There is no shortage of resources devoted to helping facility owners make their operations greener.

There's no shortage of resources devoted to helping facility owners make their operations greener. One of the most invaluable remains the U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org), which developed the internationally recognized LEED certification system more than a decade ago. LEED measures how well a building performs in several key areas while also providing building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions. In April, the USGBC introduced LEED v3, which builds on the fundamental structure and familiarity of the existing rating system while helping ensure that it also incorporates new technologies.

In order for your facility to attain LEED status, it's necessary to know which products can help it get there. Free online directories such as Good To Be Green (www.goodtobegreen.com) and the Center for ReSource Conservation's Greenerbuilding (www.greenerbuilding.org) link commercial facility owners with green building products, sustainable building materials and green building service providers. Green2Green™ (www.green2green.org), launched late last year, even allows for side-by-side comparison of green building products based on basic characteristics, environmental attributes and overall performance. With many sections still under development, Green2Green is currently most efficient on the topic of insulation, but plans call for additional sections on interiors, exteriors, windows, frames, flooring and mechanical systems.

Facility operators looking to renovate will find the Building Materials Reuse Association (www.bmra.org) a beneficial resource. The nonprofit educational organization's mission is to facilitate building deconstruction, a cost-competitive alternative to conventional demolition. The practice involves disassembling a building so that materials such as joists, flooring, siding and fixtures can be reused in new construction - thereby reducing the consumption of new resources and minimizing landfill waste.

Additional details about these resources and hundreds more can be found at Rate it Green™ (www.rateitgreen.com), a user-driven directory, ratings center and community portal. One of the most valuable tools that Rate It Green provides is Green Building 101: A Basic Guide to Green Building Industry Resources and Information. Available for purchase as a print publication or download - or via an online "Live Access" option that provides the most up-to-date research - this invaluable 200-page publication lists trade associations, green building media, forums, resource centers, directories and other info to help make getting greener easier.