Resource Reports

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Resources are as follows:

The City of Houston is not responsible for the contents or reliability of any third party documents to which we provide on this website.

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GBRC Education Seminar Presentations


Residential Energy Update in Houston: July 27, 2016

How can we get to reasonable with the enormous amount of energy consumed by residential buildings?

Polly will provide an overview of various energy efficiency services, including audits, building plan analysis, infrared imaging, Energy Star and LEED for Homes consulting, and blower door and duct blaster testing. Richard will focus on the status of the ongoing Department of Energy Texas Residential Energy Code Field Study and how the data collected in the study will help us prepare for the new Texas 2015 Energy Code that becomes effective on September 1. He will present the initial data collection results of the study, and identify the areas where more education, outreach and training are needed and the tools SPEER has developed to meet those needs.

PDF Presentation: Richard Morgan

PDF Presentation: Polly Ledvina


Water Concerns in 2016: May 25, 2016

Water is becoming more worrisome it seems, both nationally and globally. How do we make it sustainable here in Houston? This session features three different viewpoints of the water cycle as it impacts green buildings in the municipal context.

Suzanne Simpson with the Bayou Land Conservancy will discuss local watersheds that help create our water quality. Fabian Heaney with the City of Houston Drinking Water Operations will update us on current drinking water treatment techniques. Ann Sheridan with the City of Houston Impact Fee Administration will talk about how our water availability is administered and permitted.

PDF Presentation: Suzanne Simpson

PDF Presentation: Fabian Heaney

PDF Presentation: Ann Sheridan


Sustainable Direction in Houston: August 26, 2015

Panel Discussion + Networking Governments, faith-based organizations, and businesses are picking up the pace with eco-friendly behavior. Why are these entities investing in personnel and policies to engage in the improvement of their ecological performance? What are their duties and what results are they achieving? Join us for a panel discussion composed of representatives from the federal government, our city government, a corporate design firm, a local church, and a local sports arena. Learn about the momentum that is building in this arena, and increase your expertise.

PDF Presentation: Steve Stelzer

PDF Presentation: Laurie Peterson

Container Buildings in Houston II - June 24, 2015

Lots of questions these days about reusing shipping containers in buildings.

Shipping containers are cheap and structurally capable. They are not designed to be buildings, so it takes someone knowledgeable with building science to provide the right materials in the right place with the right equipment to make them comfortable, energy efficient, healthy, and durable. As a follow up presentation from last year, we have two developers, a designer, and two educators from the Architecture School of the University of Houston. CEU’s available.

PDF Presentation: Leonard Bachman

PDF Presentation: Katie Nichols

PDF Presentation: Patrick Peters

PDF Presentation: Devin Robinson

Video Presentation

Tiny Houses in Houston 2014: April 22, 2015

I want a tiny house that’s off the grid. What’s out there? Can you make them mobile and then attach them permanently to your lot? An Earth Day show and tell with two ACTUAL tiny houses to tour right here outside the GBRC after the talk! Two local builders, Shannon and David will talk about what they do; Donna will talk about some of the small houses she features in her book; Teresa, a national licensed mortgage banker, will talk about how the appraisal industry looks at green building and tiny houses; and Sheila Blake will talk about tiny houses and the building code. AIA & USGBC CEU’s available.

PDF Presentation: Donna Kacmar

PDF Presentation: Teresa Lopez

PDF Presentation: Shannon Bryant

PDF Presentation: David Cruey

PDF Presentation: Sheila Blake

Video Presentations


Indoor Air Quality by Design: October 8, 2014

Sustainability Series by UL Environment sponsored by Global A+D Portfolio

Paul Bates, MBA, LEED-AP, BD&C, serves as the National Program Manager of Education and Training for UL Environment and is responsible for developing and delivering sustainably oriented education and training programs to a range of audiences including building operations, design professionals and students as well as professional trade organizations and consumers. Paul has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Interior Design and Marketing and Business Administration. He is an author, lecturer and internationally recognized speaker on topics related to indoor air quality issues, healthier sustainable products and other aspects of sustainability that impact market segments such as commercial office, healthcare, education, as well as government and residential. UL Environment is a third party verification entity that certifies, validates, tests, inspects, audits, and advises and trains. HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE CREDITS: AIA (1LU), IDCEC (0.1 CEU), GBCI (1 CE)


Recycling Update Houston 2014

What does it take to recycle in Houston? Buildings are responsible for a large component of the waste stream. On September 17, City Council voted to provide curbside recycling to all residential customers with City of Houston collection. Check. How about your office? Your apartment? What are the obstacles to recycling? What can you recycle? Why isn’t everything recyclable? What are other cities doing to recycle? What about composting? Bring your questions, we’ll see what kind of answers we can provide.

