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Environmentally Friendly Building Materials

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Environmentally Friendly Building Materials
 
Today's consumer realizes that environmentally friendly building materials help to create a healthier living space as well as a healthier planet. Consequently, green building products and the services of environmentally conscious builders are much in demand. But it can be difficult to sort through the many thousands of products and builders available, many of which are making claims to be "green.” How can you be sure, as a green builder or as a homeowner, that the products and services you source are truly environmentally friendly?
 

Green construction companies who need to source environmentally friendly building materials for LEEDv4 projects look for attributes such as Environmental Product Declarations, Health Product Declarations and other third party verified certification.  These measures help contractors understand the life-cycle impacts of products, and provide the data they need to select healthy and responsible building products.

 

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is an assessment of the life cycle impacts of a product from raw material acquisition, through production, use, and end of life. There are varying degrees of EPDs and the latest version of the LEED rating system encourages third party certified EPDs, or more commonly known in the industry as Type III EPD. These EPDs have gone through rigorous evaluations by third party program operators, such as UL and CSA, who assure that the EPD clearly communicates the environmental performance of the product.

 
Health Product Declarations (HPD) act as a nutrition label for materials. This nutrition label LEED must disclose at a minimum of 1000ppm (0.001%)

Manufacturers of environmentally friendly building materials and products exercise these measures to reduce their environmental footprint, enhance building occupant health, and product differentiation in the marketplace.

 

There are manufacturers who take this process a step further and go for Cradle to Cradle certification; the most rigorous product certification process on the planet.

 

Connecting to the Green Building Community

 
Becoming a member of the Canada Green Building Council has many other advantages for professionals, environmentally conscious suppliers, and individuals committed to green building practices. The organization works to change industry standards, develop best design practices and guidelines, advocate for green buildings, and develop educational tools to support its members in implementing sustainable design and construction practices. It also provides members with access to exclusive market studies, research, and networking opportunities. Visit the CaGBC's website for further information about membership and the benefits of connecting with others in the green building community.
 
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