The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently released the first comprehensive document undertaken by a federal agency regarding acquiring, constructing, operating and maintaining sustainable buildings. Sustainability Matters is a collection of case studies and industry best-practices that address GSA’s sustainability initiatives and strategies at all stages of a building’s lifecycle.

“Sustainability in building design, construction and operation is fundamental to our agency core mission of providing superior workplaces at the best value for the American taxpayer,” said GSA’s Commissioner of Public Buildings David L. Winstead. “We want to be part of transforming the building industry so that ‘green’ is the only way of doing business.”

In the study, GSA demonstrates how to create sustainable buildings by intelligently integrating energy efficient and environmentally sound decisions and technologies into building designs. GSA uses the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, as a tool to evaluate and measure its achievement in sustainable d esign. The goals are to conserve resources and create more productive and healthier work places.

GSA is working toward accomplishing the goals of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the President’s Executive Order 13423 (“Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management”) and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

The full text of Sustainability Matters is on GSA’s website at www.gsa.gov/sustainabledesign under sustainable design program documents.