Material Health

Pursuing material health in the building industry involves avoiding or eliminating toxic chemicals from building products. Toxic chemicals are those that can bring harm to factory workers, installers, or building occupants. There are tens of thousands of unregulated chemicals used in our building products, and they can increase the risk of everything from asthma to obesity to cancer.

Materials containing these toxic chemicals include carpet, insulation, wet-applied products like adhesives and sealants, and many others. It’s possible to improve material health through better design decisions and product selections.

Material Health

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.


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  • Stone, The Original Green Building Material

    Feature Article

    Stone is natural and durable, emits no VOCs, requires almost no maintenance, and provides a connection to the earth and our history.

  • What Makes a Product Green Today?

    Feature Article

    Lots of manufacturers call their products "green," but are they? Here's our guide to the high-performance attributes that matter.

  • Better Choices in Low-Slope Roofing

    Feature Article

    There are big differences in environmental impacts of commercial roofing materials, but the biggest variable may be service life.

  • The Chemicals on Our Carpets and Textiles

    Feature Article

    The array of water-, dirt-, and mold-repellent chemicals added to carpeting and fabrics is dizzying. Which are causes for concern, and how can we minimize exposure?

Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.


Product Guidance

Unbiased information from our product experts helps you separate green from greenwash.


In The News

We break news down to the essentials and provide expert analysis.


Perspective

Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.


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  • Rethinking Polystyrene Insulation

    Op-Ed

    We should avoid using polystyrene made with the flame retardant HBCD in our buildings, using rigid mineral wool, polyurethane, cellulose, or other alternatives instead.

  • USGBC Supports Screening of PVC

    Op-Ed

    Tom Lent of the Healthy Building Network explores the recent PVC report from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Learning Resources

Syllabus supplements and CEU content, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


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Just For Fun

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