Reduced Life-Cycle Impacts

Photo: Viridian Reclaimed Wood

OVERVIEW

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.

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  • Recycled-EPS Interior Molding

    Product Review

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

  • Meeting Your Challenge

    Op-Ed

    Sarnafil US, Inc. meets EBN's challenge to recycle its old roofs as well as production waste and scrap.

  • 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.

  • Why the USGBC Should Change LEED's Position on Wood

    Op-Ed

    Alex Wilson, who wrote a white paper for the USGBC recommending changes to the LEED Rating System relative to wood and biobased credits, explains why the changes make sense from an environmental standpoint.

  • PaperStone: Panels Made with Cashew-Nut-Hull Resin

    Product Review

    PaperStone, a solid-surface material used for interior and exterior applications, is made from post-consumer recycled paper and phenolic resin derived from cashew-nut shells.