Green Building Materials: An Introduction
When one builds green, they essentially take advantage of natural resources with a heightened awareness and efficiency. According to D.M. Roodman and M. Lenssen, buildings in general account for one-quarter of the planet’s wood harvest, one-sixth of its fresh water withdrawals and two-fifths of its energy and material flows (as noted in “A Building Revolution: How Ecology and Health Concerns are Transforming Construction”).
How Does One Build Green?
To build green, then, is to create buildings that contribute in a positive capacity to the environment, while providing savings in terms of both costs and detriment to the planet. Green buildings equal healthy buildings, simply put. Often you will see the terms “sustainable” and “green” used as alternates of each other in the context of building. Green buildings have been renovated, constructed or otherwise designed in a manner that is mindful of the local (and global) ecology while using resources in an efficient fashion.
The worth of green buildings is immense — and not all of it comes down to dollars and sense. Water and energy are used more efficiently, rendering the harmful effects on the environment less considerable or non-existent. The footprint that we leave on the planet, in other words — the extent of environmental damage — is thereby made less significant.
Green Building Materials Resources
Sustainable Green Building Materials
“The concept of sustainable building incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during the design, construction and operation of building projects. The use of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the design of a building.” Find out more at the California Integrated Waste Management website.
Green Building Supply — Environmentally Friendly Home Center.
“If you’re looking for natural and non-toxic building materials — that are certified, safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable –” pay a visit to this site. “Improve indoor air quality, eliminate toxic chemicals and create a healthier home, office or apartment with hundreds of the best name brand products, most of which are sustainably certified.”
Ecohaus (formerly Environmental Home Center) — “In a decade we’ve grown from a tiny storefront to become a national distributor of green building supplies and household products. Along the way, we’ve solved problems for thousands of customers — parents looking for low-toxic paint for the nursery, builders looking for sustainable lumber, even a ship builder looking for durable flooring for a submarine.”
Building Green (BuildingGreen.com) features a “GreenSpec-Listed Green Building Products” section with plenty of solid information. “The online GreenSpec® Directory lists product descriptions for over 2,100 environmentally preferable products. Products are chosen to be listed by BuildingGreen editors. Unlike many other directories, we do not charge for listings or sell ads.” Find everything here, from windows and doors, to paints and coatings, to lighting and electrical.
Green 2 Green — Connecting Green Professionals to Green Materials.
“Green2Green.org features comprehensive information regarding green building products, materials and practices. The site offers side-by-side comparisons of products using a variety of environmental, technical and economic criteria. Green2Green strives to provide practical advice to users about green building materials and practices, by featuring expert advice, public forums on a variety of topics and by soliciting product feedback from users. Green2Green also locates dealers for all featured products and identifies dealer locations so users can access green products.”
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