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
    Loading...
  • A New Halogen-Free Polyiso Insulation from GAF

    Product Review

    GAF now offers a full line of polyisocyanurate foam insulation that is free of toxic halogenated flame retardants.

  • Building Product Disclosure & Optimization (BPDO) Cheat Sheet

    Infographic

    The three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits in LEED v4 are pushing the industry into new territory. Suppliers have made significant progress on materials transparency and optimization since the release of version 4, but not enough to make all the points realistically achievable. With version 4.1, LEED has modified thresholds and simplified requirements so that all six points should be within reach for most projects.

  • Mineral Wool Batts Now Formaldehyde-Free

    Product Review

    Thermafiber and Roxul have introduced the first formaldehyde-free mineral wool batt insulations, following the example set by the fiberglass insulation industry.  

  • Fiberglass, XPS, Cork? Insulation Options for LEED v4 and Living Buildings

    Product Review

    Choosing insulation with an eye to points in LEED v4 or Living Building Challenge compliance? Here’s how insulation materials compare.

  • Unmilled Timber Frames Go High Tech, Replacing Steel

    Product Review

    Keep the beauty of round logs, and get more strength from an engineered wood structure, promises Wisconsin-based company WholeTrees. 

  • TSCA Reform: Chemical Regulations, at a Cost

    Primer

    In a world where we can’t even ban asbestos, a new law revamps how the federal government regulates chemicals—but some worry it steps on the toes of progressive states.

  • EPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

    Infographic

    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?

    Infographic

    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

    Infographic

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

  • The 12 Product Rules

    Infographic

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