Across the United States, the environmental integrity of a building’s design has become a top requirement. With an increased awareness of the effects of climate change the general public, numerous organizations, advocacy groups and public sector officials have pushed for higher standards on the environmental impact of a structure long after construction is completed. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification The U.S. Green Business Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification, which is a label given to buildings that meet the highest level of environmentally friendly standards and practices, has grown to record numbers in recent years. In 2014, LEED was mentioned in government contract specifications for 71% of projects that were valued at $50 million or more. These projects covered more than 657.9 million square feet of real estate space, a 13.2% increase in total square footage from 2013. The council expects 2015 to be another record-breaking year with 2,870 certified projects in the works representing nearly 646 million square feet of real estate as of August 2015. Onvia’s Project Center showed state and local governments’ solicitations and awards with LEED references have steadily increased since 2013. LEED-certified projects in the construction and building industry increased 4% in 2014. From January through October of this year, LEED certified projects have increased 5% over the same period in 2014. City of Hayward in California Issued a bid in June 2015 to build a three-story, 58,000-square-foot library. The building will be a Net Zero Energy facility, meaning it will consume roughly the same amount of energy as the renewable energy it replaces by using landscaping, irrigation, civil, utilities, lighting, rainwater catchment and a cistern system. The city’s design consultant will have a LEED agent to coordinate the overall tracking of the targeted LEED credits. The contract is valued at $46.5 million. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Certification The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the Energy Star program in 1992, and since then, the little blue sticker is on nearly every consumer product—from computers to appliances. In state and local government procurement notices and awards, Onvia’s Project Center found the largest concentration of requirements for Energy Star certifications are in construction trades followed by food equipment and computer hardware. In the first 10 months of 2015 (January-October), Energy Star requirements in solicitations and awards surpassed 2014’s figures by 7% over the same period. Pennsylvania Department of General Services Awarded CDW Government a two-year contract in March 2015 for Energy Star-compliant workstation computing devices, monitors and device options, as well as optional services. The Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes System Founded in 2004, the Green Building Initiative (GBI) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the adoption of building practices that result in resource efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings. They advance this mission through credible green building approaches for more sustainable communities. Green Globes is one of the GBI’s building rating and certification tools. Green Globes for New Construction utilizes a recognized protocol, comprehensively assessing building environmental impacts on a 1,000-point scale in seven categories. Each building certification requires an on-site 3rd party assessment. Onvia’s Project Center shows that Green Globes has been referenced most often in solicitations for architecture and engineering, construction services and building supplies contracts. Escambia County School District in Florida Released an RFP in July 2015 for architecture and engineering services for a new 119,000-square-foot elementary school. The district wants the facility’s design and construction to comply with “green” building rating systems, including Green Globes and LEED certifications. The contract is valued at $21 million. The EPA’s Watersense Program The EPA also launched the WaterSense program in 2006 as a partnership encouraging consumers to buy with water efficiencies in mind. The EPA set up the program in light of a 2014 Government Accountability Office report: 40 out of 50 water managers expected to face water shortages somewhere within their state under average conditions in the next decade. The agency estimates the program has helped consumers save roughly 1.1 trillion gallons of water and more than $21.7 billion in water and energy bills. WaterSense-compliant products and services have grown steadily in the public sector since 2013, according to Onvia’s Project Center. The number of solicitations and awards this year through October have already outpaced 2014’s totals during the same period. King County in Washington State Awarded a four-year, $5 million contract to Grainger Industrial Supply in June 2015 for a wide range of products and services referencing a preference for WaterSense-compliant supplies. The contract is based on a national cooperative purchasing contract for maintenance, repair and operations supplies, parts and equipment, materials and related services.