We spend 90% of our time in buildings, and yet we still don’t know as much as we should about how a building’s environment affects our overall environment. At Reset, we believe in better living through better information. That’s why we applaud the Summer of Smart winner GOODbuildings.info. Participants at Summer of Smart created apps and websites aimed at harnessing Web 2.0 technology to create Gov 2.0 tools.

The GOODbuildings.info website aggregates public and user-generated information to make commercial building information more transparent and easy to access. The website centers on the notion that you cannot reduce energy usage unless you know what energy usage is. Goodbuildings.info hopes their website will help to influence the City’s environmental policies as well as educate users.

GOODbuildings.info Helps Tenants and Brokers Find Green Buildings

GOODbuildings.info is a tool that lets prospective commercial tenants and brokers view the positive green features of building. Users can see a building’s energy efficient performance, water efficiency, waste disposal, transit proximity walkability and occupant rating. The site uses data from LEEDS certification, Energy Star and WalkScore.com to determine a building’s green and eco-friendly features. App designers found that much of the data they desired was not publicly available. However, Phil Ting’s plan to green grade commercial buildings in San Francisco could help alleviate some of the challenges. GOODbuildings also gives buildings a transparency score to encourage buildings to provide more information.

While the website is still in early development, it will eventually feature an interactive map of San Francisco that will display building information like energy usage, building amenities and comments from tenants. Tenants, brokers and apartment hunters can use the site to find spaces with particular features. It will also allow building owners to gain real feedback from occupants and encourage continuous improvement of commercial buildings. Tenants can leave comments about things that would improve a building’s greenness such as adding bike racks.

This data on the GOODbuildings.info site isn’t just useful — it can help incentivize building owners and tenants to push for greener buildings, which provides a strong civic return on investment.