Material Transparency

Photo: Amar Saleem. License: Public domain.

OVERVIEW

It’s easy to select a product from a catalog without thinking about where it comes from. But if you care about hidden impacts like embodied carbon, toxic ingredients or byproducts, or social responsibility in the supply chain, a lack of information from manufacturers can hinder your selection process.

We offer tips, insights, and analysis on all these issues and more. We also look at:

  • the quality of the information that’s available to you

  • why it’s so hard to get

  • what makes it important

  • and even what to do with the data once you have it
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  • Building Product Disclosure & Optimization (BPDO) Cheat Sheet

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    The three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits in LEED v4 are pushing the industry into new territory. USGBC has done a great job defining and spurring manufacturers to support some options, but others are not yet (as of mid-2017) achievable, for a range of reasons. So go after the easy ones, and don’t waste time on others until they’re within reach.

  • EPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

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    Use these tips to get what you need from an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), fast.

  • The 8 Shades of Greenwash: How Many Do You Recognize?

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    Most building products these days have an environmental angle to their sales pitches. Many are legit, but as ever, you still have to watch for the telltale signs of greenwash—the practice of inventing or exaggerating the environmental benefits of a product.

  • HPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

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    How to get solid information from a Health Product Declaration (HPD), in just five steps.

  • The 12 Product Rules

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    These 12 product rules provide a simple approach to selecting better, healthier, and more environmentally responsible building products and materials.