Smart Communities Network banner

WelcomeContactSite IndexNewsletterEspanol

Green Development

Benefits & Basic Elements

Guiding Principles

Programs / Rating Systems



Conservation Subdivision

Success Stories

Codes / Ordinances

Articles / Publications

Other Resources

Green Development Tools

Green Development and Community Design
Green Buildings

Green Development

Green Developments 2.0 CD-ROM
A companion to Green Development, this recently updated CD serves as a resource to a wide variety of design professionals (including architects, engineers, and designers), community leaders, and real-estate financiers. The new version contains over 200 case studies of green buildings and projects from around the world. Green Developments features more than 400 photographs, plans, and other images, 30 minutes of video and audio clips (including voiceover by Robert Redford), resources, and web links.

EPA's Tools and Technical Assistance for Strategic Conservation of Greenspace
Explains how the implementation of locally-based, long-term open space conservation plans are a critical element in achieving smart growth. Provides key tools and technical resources to help build the capacity of states and local communities to develop preservation priorities for their remaining undeveloped greenspace.

Tools for Community Design and Decision-Making
An online resource for Community Design tools. The Tools Matrix gives an overview of both technical and non-technical tools.

New Tools for Community Design and Decision Making:
An Overview

This online presentation is by Peter Katz of Urban Advantage and focuses on regional, town planning and community design tools with special focus on New Urbansim and Smart Growth

InfraCycle Software -- Fiscal Impact
A fiscal impact tool that calculates the life-cycle cost of municipal infrastructure including fire, police, roadways, sidewalks, street light, park land, recreation facilities, storm-water, sanitary sewers, transit, schools, school busing. Municipal revenues can be calculated from sources such as taxes, levies, development charges, application fees. Revenues are compared to costs to determine if revenues will support costs.

Green Communities
EPA's online toolkit to help community leaders plan the future they want. Available only on the Internet, this assistance kit can help communities integrate their unique social and economic social and economic circumstances into an environmentally friendly growth plan.

An urban design and land use planning process created to help communities understand how growth and development decisions can contribute to improved sustainability.

Smart Places
A tool for geographic decision-making. Smart Places enhances decision making insight in target marketing, economic development, land use planning, transportation systems, facilities, environmental remediation and protection, energy forecasting, water allocation and resource control. This tool is used to evaluate the implications and opportunities of alternative plans.

US DOE's Smart Communities Network's Land Use Planning Tools
A collection of links to innovative methods, computer software applications, and resources for interpreting land use data and evaluating land use planning alternatives.

Smart Growth Toolkit
A printed resource guide to help planners develop a smart-growth program that promotes strategies such as infill and brownfield development. The guide includes a model for starting a smart-growth effort, sample meeting agendas, tips on working with the media, descriptions of successful smart-growth programs, and lists of contacts and additional resources.

A GIS software program for mapping, measuring and analyzing urban ecosystems. The program considers trees and other natural resources in the community development process. It allows users to create ecological maps, conduct technical analysis of the ecology, summarize results, and create graphic presentation materials. CITYgreen allows users to analyze storm water, summer energy savings, air quality and urban wildlife.

A prototyping model that estimates the full cost of alternative land use patterns. The EXCEL based spreadsheet is called the Social Cost of Alternative Land Development Scenarios (SCALDS) model. The model estimates monetary and non-monetary costs associated with urban land development. It builds on three areas of research – least-cost planning which has been used by utilities for a number of years, full cost of travel studies, and cost of service/cost of sprawl research.

Smart Growth Tools for Main Street - National Trust for Historical Preservation
This tool kit offers information on several progressive smart growth tools that communities around the country are using to combat sprawl while preserving the uniqueness and economic health of their towns.

Smart Growth: History, Tools, and Challenges - National Audubon Society
Summarizes various Smart Growth tools and describes state and local examples of Smart Growth initiatives and programs.

Clark Labs for Cartographic Technology and Geographic Analysis
Idrisi32 offers environmental modeling, risk assessment, analysis, image processing, decision support, policy analysis, change and time series analysis.

Environmental Simulation Center
Computer modeling simulates realistic images and experiences of hypothetical situations and projects. Viewers can "walk" or even "drive" through simulated cities and towns and experience projects as if they were built, allowing a close assessment of the project's merits and failings.