PDF Presentation: Candace Seger

PDF Presentation: Gary Redore

Solar Panel Workshop Houston 2014: August 27, 2014

What does it take to put solar power at your house?

This will be a workshop event for those who want to learn about residential solar installations AND for those who want to jumpstart a solar installation at their house. See the following Worksheet and Fact sheets so you can bring information about your house to this workshop to take the first step on your path to bring solar home. You will hear from two solar installers, an architect with solar on his net-zero house, and a plan review specialist to clarify what you need on your plans when your system goes for a building permit.

PDF Presentation: Beginning Loop

PDF Presentation: Dorian Castro

PDF Presentation: Palmer Schooley

PDF Presentation: Richard Sherwood

PDF Presentation: Cal Morton

Video Presentation


Rainwater to Drinking Water 2014: July
23, 2014

What does it take to collect rainwater in Houston and be able to drink it legally?

Mark Illian will lead a presentation on the detail design and construction considerations implemented in the first three residential rainwater to drinking water projects installed here in Houston under the new Appendix R Potable Rainwater Catchment System of the plumbing code. Al McDonald will discuss filtration, Amanda Tullos will discuss applications to the LEED Rating System, and John Jordan will discuss issues from the regulation and permitting side of the ledger.

Rainwater to Drinking Water - Mark Illian

Water Certification - Amanda Tullos

Rainwater to Drinking Water - John Jordan

Video Presentation

Earth Day: Styrofoam Meltdown Party: April 23, 2014

Picture this: attending a party where you are enjoying a frosty libation served in a Styrofoam cup, knowing you can’t recycle the cup. Now picture recycling the cup at the party. Join us the day after Earth Day here to see a great ReUse in Houston display from the University of Houston, and enjoy some free libations here served in Styrofoam cups that you can leave with us guilt free!

The Styrofoam Densifier donated to the GBRC by EcoProducts of the Future will be working away while our guests can network and learn about the many entities in Houston that deal with reusing and recycling materials, assembled by the Materials Research Collaborative at the University of Houston.

Come and network with like minded individuals and we can take another step towards sustainable living!

Cost of Admission: Bring some clean used Styrofoam to recycle.

Event Photos

Climate Solutions? Houston Update: March 26, 2014

There is irrefutable evidence that the effects of global climate change are upon us. So what is next? Is it within our capacity to change our current course to avoid the more severe impacts, or is it too late? Can we change the hearts and minds of our elected officials, and get them to face reality? How do we cultivate the political will and leadership necessary to guide us through this impending storm? Or is it time to hunker down?

Among the several topics within this presentation, Keith will make the argument that incentives will get people to adopt new ways of building and consuming resources. Aaron believes that the magnitude of the problem and the level of urgency requires enforceable regulations, which will be greatly aided with improving citizen response-ability by creating opportunities for social learning.

PDF Presentation: Aaron Tuley (Part A)

PDF Presentation: Aaron Tuley (Part B)

PDF Presentation: Keith Reihl (Part A)

PDF Presentation: Keith Reihl (Part B)


Container Buildings in Houston: February 26, 2014

Lots of questions these days about reusing shipping containers in buildings.
Shipping containers a cheap and structurally capable. Why aren’t we seeing more of them here? They are not designed to be buildings, so it takes someone knowledgeable with building science to provide the right materials in the right place with the right equipment to make them comfortable, energy efficient, healthy, and durable. Otherwise, why use them?
In our first seminar on this subject, we have two commercial projects to be presented, from the perspective of a designer, a builder, and an engineer.

