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.


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  • Better Choices in Low-Slope Roofing

    Feature Article

    There are big differences in environmental impacts of commercial roofing materials, but the biggest variable may be service life.

  • 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.

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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  • BuildingGreen Announces 2007 Top-10 Products

    Product Review

    BuildingGreen, Inc., publisher of the GreenSpec Directory and Environmental Building News (EBN), announced its annual Top-10 Green Building Products, representing the most exciting products covered in those publications in the last year.

  • 180 Walls Sets New Standard for Green Wallcovering

    Product Review

    A woven polyester wallcovering from Milliken, 180 Walls is cost-competitive with vinyl wallcoverings and offers a number of environmental benefits that are backed up by third-party certifications.

  • 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.

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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  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.

Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...


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  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.