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Greening EPA

New Construction and Renovations at EPA

Whether building a new facility or renovating a building, EPA promotes energy and resource efficiency, waste reduction, pollution prevention, indoor environmental quality and other environmental factors. To encourage sustainable building design and construction, EPA uses several tools to incorporate, track and verify green building practices:


EPA uses GreenCheck to ensure projects comply with federal sustainability requirements and Agency green building goals. The GreenCheck process is used to evaluate all construction, renovation, alteration, and repair projects. Learn more about EPA’s GreenCheck process.

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Facilities Manual

The EPA Facilities Manual is composed of four distinct, yet complementary, resources for planning and managing EPA facilities. These four volumes are used to determine design intent, requirements and the ongoing evaluation of EPA facilities:

  • EPA Facilities Manual
    • Volume 1: The Space Acquisition and Planning Guidelines
    • Volume 2: The Architecture and Engineering Guidelines
    • Volume 3: The Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Manual
    • Volume 4: The Environmental Management Guidelines

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Lease Acquisition

When existing leases occupied by EPA expire, the Agency uses this opportunity to acquire new space or renovate existing space to incorporate more sustainable features into the new lease. During the lease selection process, EPA establishes award factors that give preference to buildings that have:

  • Sustainable design and operations
  • Effective design of the site, building, tenant spaces and building systems
  • Effective security parameters
  • A design, construction and management team with proven sustainability experience

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Guiding Principles for Sustainable New Construction and Modernization

Federal new construction and modernization projects greater than 10,000 gross square feet are required to comply with the Guiding Principles for Sustainable New Construction and Modernization if cost-effective. Learn more about EPA’s implementation of the Guiding Principles.

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Third-Party High Performance Building Certifications

EPA uses green building and energy performance certifications such as ENERGY STAR® as part of its toolkit for acquiring high performance green buildings and ensuring their continued performance. EPA has used the LEED® rating system for both owned and leased buildings; a full list of EPA’s certified buildings is available.

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National Environmental Policy Act

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1970 requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision-making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions. EPA is charged with reviewing environmental impact statements of other federal agencies, but must also comply with NEPA for its own Agency actions.

EPA’s procedures for implementing the requirements of NEPA are codified in 40 CFR Part 6. Within EPA, the Office of Federal Activities is responsible for NEPA policy and compliance oversight for all EPA actions subject to NEPA (see EPA Compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act). EPA’s Office of Administration and Resources Management (OARM) manages EPA facilities, including construction and facility alteration projects, and has delegated authority for NEPA implementation for all facility-related projects. EPA NEPA documentation completed and signed after August 1, 2013, including OARM documentation for EPA facility projects, is publicly posted to EPA’s NEPA Compliance Database.

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