PDF Presentation: Devin Robinson

PDF Presentation: Piney Woods USGBC

Living Building Challenge in Houston: January 22, 2014

What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place? The purpose of the Living Building Challenge is straightforward – it defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions. It calls for the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture. An overview of the Challenge will be reviewed with a case study of the first project in Texas built to meet the requirements of the Living Building ChallengeTM. Learn strategies for getting to net-zero energy use and incorporating natural ventilation in a hot & humid climate, how to avoid toxic chemicals in building materials, and how it pushes the edge of high performance design.


PowerPoint Presentation: Living Building Challenge in Houston

Reading Towards Sustainability: December 11, 2013

Reading, besides being a wonderful use of the mind, is fascinating. For the past two years the Program Director featured a slide presentation of many quotes from a plethora of interesting books that range from best sellers to a few you might not have heard about, based upon his “The Blind Men and the Elephant” book list that he started handing out in 2003 and has been updating ever since whenever new books outshine any of the earlier selections. Steve will present an update of converging ideas and contrasts from a cross section of the books to give the audience an idea of the community effect of authors concerned about the state of the human race and what we need to do to keep it on track with the planet. Each attendee will receive an updated booklist, which features a host of books that will make this discussion different and even more engaging for the audience than last year...
Perhaps some of these titles might spark the perfect gift, "presents of mind," for someone you know this holiday season.

PowerPoint Presentation: Reading Towards Sustainability

Rainwater Harvesting in Houston: September 25, 2013

Rain tanks are becoming more popular in Houston after the recent drought. What does it take to design them, permit them, and build them?
Kathleen English will cover some rainwater harvesting systems she has designed, both commercial and residential. Nell Wheeler will talk about some of the tanks she has built and installed. And Alfred Ortega will briefly discuss what City of Houston inspectors will be looking for to approve an installation.

PowerPoint Presentation: Nell Wheeler (Presentation2)

PowerPoint Presentation: Kathleen English (USGBC Rainwater Harvesting Presentation)


LEED Rating System v4: Update: August 28, 2013

The LEED Rating System is the most-used protocol for building more sustainable buildings, and it has been approved by the US Green Building Council membership to upgrade to a more vibrant and robust methodology: version 4, due in 2014. LEED has already transformed the marketplace and has led the nation to adopt better building energy codes, and Houston is fourth in the country with LEED certified buildings.

Prezi Presentation: Tim Murray


Residential Deconstruction in Houston: February 28, 2013

Recycling is improving in the City of Houston. What about old houses? What options do you have to divert construction material from the landfill? What do salvage professionals want from old houses? How can you be part of the solution?
Lynn and Carolyn will discuss what they do, how their organizations handle the deconstruction process, and what generally happens to the deconstructed material. Ernest will discuss the deconstruction of a house on the site of a LEED Platinum house he designed, and how the owners benefitted from the ensuing tax credit. Keith will inform you about the ReUse Warehouse as a destination for reusable construction material.

PowerPoint Presentation: Lynn Edmundson

PowerPoint Presentation: Carolyn Stevens

PowerPoint Presentation: Ernest Maldonado

PowerPoint Presentation: Keith Koski

Reading Towards Sustainability II: December 20, 2012

Reading, besides being a wonderful use of the mind, can help gather momentum on your chosen path. Last year the Program Director featured a slide presentation of many quotes from a plethora of interesting books based upon his “The Blind Men and the Elephant” book list that he started handing out in 2003. Steve will present an update of converging ideas and contrasts from a cross section of the books to give the audience an idea of the community effect of authors concerned about the state of the human race and what we need to do to keep it on track with the planet. Each attendee will receive an updated booklist, which features a host of books that will make this discussion different and even more engaging for the audience than last year....

Enjoy this seminar on the last day of the 12th baktun of the Mayan Long Count calendar. Perhaps some of these titles might spark the perfect gift, “presents of mind,” for someone you know this holiday

PowerPoint Presentation: Reading Towards Sustainability II


Water Efficient Landscape Irrigation: October 4, 2012

Houstonians have been fighting too much water for years. Now we worry about drought and we hear that the general future of drinking water supply is a significant concern. What can people do to be part of the solution?

