Reduced Life-Cycle Impacts

Photo: Viridian Reclaimed Wood


Is wood a sustainable material? It depends: a table made from reclaimed wood has a much smaller environmental footprint than one sourced from a monoculture plantation that replaced a rainforest.

Defining responsible material sourcing—and then finding responsibly sourced products—is complicated. Here you will find in-depth resources that detail the benefits and challenges of using biobased materials, reclaimed wood, fly ash, and other materials. Our resources also detail which companies and industries are ahead of the curve in offering responsible choices.

What about the materials you don’t use? Using less is always a good idea—as long as that doesn’t compromise performance.

Doing more with less takes knowledge and attention: it’s about investing in human resources instead of wasting natural resources. And since our small planet has more humans every day, we’re not likely to run out of them anytime soon. Durability, efficient structural systems, and repairing and retrofitting rather than replacing are all key strategies to consider.

  • Migrations Biobased Tile from Armstrong

    Product Review

    A new biobased composition tile from Armstrong offers a more attractive alternative to popular vinyl composition tile.

  • Agrifiber-Plastic Composite Privacy Fencing Introduced

    Product Review

    Heartland Biocomposites combines wheat straw with post-consumer high-density polyethylene to create its durable, insect-resistant PrairieFence line.

  • Green E-Board Building Panels

    Product Review

    With the durability of cement backerboards but with a carbon footprint closer to gypsum, Green E-Board panels are an intriguing new drywall option.

  • Recycled-EPS Interior Molding

    Product Review

    Recyled polystyrene molding from Timbron International is waterproof, mold-resistant, paintable, and workable.

  • 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.

  • New Admixture Solves Concrete's Weaknesses

    Product Review

    A new concrete admixture, Hycrete, could come to replace a variety of waterproofing and corrosion-proofing membranes and coatings applied to concrete.

  • 3form Takes Recycled Content to 100 Percent

    Product Review

    Building on the success of its Varia panels with 40% recycled plastic content, 3form has announced 100 Percent, a new line of panels made with 100% post-consumer HDPE.

  • 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.