and play!

Green building will enable an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

Go to the next tab to learn more about the benefits of green building.


Why is green building important?

Imagine buildings and communities that regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life. Green building can do this.

Sustainability and “green,” often used interchangeably, are about more than just reducing environmental impacts. Sustainability means creating places that are environmentally responsible, healthful, just, equitable, and profitable. Greening the built environment means looking holistically at natural, human, and economic systems and finding solutions that support quality of life for all.

To learn about the benefits of green building:

Watch the video “Why is green building important”

Read the “Your Turn: “Why Are Green Buildings Important? (To me)” worksheet to assess green building features and benefits in a building with which you are very familiar such as your home, work, school, place of worship, or a store you visit frequently.

Green buildings are better for the environment, people, and the economy.

Go to the next tab to learn how you can support green building


How can I support and promote green building?

Green building can happen because of a network of community leaders, professionals, businesses, government, and citizens working towards healthy, efficient and equitable buildings and communities for all.

To learn what you can do:

Watch the video “How can I support green building?

Read the “Your Turn: “What Can I Do?” worksheet to explore ways you can make a difference in the green building movement

Go to the next tab to learn how the LEED rating system supports green building.


What is LEED?

One way to create green buildings is to use a global standard. LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.

Addressing all building and space types through different rating systems and adaptations, LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable effect on their buildings’ performance

To learn more about LEED:

Watch the video “What is LEED”

Read the “Your Turn: Locate LEED Projects” worksheet to explore LEED projects to see how green building and sustainability strategies are implemented in real buildings.

LEED is a third-party green building certification program and the globally recognized standard for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings and neighborhoods.

Check out the Additional Resources document to learn more about all of these topics


  1. Define what green building means
  2. Describe the benefits of green buildings to the environment and your health
  3. Identify green building features in everyday spaces
  4. Identify what you can do to support green building

Course Modules

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Created by

U.S. Green Building Council
Washington, DC
United States

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