Skip to Main Content

Sustainable Design Resources: Construction

Resources related to sustainable environmental design.

Looking for specific codes?

For information on specific building codes, see: Building Codes and Regulatory Resources

Codes, Guidelines, & Specs for Sustainable Design & Construction

  1. ASHRAE GreenGuide: an ASHRAE publication addressing matters of interest to those involved in green or sustainable design of buildings / David L. Grumman, editor. 2003. Includes green design techniques for plumbing, lighting, and hvac systems.
  2. CalRecycle – Green Building Homepage
  3. City of Oakland’s Green Building Website
  4. Commercial interiors, version 2.0: reference guide / U.S. Green Building Council. 3rd ed. 2006.
  5. Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  6. The economy of sustainable construction / edited by Ilka & Andreas Ruby and Nathalie Janson. 2014. Contained within its 400 pages are essays, reports, and case studies that examine the relationship between commercial and sustainable values, and explore the paths that construction will take in the 21st century. Packed with info-graphics.
  7. The engineering guide to LEED-new construction: sustainable construction for engineers / Liv Haselbach. 2nd ed. 2010.
  8. Green building guidelines: meeting the demand for low-energy, resource-efficient homes. / Sustainable Buildings Industry Council. 2004.
  9. Green building : project planning & cost estimating. / 3rd ed., 2011. Includes resource efficient building systems, embodied energy, photovoltaics, solar energy.
  10. Green Building Products: the GreenSpec guide to residential building materials /edited by Alex Wilson and Mark Peipkorn. 3rd ed. 2008.
  11. The green guide to housing specification: an environmental profiling system for building materials and components / Jane Anderson, Nigel Howard.3rd ed., 2002.
  12. The green guide to specification: an environmental profiling system for building materials and components / Jane Anderson, David E. Shiers with Mike Sinclair. 4th ed. 2009. British focus, good for materials that will have a lower impact on the environment, ranked by usage based on life cycle assessment studies.
  13. Green Spec - UCB Only. Guideline specifications for environmentally considered building materials & construction.
  14. Land and natural development (LAND) code: guidelines for sustainable land development. / Diana Balmori and Gaboury Benoit. 2007.
  15. LEED--CI for commercial interiors: reference guide. / U.S. Green Building Council. 2005.
  16. LEED--EB for existing buildings: reference guide. Version 2.0. 1st ed. / U.S. Green Building Council, 2005.
  17. LEED design standards: a critical analysis / Todd R. Kiehn. Master's Thesis from Illinois Institute of Technology, 2004.
  18. New construction reference guide version 2.2. / U.S. Green Building Council. 2007. -- A LEED Reference Guide.
  19. LEED reference package, version 2.0. Green Building Rating System. / U.S. Green Building Council, 2001.
  20. Multifamily Green Building Guidelines  -- Alameda County Waste Authority. Includes recommended measures and case studies. This web site includes links to other resources for green building projects.
  21. US Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy – Building Energy Codes Program

Sustainable Construction Methods

  1. Alternative construction: contemporary natural building methods / edited by Lynne Elizabeth and Cassandra Adams. 2005. Includes methods of using traditional building materials that are adapted to meet code-required standards including straw-bale, light-clay, cob, adobe, rammed earth and pise, earthbag, earth-sheltered, bamboo, and hybrid systems. Chapters on the history, development, climate, environment, performance, and structural design principles. Illustrations of construction processes and completed structures.
  2. The art of natural building: design, construction, resources / edited by Joseph F. Kennedy, et al.2nd ed. 2015.
  3. Building green : a complete how-to guide to alternative building methods: earth plaster, straw bale, cordwood, cob, living roofs / Clarke Snell and Tim Callahan. 1st ed. 2005. Includes glossary, case studies, details.
  4. Building inside nature's envelope: how new construction and land preservation can work together / Andy Wasowski, with Sally Wasowski ; forword by Darrel G. Morrison ; photography by Andy Wasowski. 2000.
  5. Building with awareness: the construction of a hybrid home / Ted Owens. 2006.
  6. Building with earth: design and technology of a sustainable architecture /Gernot Minke. 3rd ed., 20132006.
  7. Building Without Borders : sustainable construction for the global village / edited by Joseph F. Kennedy. 2004.
  8. Built by hand: vernacular buildings around the world / Athena Steen, Bill Steen, and Eiko Komatsu; 1st ed. 2003. Includes information on natural materials used around the world, a chapter on natural ventilation - good photos and wind scoops.
  9. Construction and the natural environment / R.M. Lowton. 1997. Overview of the natural environment as it relates to the construction business, international focus. Coverage includes urbanization, public health, landscape, soils, construction, pollution, resources and materials, waste, the artificial water cycle, and the internal environment.
  10. Construction ecology: nature as the basis for green buildings / edited by Charles J. Kibert, Jan Sendzimir, and G. Bradley Guy. 2002.
  11. Contractor's guide to green building construction: management, project delivery, documentation, and risk reduction / Thomas E. Glavinich. 2008.
  12. Design and construction of high-performance homes: building envelopes, renewable energies and integrated practice / edited by Franca Trubiano. 2013.
  13. Econest: creating sustainable sanctuaries of clay, straw, and timber / Paula Baker-Laporte and Robert Laporte ; foreword by Robyn Griggs Lawrence. 2005.
  14. The good house book: a common-sense guide to alternative homebuilding / Clarke Snell. 2004.
  15. Green building: a professional's guide to concepts, codes and innovation : includes IgCC provisions / Anthony C. Floyd and Allan Bilka. 2012.
  16. Green building A to Z: understanding the language of green building / Jerry Yudelson ; foreword by Kevin Hydes. 2007.
  17. Green building fundamentals: practical guide to understanding and applying fundamental sustainable construction practices and the LEED system / Michael Montoya. 2nd ed. 2011.
  18. Green from the ground up : a builder's guide : sustainable, healthy, and energy-efficient home construction / David Johnston. 2008.
  19. Green restorations: sustainable building and historic homes / Aaron Lubeck. 2010.
  20. Handbook of green building design and construction : LEED, BREEAM, and Green Globes / Sam Kubba,  2017.
  21. The hand-sculpted house: a philosophical and practical guide to building a cob cottage / Ianto Evans, Linda Smiley. 2002. Real Goods solar living book.
  22. Living homes: integrated design & construction / by Thomas J. Elpel. 2005. An amateur's manual.
  23. No waste : managing sustainability in construction / Uly Ma. 2011.
  24. The natural plaster book: earth, lime and gypsum plasters for natural homes / Cedar Rose Guelberth & Dan Chiras. 2003.
  25. The passivhaus handbook: a practical guide to constructing and retrofitting buildings for ultra-low energy performance / Janet Cotterell and Adam Dadeby. 2012.
  26. Traditional construction for a sustainable future / Carole Ryan. 2011.
  27. Sustainable construction / Sandy Halliday. 2nd ed , 2019
  28. Sustainable construction: green building design and delivery / Charles J. Kibert. 4th ed. 2016.
  29. Sustainable landscape construction:a guide to green building outdoors / William Thompson, Kim Sorvig. 3rd ed. 2018.