Ron Stevenson will cover smart turf practices, and John O’Donnell will cover smart irrigation practices. Mark Bowen will talk about the best plants for Houston. Nooreen Jilani will talk about the supply side of water from the City of Houston viewpoint, and Margaret Menger will briefly update us about the Mayor’s Task Force review of the draft water shortages ordinance for the City of Houston Drought Plan.

PowerPoint Presentation: John O'Donnell

PowerPoint Presentation: Mark Bowen

PowerPoint Presentation: Nooreen Jilani

PowerPoint Presentation: Margaret Menger

Houston Recycling: Where Are We? : March 22, 2012

Houstonians are talking about recycling these days. Lots of questions: Who, What, Where, How much does it cost, What happens to it, and Why can’t we recycle everything? This seminar (held in a recycled 1916 vintage warehouse) is designed to answer these questions and give you access you to people who can answer your questions. How does Houston compare to other parts of the country? Harry Hayes will talk about the City of Houston residential side, Mark Austin will cover the small commercial side, Waste Management will talk about the large commercial side and their new MRF (and explain what a MRF is), and Keith Koski will talk about reusing building materials in Houston.

PowerPoint Presentation: Repeating Summary

PowerPoint Presentation: HarryHayes

PowerPoint Presentation: Amanda Beard

PowerPoint Presentation: Mark Austin

PowerPoint Presentation: Keith Koski

Green Interior Design: Affordable?: February 16, 2012

Many people are convinced that they can’t afford green interior design, and that LEED is too expensive - only for people where ‘money is no object’. The purpose of this seminar is to examine these myths and discern the truths. Diane Alexander will cover design from the residential perspective with an emphasis on renovations and ideas that you can implement. Rose Lopez will talk about the commercial side. Both have real world examples of green projects that have come in under budget (realistic budgets, where frugality counts), choosing green products, and what to think about when designing green spaces.

PowerPoint Presentation: Diane Alexander

Power Point Presentation: Rose Lopez


Reading Towards Sustainability: December 15, 2011

Reading, besides being a wonderful use of the mind, can help gather momentum on your chosen path
: Predictably, the Program Director has read a few books on the subject of sustainability on his path to the Green Building Resource Center. Are you an avid reader? Perhaps you worry about the commitment to a book if it is more title than substance. This session will feature a slide presentation of many quotes from a plethora of interesting books that range from best sellers to a few you might not have heard about. Steve will present converging ideas and contrasts from a cross section of the books to give the audience an idea of the community effect of authors concerned about the state of the human race and what we need to do to keep it on track with the planet. Each attendee will receive Steve's "The Blind Men and the Elephant" booklist.

Perhaps some of these titles might spark the perfect gift, "presents of mind," for someone you know this holiday season.

PowerPoint Presentation: Reading Towards Sustainability


Bill Walsh: Healthy Building Network: November 9, 2011

Indoor Environmental Quality: We have a marvelous opportunity to hear from a premier source of information in this realm: the Executive Director of the Healthy Building Network, founded by Bill in 2000. The HBN has been a leader in creating tools that encourage the use of healthier building products including the Green Guide for health Care, new pilot Credits in LEED, and the Pharos Project, an online evaluation tool for building materials. Bill has spoken here at Gulf Coast Green three years ago; and at Greenbuild 2011 addressed a standing room crowd as he introduced a new tool for the green building movement: the Health Product Declaration. If you are concerned about what kind of toxic materials are present in your environment, this declaration is an open standard format which encourages the standardized disclosure of content and health hazard information about building products. Bill’s talk will focus on new trends in product transparency and disclosure that are growing in the green building movement and likely to change the way LEED material credits are awarded. Come and learn from one of the best…..

PowerPoint Presentation: Bill Walsh


Holistic Energy Conservation: Houston Methods: October 20, 2011

Houston has a tough climate for energy conservation. Learn from the design side and the construction side of real methods to keep your homes comfortable in the context of affordability, safety, and sustainability. With a focus on the building envelope and the equipment inside, we will hear from an engineer and an HVAC installer that have real know-how and experience with Houston climate challenges, and not only with new projects. We will hear about an “extreme makeover” residential project that will detail the host of retrofit techniques that changed an energy “hog” home to a high performer.

