Material Selection

Photo: Dan Brady. License: CC BY 2.0

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.


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  • Choosing Windows: Looking Through the Options

    Feature Article

    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.

  • What's New in Multi-Attribute Environmental Certifications

    Feature Article

    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.

  • Chemistry for Designers: Understanding Hazards in Building Products

    Feature Article

    What's in our building materials? Are there chemicals we should be afraid of? Trying to get answers to these questions can be frustrating, but there are a number of good tools available.

  • Making Carpet Environmentally Friendly

    Feature Article

    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.

Quick Takes

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


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Product Guidance

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


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  • Unique American Teak Offers FSC-Certified Flooring

    Product Review

    A new supplier is offering prefinished teak flooring from Costa Rica certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

  • Nail Kicker Aids Wood Reuse

    Product Review

    A pneumatic tool that aids salvage and reuse of wood, the Nail Kicker has recently been reissued.

  • Triton Logging Recovers Underwater Forests

    Product Review

    Triton Logging, Inc., of British Columbia has brought to market environmentally-friendly lumber from forests flooded by reservoirs; standing trees are recovered using the company's unique Sawfish submarine harvester.

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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Learning Resources

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


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Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...


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