Finding Grants for Green Construction
By Zack Verde
When it comes to new construction techniques, grants are often a way to cut costs. Federal grants for green construction are plentiful with billions literally available.
A federal grant is an award of financial assistance from a Federal agency. It is intended to carry out a public purpose or support or stimulate a purpose that is authorized by a law of the United States. Federal grants can be found and applied for electronically. The site Grants.gov is the central clearing house for Federal Grants.
There are twenty six different agencies that offer over 1,000 grant programs. The grants that apply to green construction are mostly offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The total amount of grants available exceeds $400 billion dollars. The grants offered by the feds fall into twenty one categories. The categories that have the most impact on green construction are Energy, Environmental Quality, and Health.
Most of the grants are directed toward specific geographical areas. Some of the major concerns of the grants include water quality improvement and the prevention of urban storm water runoff. Many of the grants are connected with the Leeds certification program. Leeds stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a program that is run by the United States Green Building Council and it establishes green construction standards and awards certificates to those that maintain these standards.
Although there are federal grants available, it is on the state and local level that the large majority of grants can be found. The green movement is a grassroots type of thing that appears to be strongest at the local level. Environmental concerns are often very local, and the problems that have been caused by the neglect of the environment are local as well. The pollution of waterways is a good example of this. grant programs exist that are directed at the Great Lakes or at Puget Sound, for example. States that are bordering these waterways usually offers these grants. The idea of environmental impact areas has led to the localities that border or are inside the impact area being the best source of funds for projects that will address the problems.
Private foundations like the Kresage Foundation are among the best sources of green construction grants. The Kresage Foundation has been offering grants under their Green Building Initiative Program. It is specifically geared toward the area of planning and design. While it is true that State, local, and private foundations are the major sources of grants that can be considered pure green building, the federal government is also a source. Research is the key to finding a grant for your project, so take the time to explore the various options mentioned above.
About the Author
Zack Verde is with GreenBuildingCompanies.com - providing green building articles.