California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)

Sustainable (Green) Building: Project Design

Guidelines, Rating Systems, and Specifications

Green building performance standards offer a way to clearly state project goals and help us evaluate building performance. They can be found in a variety of documents including guidelines, rating systems, specifications, contracts, and State initiatives.


Sustainable Building Guidelines-a table of guidelines from throughout the United States.

Rating Systems and Best Practices

LEEDTM-a green building rating system for commercial buildings based on energy and environmental performance standards.

LEEDTM Supplement for California State Facilities (MS Word, 409 KB)-combines California-specific information and requirements, such as Title 24 energy efficiency standards, into a self-certification rating system based on LEED™ Version 2.0.

CHPS Best Practices Manual-a manual including three volumes. Volumes I and II are planning and design guidelines and Volume III, "Criteria," is a self-certification rating system for high performance schools.

Building and Buying Green In Indian Country - Information targeting construction in Indian Country.


Green Project Specifications-explains the basics of project specifications and identifies areas to include environmental specifications into a building project. Links to example specifications are also provided.

Reference Specifications for Energy and Resource Efficiency-a set of specifications for commercial buildings that allows users to select from and insert language into their construction documents. The specifications cover components, systems, and controls with a strong emphasis on performance monitoring and commissioning of those systems; and building materials issues such as embodied energy, indoor air quality, recycled content, recyclability, and visible light reflectance.

Last updated: November 13, 2006
Green Building
Greg Dick:  (916) 341-6489