Living Green Resources
By Nathan Good, AIA
Published: 02/21/2010  Updated: 08/14/2019
Architect Nathan Good (pictured here) shares his "green" resource list.
Architect Nathan Good (pictured here) shares his "green" resource list.  photo by Greg Kozawa

There are lots of great resources out there offering information on ways to live a more green lifestyle. Here, architect Nathan Good shares his own resource list.

Green Building Certification Programs
Earth Advantage ( is one of the first green home certification programs in the US. The Portland-based organization has certified thousands of homes on the West Coast with their simple and inexpensive system.

LEED for Homes ( is a program of the US Green Building Council. It consists of a robust point-based system with four levels of certification: certified, silver, gold and platinum. There are a handful of LEED certified homes along the Oregon and Washington coasts.

Energy Star ( is a US government program to guide homeowners towards energy saving and healthy homes. They offer a number of paths towards attaining a certified green home.
Living Building Challenge ( was launched by the Cascadia Chapter of the US Green Building Council in 2008 and now resides with the International Living Building Institute. Their goal is to certify the greenest of green homes; those that are on the path towards being fully sustainable homes.

Financial Incentives for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Oregon Department of Energy ( manages energy tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Washington Department of Commerce ( manages energy tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Energy Star ( is a source of information about federal tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Energy Trust of Oregon ( provides financial incentives for residential energy efficient improvements and pre-qualified renewable energy systems for Oregon residents within the service territories of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, Northwest Natural, and Cascade Natural Gas (Astoria to Cannon Beach, Lincoln City to Newport, and Coos Bay)

Information on Green Homes
One of the best books on green homes is Green from the Ground Up by David Johnson and Scott Gibson. This well illustrated book came out in 2008 and provides guidance for homeowners, architects, and building professionals.

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) partnered to create an online resource guide for residential remodeling. Their free guide, "Regreen Guidelines" can be downloaded from

The US Green Building Council maintains a good web site,, with a variety of current articles for consumers and design professionals.

Environmental Building News ( is an excellent source of reliable information on green building products and systems. Visitors to their site can access a number of well-written product reviews. Members have the benefit of a robust search engine to download the full history of magazine articles.

The Green Building Advisor web site at was launched in 2009 and is already one of the go-to sites for those interested in learning about green homes. The site has a great collection of case studies, including a number on the West Coast.
Living Green Resources