Materials really do matter to the health of occupants and the environment, but finding out what is in a product—and why—is not easy.
Products also have to perform as intended, so there are often tradeoffs between performance and the most sustainable materials.
Here you will find articles on:
the least hazardous, most environmentally sustainable materials used in products
environmental product declarations that can reveal the life-cycle impacts of materials
standards and third-party certifications that provide important VOC criteria and other health and performance metrics
chemicals of concern in building materials
You’ll also learn how what makes a product green can differ from product category to product category, and why multi-attribute vetting is critical no matter what product or material you’re selecting or specifying.
We ask a lot from windows: energy efficiency, aesthetics, durability, affordability, and more. Which window frame materials and low-e glazing options balance these choices best? This article explores all the options and decodes the performance labels we see when buying windows.
The industry is increasingly recognizing the need for a more comprehensive review of green products. We don't have perfect programs yet, but we scrutinize the most prominent programs out there and highlight how they're useful.
Carpets are the most popular floorcovering in the U.S., but they have also been associated with environmental problems including indoor air emissions and intensive resource use. However, manufacturers have worked to curb their environmental footprints by recycling carpet, examining their life-cycle impacts, and pursuing broad-based certification.
Cradle to Cradle is a multiple-attribute product certification program based on the philosophy of architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, and the work of their company, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC). While MBDC's consulting services are driving breakthroughs in green manufacturing, the certification program lacks some of the comprehensiveness and transparency that are increasingly expected in the green certification market.
Many businesses and homeowners are choosing to buy green power, including renewable energy credits (RECs). This article examines the environmental benefits of green power, including on-site renewables, what REC buyers should know about their purchases, and investing in energy conservation.
Analytical chemistry tools, used together with product testing chambers, are making it possible to "see" product emissions in new ways. Editor Nadav Malin discusses the science behind product emissions testing, the different product certification standards, and what's ahead for this growing field.