Green Resources

Natural Resources: Guide to Green and Affordable Building

2030 Challenge

2030 Challenge issued by Architecture 2030, a non-profit, non-partisan and independent organization, was established in response to the global-warming crisis by architect Edward Mazria in 2002. 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the US and global Building Sector from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the global-warming crisis. Their goal is straightforward: to achieve a dramatic reduction in the global-warming-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the Building Sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed.

AIA 2030 Commitment

The mission of the AIA 2030 Commitment is to support the 2030 Challenge and transform the practice of architecture in a way that is holistic, firm-wide, project based, and data-driven. By prioritizing energy performance, participating firms can more easily work toward carbon neutral buildings, developments and major renovations by 2030.

Association for Energy Affordability 

Association for Energy Affordability offers more than 50 courses for building performance professionals, energy efficiency and technical and program staff, installers, weatherization workers, and job seekers in green industries.

Build It Green (BIG)

BIG a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote healthy, energy- and resource-efficient building practices in California. BIG provides green building training, tools, technical expertise, and partnership opportunities for key stakeholders including public agencies, builders, developers, architects, contractors, affordable housing advocates, real estate professionals, suppliers, and homeowners.

Building Decarbonization Coalition

Building Decarbonization Coalition unites building industry stakeholders with energy providers, environmental organizations and local governments to help electrify California’s homes and workspaces with clean energy.

Through research, policy development, and consumer inspiration, the BDC is pursuing fast, fair action to accelerate the development of zero-emission homes and buildings that will help California cut one of its largest sources of climate pollution, while creating safe, healthy and affordable communities.


Cal-Adapt provides a view of how climate change might affect California. Find tools, data, and resources to conduct research, develop adaptation plans and build applications.

Climate Positive Design

In an effort to help landscape architects design and build projects that can become climate positive.  Results are simplified by using Pathfinder, a new carbon calculator and design tool designed specifically for landscape architects.


A comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Enterprise Green Communities

Enterprise Green Communities, the standard for sustainable futures, is the nation’s only national green building program designed explicitly for green affordable housing construction.

Global Green USA

Global Green works with governments, industry, and individuals to create a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future.  A non profit focused on innovative research, cutting-edge community based projects and targeted advocacy.

Green Home Guide

Green Home Guide is guide for green residential construction including useful links

GreenPoint Rated (GPR)

Green Building Guidelines & Rating System for New Home Construction, Home Remodeling, Affordable and Multifamily Construction. The Guidelines’ recommended measures were specifically developed to address climate and market conditions in California, are endorsed by credible third-party sources, and are backed by sound building science.

Greywater Action

Greywater Action is a collaborative of educators who teach residents and tradespeople about affordable and simple household water systems that dramatically reduce water use and foster sustainable cultures of water. Through hands-on workshops and presentations, we’ve led thousands of people through greywater system design and construction and work with policymakers and water districts to develop codes and incentives for greywater, rainwater harvesting, and composting toilets. We believe that decentralized conservation measures can play a critical role in drought resilience, climate adaptation, and the return of healthy stream ecosystems.

LEED for Homes (LEED H)

LEED for Homes is a national rating system developed by the USGBC. Benefits of a LEED home include lower energy and water bills; reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and less exposure to mold, mildew and other indoor toxins. The net cost of owning a LEED home is comparable to that of owning a conventional home.  LEED H is applicable to single family, affordable and multifamily up to 3 stories.  4-6 story MF fall into the LEED H MidRise program currently in pilot.

LEED for Homes Initiative for Affordable Housing

The ultimate goal of this initiative is to recognize and reward the intrinsic resource efficiencies of affordable housing within the LEED for Homes Rating System. With generous support from The Home Depot Foundation, and in collaboration with other leaders in this sector, USGBC is working to develop appropriate tools, educational offerings and technical assistance for the affordable housing market. USGBC is also partnering with Enterprise Community Partners to promote green affordable housing.

Living Building Challenge

The Cascadia Region Green Building Council (Cascadia) is issuing a challenge to all building owners, architects, engineers, and design professionals to build in a way that will provide all of us and our children with a sustainable future. The Living Building Challenge is attempting to raise the bar and define a true measure of sustainability in the built environment, at least as far as what is currently possible and given the best knowledge available to-date. Projects that achieve this level of performance can claim to be the most sustainable in North America and not merely less bad.

National League of Cities

The National League of Cities offers guidance and resources for local governments.

PGE Pacific Energy Center

PGE Pacific Energy Center provides free tips, resources, classes for design and building construction professionals


The best practice guidelines and targeted educational resources for sustainable residential remodeling projects

Stopwaste Partnership

StopWaste can help your company reduce operating costs and increase efficiencies. Plus, you can eliminate waste before it’s created and learn to recycle materials that now go into your garbage.

Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP)

Sponsored by a coalition of public interest nonprofit groups, government agencies, and other organizations in the energy efficiency field, is designed to give consumers and businesses information they need to make use of the federal income tax incentives for energy efficient products and technologies passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

PHIUS / Passive House Alliance

PHIUS+ is the largest Passive Building Certification in North America. It is a well-recognized proven construction standard and quality assurance system. 98% of all North American certified projects were certified through PHIUS in 2017 and 100% certified projects were guided by PHIUS-certified professionals.

Project Drawdown

A nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown”— the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.

USGBC (US Green Building Council) 

A non-profit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices comprised of building owners and end-users, real estate developers, facility managers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, product and building system manufacturers, government agencies, and nonprofits.  USGBC developed the consensus based LEED programs.

USGBC-Northern California Chapter

The regional chapter with local branches in Sacramento, Monterey, and Silicon Valley.


Zero Code provides code-adaptable language that defines the energy efficiency measures and on-site renewable energy production and/or off-site renewable energy procurement for zero-net-carbon new buildings.


Van Meter Williams Pollack LLP