Material Selection

Photo: Dan Brady. License: CC BY 2.0.

OVERVIEW

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.

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  • Knoll, Steelcase in Lead with Level 3 Certified Products

    Product Review

    Two years after the "level" furniture certification program was developed by BIFMA, six products and products lines meet the most rigorous of the certifications-level 3.

  • 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 BuildingGreen.com blogs.

  • EBN Editors Help Untangle Green Certifications

    Op-Ed

    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

    Op-Ed

    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.

  • BuildingGreen Announces 2010 Top-10 Green Products

    Product Review

    BuildingGreen announces its 2010 Top-10 Green Products, with exciting entries drawn from the GreenSpec directory and coverage in Environmental Building News.

  • UL Environment Teams Up with EcoLogo

    News Analysis

    In a major consolidation among the crowded field of green product labels, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has acquired Terrachoice, the manager of the EcoLogo Program.

  • New Company-Wide Certifications for Manufacturers

    News Analysis

    Manufacturers will soon have their choice of three green certifications, from Green Seal, UL Environment, and Leonardo Academy.