Sustainability Toolbox
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The goal of sustainable development is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Facilities sustainability focuses on buildings and associated development.

Most developments use whatever materials and methods provide the desired function and image at the lowest initial cost, with little regard for future consequences. This often leads to inefficient, short-lived structures that gobble far more resources than needed and suffer unnecessarily high maintenance and operations costs.

Sustainable developments are more durable. They have lower life-cycle costs, increased user comfort and health, reduced energy use, and lower operations and maintenance costs. They also produce less waste.

This section of the Facilities Toolbox provides information about "caring for the land" by practicing sustainability and "serving people" by creating more comfortable and healthful spaces. Doing so can reduce the life-cycle costs of existing and new Forest Service facilities.


Photo of a flat landscape of sagebrush.  In the photo is a visitor center with snowcapped mountains on the horizon.

The Eastern Sierra Inter-Agency Visitor Center
has lightshelves, sun shades, a ground source
heat pump, a "cool" roof, and windows that
minimize heat transfer and maximize views of
Mt Whitney.

Forest: Inyo
Region: 5

Is sustainability required?

Does sustainability make a difference?

Can sustainability be measured?

Is sustainability affordable?

Who is responsible for sustainable development in the Forest Service?

What do I need to know about Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)?

What do I need to know about Green Globes?

What practical methods help make land use and site development more sustainable?

What practical techniques and materials enhance building quality and durability?

What fixtures and methods increase water efficiency?

What can be done to upgrade energy efficiency?

Can we generate our own energy from renewable sources?

How can materials and resources be used more sustainably?

What practices ensure healthy indoor environments?

What cost effective sustainable practices improve operations and maintenance?

How can fleet sustainability be improved?

What has already been done to improve sustainability in the Forest Service?

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