"Green" building designs, along with conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, also serve as opportunities for economic recovery, according to the Washington-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The organization's "Top 10 Ways to Use Recovery Funds for Green Building," released on May 13, analyzes ways in which energy retrofit programs and green schools can also help create jobs for local economies.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) includes more than $16 billion for energy efficiency projects, and some of that money could go to green building projects that could generate 2.5 million American jobs, according to USGBC. "Governments and business alike have recognized that the triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social sustainability is the key to thriving and prospering today and into the future," USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi said in a statement. "Smart use of federal economic stimulus funding by improving the efficiency of our existing building stock as well as our new buildings and communities will create green jobs that save energy, water and taxpayer money."

Download the "Top 10 Ways to Use Recovery Funds for Green Building" as a PDF.

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