Green Buildings

Building for Environmental & Economic Sustainability (BEES)
A Windows-based software program aimed at designers, builders, and product manufacturers that provides a means of balancing the environmental and economic performance of building products. BEES measures the environmental performance of building products by using an environmental life-cycle assessment approach specified in the latest versions of ISO 14000 draft standards.

Green Building Advisor
A software program that helps identify actions to reduce the environmental impacts of a building project while ensuring healthy and productive indoor spaces. GBA demonstrates specific design strategies to improve the environmental performance, cost-effectiveness, and healthiness of all phases of a building and its site, from pre-design through occupancy. The strategies are prioritized by the program based on information input about the project, such as location, type and size of building, and characteristics of the site.

Building Energy Software Tools Directory - US DOE
Information on 135 software tools for building design with focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability in buildings.

High Performance Building Toolbox - US DOE
Provides general guidelines, simulation software, and resources to help design and achieve high-performance buildings.

Building Life-Cycle Cost (BLCC)
Computer program version 5.0 provides an economic analysis of proposed capital investments expected to reduce long-term operating costs of buildings or building systems. BLCC complies with American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) standards related to building economics and NIST Handbook 135, Life-Cycle Costing Manual for the Federal Energy Management Program. BLCC is the primary program in a set of six NIST computer programs providing computational support for the analysis of capital investments in buildings. The Quick BLCC program provides a convenient method of setting up and solving relatively simple life-cycle costing problems that require determining the design alternative with the lowest LCC for two or more mutually exclusive alternatives.

Sustainable Building Technical Manual
A manual intended to meet the building industry's need for a comprehensive manual of sustainable building practices. It provides clear, easily applied guidelines and useful practices that can be readily introduced into new construction, renovation, and building operations. The manual focuses on commercial size building projects, but includes useful tips for buildings of all sizes. This manual, in Adobe Acrobat format, can be downloaded directly from the site or ordered in hard copy by calling (303) 275-4813.

Guidelines for Creating High Performance Green Buildings
A Pennsylvania state-produced guide intended for decision-makers and others involved with designing, constructing and developing green buildings. It includes useful information on green design systems, case studies, and references and sources.

LEED --Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design: Green Building Rating System
A voluntary designation/certification that may be sought by building owners, designers, or others for new or existing commercial, institutional, or high-rise-residential buildings. The "LEED building" designations (Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze) are awarded to buildings that meet the LEED criteria, which include both mandatory and optional elements.

An hourly, whole-building energy analysis program that calculates energy performance and life-cycle cost of operation. Can be used to analyze the energy efficiency of given designs or the efficiency or new technologies. Other uses include utility demand-side management/rebate programs, compliance certification, and training of energy-conscious design professionals.

A DOE-supported computer design tool for small commercial and residential buildings, developed by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This package helps architects and designers assess how a building will use energy and identify which energy-efficiency strategies are the most effective. It's at the forefront of the new generation of easy-to-use programs that help architects and engineers evaluate the details of building energy use at every step in the design process.

This computer tool developed by the Florida Solar Energy Center allows users to determine Energy Code compliance and Home Energy Rating System (HERS) calculations. Both professional and standard versions are available.

A "new generation" building energy simulation program that builds on the best features and capabilities of BLAST and DOE-2. Package includes innovative simulation capabilities including time steps of less than an hour, built-in template and external modular systems, simulation modules integrated with heat balance-based zone simulation, and input and output data structures tailored to facilitate third-party interface development.

Facility Energy Decision Software (FEDS)
Developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, this program provides a comprehensive method for quickly and objectively identifying energy improvements that offer maximum savings. FEDS 5.0 provides an easy-to-use tool for identifying retrofits, selecting minimum life cycle costs, determining payback, and enabling users to prioritize options.

A user-friendly, yet highly sophisticated, residential energy-analysis and code-compliance software. Developed specifically with the needs of homebuilders, remodelers, energy consultants, and designers in mind. Calculates heating, cooling, hot water, lights, and appliance loads; consumption; and costs for single- and multi-family designs.

A user-friendly, yet highly sophisticated, residential energy-analysis, code-compliance, and rating software developed specifically for the needs of home energy rating systems (HERS) providers. REM/Rate calculates heating, cooling, hot water, lighting, and appliance energy loads; consumption; and costs for new and existing single- and multi-family homes.

Last updated: January 30, 2004

Back to Top