According to the U.S. Green Building Council, in the United States buildings account for 70% of electricity consumption, 39% of energy use, 39% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, 40% of raw materials use, 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually), and 12% of potable water consumption.


A green building at Cape Cod Community College
Green buildings - facilities that have been constructed or renovated to include design techniques, technologies, and materials that lessen their overall environmental impact - can help to reduce energy consumption and the reliance on non-renewable resources, save money, and reduce environmental and health impacts related to construction practices.

The Leading by Example Program's "FY07 Greenhouse Gas Inventory of State Agencies" concluded that over 90% of the Massachusetts state government's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were caused by energy consumed at state buildings, costing more than $250 million annually, and resulting in nearly 1.2 million metric tons of GHG emissions. Under Executive Order 484 all new state facility construction and major renovation projects are mandated to be energy and water efficient, conserve resources, and provide healthy and productive spaces for employees, clients, and visitors.

The state has adopted a Massachusetts LEED Plus green building standard that requires energy performance of 20% better than the Massachusetts Energy Code, reducing outdoor water consumption by 50% and indoor water consumption by 20%, and promoting smart growth / smart energy principles.

In March 2009, the Zero Net Energy Buildings Task Force released its recommendations to help Massachusetts commercial and residential sectors move toward zero net energy construction by 2030.

Green Building Information & Resources

This information is provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Leading by Example Program