Material Selection

Photo: Dan Brady. License: CC BY 2.0.


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.

  • Choosing Windows: New Report Addresses Cost, Performance


    A new report from BuildingGreen helps you choose windows for a project, find the right balance among seven key decision drivers, including cost, performance, aesthetics, and more.

  • Tape It? Seal It? Glue It? Sealing Weather Barrier Seams

    Blog Post

    Lots of building products offer some help in keeping air, water, and heat in our buildings, but without attention to the joints, you lose critical continuity in your barriers.

  • The Many Faces of Reclaimed Wood


    Some types of reclaimed wood count as "salvaged materials" that contribute to points in LEED and help comply with green building codes while others do not.

  • Forest Products Certification: How It Works


    Many wood and paper products now come with an eco-label. But what happens behind the scenes before a product gets the seal of approval?

  • UL Environment Buys Greenguard

    News Analysis

    For the second time in five months, UL Environment, a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL), has acquired a major brand in the green building products certification field.

  • USDA Biobased Label Identifies Farm-Grown Content

    News Analysis

    USDA rolls out a Biobased Product label to identify products with agricultural content. Will the label help consumers, or confuse them?

  • Not Enough Votes for LEED Certified Wood Benchmark

    News Analysis

    The certified wood battleground now moves to the next version of LEED, with a planned release date of late 2012.

  • BuildingGreen Announces 2010 Top-10 Green Products

    News Analysis

    BuildingGreen announced its ninth annual Top-10 Green Building Products during the 2010 Greenbuild conference in Chicago. The list recognizes the most exciting products drawn from recent additions to GreenSpec, coverage in EBN, and blogs.

  • EBN Editors Help Untangle Green Certifications


    The editors of EBN and our GreenSpec Directory provide guidance on the growing field of certifications in BuildingGreen's new special report, "Green Building Product Certifications."

  • A New Edge in Specifying Green Building Products


    BuildingGreen will link our Web-based green products resource, GreenSpec, with the Healthy Building Network's Pharos Project to provide one trusted, authoritative, independent source for specifying green building products, information and research.