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Publications on Greensburg, Kansas

Based on lessons learned from the technical assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Greensburg, Kansas, the following publications feature information and resources to aid federal, state, and local agencies, and community leaders facing long-term disaster recovery.


Greensburg, Kansas—A Better, Greener Place to Live
The inspiring story of Greensburg's recovery, with many examples of disaster recovery accomplishments. This is offered as an example of how to use rebuilding green as a "marketing" advantage when a community strives to bring former and new residents and businesses back to town .

How Would You Rebuild a Town Green?
Information about the Greensburg Sustainable Building Database, which includes examples from Greensburg of the variety of buildings and projects that can save a community energy and increase renewable energy use.

Rebuilding After Disaster—Going Green From the Ground Up
The why and how of energy planning in disaster recovery for city leaders.

Rebuilding It Better: Greensburg, Kansas, High Performance Buildings Meeting Energy Savings Goals
This brochure documents the energy savings of 13 of the most sustainable building projects in Greensburg and includes lessons learned and recommendations for how to maintain energy efficiency over the long term.

Rebuilding It Better Series
The following brochures highlight the energy-efficiency and renewable energy features of these new and renovated Greensburg buildings:

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Fact Sheets

A Tale of Two Cities: Greensburg Rebuilds as a National Model for Green Communities
This fact sheet provides a summary of how DOE/NREL technical assistance in Greensburg, Kansas, helped the town rebuild green after recovering from a tornado in May 2007.

NREL Helps Greensburg Set the Model for Green Communities
Overview of specific DOE and NREL technical assistance activities in Greensburg.

Rebuilding Green Homes after Disaster
Information for homeowners about the benefits of rebuilding green.

Rebuilding Green Buildings after Disaster
Information for commercial building owners and operators.

Rebuilding with Renewable Energy after Disaster
Information for community decision makers and community members about incorporating renewable energy into rebuilding.

Resources for Rebuilding Green after Disaster
A resource list for builders and architects.

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News Articles

November 2012
Five years after a devastating tornado, Greensburg, Kansas, has new energy and a new outlook
In-depth look at how NREL's work in Greensburg, Kansas, uses the lab's technical experts to apply a comprehensive, holistic approach to deploying energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

August 13, 2012
Embrace of Renewables in Heartland Wows Execs
Recap of how the 2012 class of the DOE Executive Energy Leadership Program visited Greensburg to gather ideas for ways to enhance sustainability or build renewable energy projects in their workplaces.

May 2, 2012
Greensburg, Kansas, Five Years Later−An International Inspiration for Green Disaster Recovery

Summary of the town’s progress toward rebuilding as a model green community five years after the tornado, and how visitors from all over the world come to Greensburg to see examples they can replicate.

February 24, 2012
Results Are In: Greensburg Buildings Save Big on Energy and Costs

Announces a new publication featuring data that confirms 13 new and renovated high performance buildings in Greensburg are saving more than $200,000 in energy costs annually.

October 10, 2011
Greensburg Project Continues to Have an Impact

Announcement on Greensburg being named one of the top-10 coolest towns by Budget Travel and plans for another wind farm to be built by Sunflower Electric Power Corporation 10 miles outside of Greensburg.

May 18, 2011
Greensburg Wins Three Sustainability Awards; Commemorates Fourth Anniversary of Tornado

Highlights three awards Greensburg received in 2011 for rebuilding as a sustainable model green community: the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Projects Award; Siemens Sustainable Community Award for Small Community; and United Nations Global Green City Award.

May 8, 2009
Two Years Later, Greensburg is Officially Green — with NREL's Help
Overview of the substantial progress achieved within just 2 years of the tornado strike, including a discussion of how catastrophe brings opportunity.

April 28, 2009
NREL Helps Greensburg, KS Launch GreenHome Partnership
Describes DOE and NREL’s collaboration with the City Council of Greensburg and the Kansas Building Industry Association, and announces the launch of the Greensburg GreenHome Residential Green Building Program.

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The following posters summarize specific rebuilding efforts in Greensburg. Actual size: 24 inches x 36 inches.

Project Overviews

High-Performing Buildings

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Technical Reports and Conference Papers

Assessment of Biomass Pelletization Options for Greensburg, Kansas
This technical report summarizes an assessment conducted by NREL in Greensburg, Kansas, to identify potential opportunities to develop a biomass pelletization or briquetting plant in the region.

From Tragedy to Triumph: Rebuilding Greensburg, Kansas, To Be a 100% Renewable Energy City
This conference paper was presented at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings August 15–20, 2010.

Rebuilding Greensburg, Kansas, as a Model Green Community: A Case Study and Appendices
This comprehensive case study describes technical assistance provided by NREL to help Greensburg rebuild as a green community after an EF-5 tornado nearly leveled the town in 2007. You can also download appendices that provide additional information about activities in Greensburg.

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