The nonprofit Green Building Initiative (GBI) and Energy Star, the voluntary energy efficiency labeling program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, recently established a partnership to share resources and tools, promote each other's programs, and develop training in energy-efficient and sustainable building design and management for the commercial, institutional, and industrial construction markets.

The organizations' overlapping goals make the alliance a natural step, says Vicki Worden, vice president of commercial programs and product development for the GBI, which is based in Portland, Ore. “Our goal is to continue to build our system and our program to back up the work of the government.”

As part of the partnership, the GBI will encourage its members to join Energy Star and enter the Energy Star Challenge, which urges reductions in building energy consumption of 10 percent or more. The organization also will enhance elements of its own green-rating program and management system with direct online links to Energy Star's Target Finder and Portfolio Manager tools to track and share relevant data on energy use.