The selection of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the design of a green building. Green building materials offer specific benefits to the building owner and building occupants and are follows:
- Reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building.
- Energy conservation.
- Improved occupant health and productivity.
- Lower costs associated with changing space configurations.
- Greater design flexibility.
Building and construction activities worldwide consumes 3 billion tons of raw materials each year or 40 percent of total global use. Using green building materials and products promotes conservation of dwindling nonrenewable resources internationally.
In addition, integrating green building materials into building projects can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction, transport, processing, fabrication, installation, reuse, recycling and disposal of these building industry source materials.
Selection criteria for green material:
A) Resource efficiency:
- Recycled Content: Products with identifiable recycled content, including post industrial content with a preference for post consumer content.
- Natural and renewable: Materials harvested from sustain ably managed sourced and preferably have an independent certification (e. g. certified wood) and are certified by an independent third party.
- Resource efficient manufacturing process: Products manufactured with resource-efficient processes including reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste (recycled, recyclable and or source reduced product packaging), and reducing greenhouse gases.
- Locally available: Building materials, components, and system found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site.
- Salvaged, refurbished, or remanufactured: Includes saving a material from disposal and renovating, repairing, restoring, or generally improving the appearance, performance, quality, functionality, or value of a product.
6) Reusable or recyclable: Select materials that can be easily dismantled and reused or recycled at the end of their useful life.
7) Durable: Materials that are longer lasting or are comparable to conventional products with long life expectancies.
B) Indoor Air Quality (IAQ):
- Low or non -toxic: Materials that emit few or no CFC’s, reproductive toxicants, or irritants as demonstrated by the manufacturer through appropriate testing.
- Minimal chemical emissions: Products that have minimal emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Products that also maximize resources and energy efficiency while reducing chemical emissions.
- Moisture resistant: Product and systems that resist moisture or inhibit the growth of biological contaminants in building.
- Healthfully maintained: Materials, components, and systems that require only simple, non-toxic, or low-VOC methods of cleaning.
- Systems or equipment: Products that promotes IAQ by identifying indoor air pollutants or enhancing the air quality.
C) Energy Efficiency:
Material, components, and systems that help reduce energy consumption in building and facilities.
D) Water Conservation:
Products and systems that help reduce water consumption in building and conserve water in landscaped areas.
Building product life-cycle costs are comparable to conventional materials and are within a project-defined percentage of the overall budget.
Read More: Green Building Material List