PowerPoint Presentation: Gary Beck

PowerPoint Presentation: Gary Parr


Midtown Houston & LEED for New Development: June 15, 2011

Sustainable development means compact mixed-use infill neighborhoods featuring connectivity, walkable streets and sites for social interaction – which contrast with sprawl development patterns that convert agricultural land, destroy wildlife habitat, require costly extensions of infrastructure, and make people dependant on personal automobiles. These are not new ideas — they work today just as they worked in neighborhoods built before the car. Learn how the LEED-ND rating system guides the development of new neighborhoods such as the City Centre project in West Houston. The same principles can be used to evaluate existing neighborhoods, using the results of the Midtown Livable Centers Study as an example. Then take a walk through Midtown and see how the design of streets, sidewalks, transit, and buildings work together to create livable, environmentally friendly places with a 40 minute total 3/4 mile walking tour of Midtown beginning and ending at the GBRC.

PowerPoint Presentation: LEED ND

PowerPoint Presentation: CityCentre

PowerPoint Presentation: LEED EN Midtown

Map of Walking Tour


Beyond LEED: Living Building Challenge: April 21, 2011

What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?
The purpose of the Living Building Challenge is straightforward – it defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions. Whether your project is a single building, a park, a college campus or even a complete neighborhood community, Living Building Challenge provides a framework for design, construction and the symbiotic relationship between people and all aspects of the built environment.
Learn how the Challenge is different from LEED.

PowerPoint Presentation: BNIM

PowerPoint Presentation: Living Building Challenge


Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium: March 5, 2011.

Where on earth are we going, and what can we do about it? The Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium is a profound inquiry into a bold vision: to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on Earth. If you are ready to explore what this vision means for you, and the opportunity to create an inspiring future, we invite you to attend (There was no separate presentation that is typical of our prior education sessions, the presentation used was material from this website).

PowerPoint Presentation: Symposium Audiovisual Materials

Green is Mainstream: December 3, 2010. Repeat January 20, 2011.

The speakers will cover the best practices in Green residential building and energy efficiency technologies, primarily intended for building officials, builders, suppliers, subcontractors, architects/engineers/residential designers, building trades’ instructors, students, apprentices, bankers, real-estate agents, and the general public. Each participant receives a course book containing more than 200 course slides and related green building information. (The downloadable presentation does not include the comments of the speakers).

PowerPoint Presentation: Green is Mainstream

Urban Pest Management in Houston: October 20, 2010.

If you are concerned about how toxic pesticides can affect you, then you are interested in nontoxic alternatives (and living with pests is not one of them). Learn about the importance of integrated pest management (IPM) and choices you make regarding your pest control and impacts to environmental quality.

PowerPoint Presentation: Texas AgriLife Extension Service

PowerPoint Presentation: Environmental Coalition, Inc.


Solar Panels in Houston: June 17, 2010. Repeated July 28, 2010.

Solar panels are a hot topic in Houston. Here are some frequently asked questions: Why are they so expensive, and how many do I need to take my house off the grid? Are there any rebates and tax incentives? What type of new technologies are in the pipeline? Do I need a permit?

PowerPoint Presentation: Environment Texas

PowerPoint Presentation: Alternative Power Solutions

PowerPoint Presentation: Standard Renewable Energy

RENT: Green Style in Houston: May 13, 2010

Some people living in apartments or duplexes might think they are left out of the green building and energy conservation world because they rent instead of own. Steve Stelzer will give introductory remarks about the Houston Multi-Family Habitability Code that brings below-par facilities up to code (and in the direction of Green). Guest speakers will discuss their approaches to:

-Design a LEED-registered multifamily project in Houston discussing the various Green building strategies as well as how it will be used.

-Install affordable retrofits and repairs in apartments to save on energy and water consumption.

-Analyze multifamily residential facilities to improve their energy and water efficiency and assign a rate of return on investment.

