Criteria for Green Building Materials

From on August 24, 2007 in Green Remodeling

Green Building Materials

We’ve discussed the benefits of utilizing green building materials and know that they help to conserve dwindling resources, and reduce the environmental impacts associated with every aspect of using green building materials. But, what specifically is a green building product or material and what are the criteria to select them?

First, a green building product or material specifically is composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. How one goes about selecting green products depends upon a number of important criteria.

Selection Criteria for Green Building Materials or Products

Because we must limit the amount of information we cover, today we will discuss Resource Efficiency, the first of five selection criteria for Green Building Materials. (Please note that we will address the four criteria in the next article of the series.)

In order to have Resource Efficiency, the following criteria of a green building material or product must be met:

  • Content must be recycled with identifiable post-industrial or preferably, post-consumer content.
  • Content must be natural, plentiful or renewable with materials harvested from sustainably managed sources, and preferably be certified as such by an independent third party.
  • The manufacturing process must be resource efficient including reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste, and reducing greenhouse gases.
  • Content must be available locally or regionally, saving energy and resources in transportation to the building site.
  • Content must be salvaged, refurbished, or remanufactured, including saving used material, or improving an existing product for reuse.
  • Content must be reusable or recyclable at the end of their useful life.
  • Content must be durable, i.e., they must last a long time or be comparable to conventional products that are long lasting.

Look for the next article in our Green Building Series entitled “Green Materials to Improve Air Quality, Conservation and Energy Efficiency.”

Green Building References

[tags]green building, green building materials, green building products, green home building[/tags]