Material Selection

Photo: Nassimi LLC

Selecting building materials can be complex. You have to take into account toxicity, performance, the environmental life cycle, cost, and other factors.

Understanding what makes a building product green is a long-term prospect. Green characteristics differ from product category to product category, and multi-attribute vetting is critical.

Material Selection

Deep Dives

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


Quick Takes

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


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  • What These Forestry Labels Really Mean

    Infographic

    You’ve seen FSC and SFI labels on wood products. Most often, you’ve seen no label at all. Here’s a green guide to each one.

  • The 8 Shades of Greenwash: How Many Do You Recognize?

    Infographic

    Most building products these days have an environmental angle to their sales pitches. Many are legit, but as ever, you still have to watch for the telltale signs of greenwash—the practice of inventing or exaggerating the environmental benefits of a product.

  • The 12 Product Rules

    Infographic

    These 12 product rules provide a simple approach to selecting better, healthier, and more environmentally responsible building products and materials.

  • VOC Testing: What It Can and Can’t Tell You

    Primer

    “Section 01350” has come a long way since it acquired its curious nickname. Here’s what it can tell you about indoor air quality—and what it can’t.

Product Guidance

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


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  • Acoustic Panels: Cutting through the Product Noise

    Product Review

    Choosing interior acoustic products that contain fewer potentially hazardous materials will improve the overall interior environmental quality without compromising designs.

  • Timeless Tile’s Carbon Conundrum

    Product Review

    Tile is an ancient type of flooring and wallcovering that can last centuries—even millennia. But can it check today’s sustainability boxes?

  • Innovative Moisture-Resistant Textile with No PFAS

    Product Review

    Supreen is a woven textile that incorporates silicone into its fibers along with a polyurethane backing to provide a moisture-barrier material without the need for PFAS treatments.

  • New Blowing Agents Revolutionize XPS Industry

    Product Review

    Due to regulatory changes in Canada and certain U.S. states, manufacturers will be offering XPS with low global warming potential starting in 2021.

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.


Learning Resources

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


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  • The BuildingGreen Guide to Thermal Insulation

    Special Report

    The BuildingGreen Guide to Thermal Insulation, Fourth Edition, provides detailed guidance on insulation products and practices, including environmental and health comparisons, and recommendations on what insulation to use and what to avoid.

  • Spec This, Not That: Avoiding Toxic Chemicals in Commercial Building Projects

    PDF Report

    Spec This, Not That details approaches used by architects, designers, contractors, and building owners to reduce chemical hazards in their building projects. It also includes at-your-fingertips insights for designers and spec writers on which hazards to watch out for in the major building product and material categories.

  • VOCs: Why They’re Still Here and What You Can Do About It

    Feature Article

    “Sick building syndrome” was one of the first problems the green building community tried to solve. We’ve come a long way, but we’re not done yet.

  • Are Cool Roofs Green? The Answer’s Not Black and White

    Feature Article

    Roofing choices are complicated by heating tradeoffs, climate effects, and condensation, but proponents say reflective roofs still make sense in most climates.

Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...