Presentation: A Guide for Renters

Presentation: Green Squared

Presentation: Habitability Code

Presentation: Multifamily Green

Presentation: New Hope Sakowitz Green

Rainwater Harvesting in Houston: April 22, 2010

Rainwater harvesting is not common practice, but many people are becoming interested in learning more about it. This education session will cover both commercial and residential scale projects, focusing on irrigation techniques and what works and what doesn't for rainwater storage, pumps, and hookups (without getting overly technical) with an overview of code requirements. We'll also have a quick look at residential stormwater retention requirements that can be solved with rain barrels.

PowerPoint Presentation: Rainwater Harvesting - SparkleTap Water Company

PowerPoint Presentation: Landscape Management Services

PowerPoint Presentation: City of Houston Code Review

Green Neighborhoods for Green Buildings: February 25, 2010

Green buildings provide benefits to occupants, what about Green benefits to neighborhoods where buildings reside?

PowerPoint Presentation: City of Houston's in Developing Green Neighborhoods

PowerPoint Presentation: Livable Centers: A Strategy for Sustainable Mobility


Home Energy Rating System & Audits: October 22, 2009

Learn about the various components of home energy bills for Houston’s climate, and what options you have to lower them and save money. Introductory remarks will target current energy consumption patterns globally and in Texas. Speakers will discuss various approaches that their companies take to analyze residential energy and resource consumption patterns in an effort to help the public better understand how to reduce their energy use.

PowerPoint Presentation: Texas Home Energy Rating Organization

PowerPoint Presentation: Bluegill Energy Management

PowerPoint Presentation: Standard Renewable Energy

Waste Diversion & Reclamation in Green Buildings: August 27, 2009

Learn about how businesses can reduce their landfill load with various methods during renovations, during construction, and during office hours. Introductory remarks will target current landfill pressures. Speakers will discuss recycling demolition and construction waste during construction projects, carpet reclamation projects, recycling of office waste at local businesses, and an overview of the secondary/used furniture market.

PowerPoint Presentation: Houston-Galveston Area Council

PowerPoint Presentation: Invista, Carpet Reclamation Program

PowerPoint Presentation: Tandus

PowerPoint Presentation: City of Houston Building Materials Reuse Warehouse

PowerPoint Presentation: Lone Star Disposal

PowerPoint Presentation: Office Furniture Connection

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Common Sustainability Terms A GBRC compiled glossary to help you navigate the complex world of Green.

Home Energy Audit You can easily conduct a basic home energy audit yourself.

Energy Efficiency Best Practices This is a useful 20 page 2007 booklet by the Department of Energy targeting the residential sector, with some case studies that include multifamily.

Energy Indicators for Sustainable Development This an extensive 171 page 2005 document produced by a consortium of international agencies, including the United Nations.

Going Green Checklist A one pager from Martha Stewart. You've seen some of these before...

Going Green on a Budget A 4 page article of facility managers with examples written by Picture Framing Magazine Spring 2009. It's important to see that all industries are now talking about solving the problem.

Green and Brown Facts Three page 2008 piece from Houston's George Brown Convention Center outlining Green measures taken there and within the City.

Green Building Ideas A four page 2005 article from Build It Green in California that addresses Green Affordable Housing design strategies.

Green Job Study A 52 page 2008 Booz Allen study commissioned by the US Green Building Council thoroughly describing what Green Jobs are, and predicting trends in the Green building market.

Houston Recycling Locations a 2009 map of City of Houston locations.

Recycling for the Future A 19 page 1998 article from the White House Task Force on Recycling.

Residential and Commercial Emissions A very efficient 9 page 2009 article from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change that covers emissions as well as energy use by sector.

Understanding Preventing Greenwash An excellent 41 page 2009 booklet on Greenwash, which is the deceptive practice of projecting a greener impression of a product or practice.

Why We Build Green An efficient 4 page collection of building sector statistics compiled by the US Green Building Council.

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Houston Area Green Roofs 3 page document highlighting residential and commercial green roof projects in and around the Houston area.

Exploring Sustainability in Agriculture An excellent 16 page 2003 brochure. Local food is an extension of Green building.

Landscape Brochure An 8 page brochure that introduces the Sustainable Sites Initiative.

Federal Energy Management Program (DOE/EERE) Green Roofs A 32 page 2004 brochure that thoroughly covers Green roofs.

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City of Houston PWE Infrastructure Design Manual See Chapter 13 for Low Impact Design