What Makes This Material Green?
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This lecture will address the processes and tools used to determine the "greenness" of products and materials typically used in the construction process. We will begin with a brief......

This lecture will address the processes and tools used to determine the "greenness" of products and materials typically used in the construction process. We will begin with a brief discussion of Embodied Energy as a central factor in Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), one of the primary methods for judging a material\'s sustainability. We will then present some simple tools and techniques that allow for the practical application of these concepts to the materials selection process. Primary criteria for judging the "best in class" in specific product categories will also be discussed, as well as sources of supply. This lecture is intended as a general introduction to the green materials selection process.

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  • 1. The Green Roundtable and What Makes This Material “Green”? The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 2. Green Roundtable Consulting, education, training and strategic planning to create healthy environments by integrating principles of sustainability into mainstream planning, design and construction. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 3. Objectives Answer the following questions: - What is the imperative for ‘doing green’ - What makes a material green - What are some of the tools we can use to pick green materials - What other factors must be considered besides ‘greenness’ - Where are the suppliers The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 4. Why do green…. 4 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 5. Some sad realities…. Even if you don’t believe that the global warming threat is real, we are facing these certain realities: • Ozone depletion • Air & water pollution • Destruction of worlds forests & green spaces • Species & biodiversity loss • Acid rain • Collapse of world’s fisheries • Fresh water scarcity • Topsoil loss; Soil contamination 5 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 6. And if global warming is real… • Crop failure on a massive scale • Increases in drought frequency • Deadly heat waves • Rising sea levels/ coastal flooding • Increased frequency & duration of storm activity • Expansion of desert areas • Increases in disease vectors 6 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 7. On a more local or personal level… • Rapidly rising energy costs • Escalating prices on consumer goods • Blackouts/ brownouts • Water shortages • Supply chain interruptions • More frequent economic losses due to increased storm intensity & flooding 7 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 8. Some sobering facts… The United States produces 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Americans produce twice as much per person than other industrialized nations 8 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 9. Some sobering facts… Water tables are now falling in countries that contain over half the world’s people 9 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 10. Some sobering facts… There are currently 1,243 EPA Superfund sites on the National Priorities List and 60 more proposed (as of 3/20/07) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 11. Some sobering facts… The incidence of asthma has increased dramatically over the last 25 years in the U.S. and other industrialized nations. 11 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 12. Some sobering facts… The EPA estimates that indoor air can be up to five times as contaminated with VOCs as outside air. 12 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 13. Some sobering facts… The EPA also reports that the airborne contaminants found in our homes are three times more likely to cause cancer than the pollutants outside The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 14. Some sobering facts… Cancer clusters have been identified in some more-affluent communities and have been attributed to chemically-intensive landscape management practices 14 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 15. Some sobering facts… A 15-year study in Oregon concluded that women who work in the home have a 54% higher death rate from cancer than women who work outside the home The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 16. Some sobering facts… China recently caught up to the United States in terms of overall energy consumption. India isn’t far behind. The U.S. & Canada are still the per capita leaders by far 16 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 17. Some sobering facts… The U.S., with 5% of the worlds population, consumes more than a third of it’s resources and over a quarter of its energy resources. 17 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 18. Food for thought…. 18 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 19. 19 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 20. Perhaps the most sobering fact of all… It has been estimated that in order for the current population of the Earth to live at the same quality of life as the industrialized nations, it would require the resources of four ‘Earth equivalents’. 20 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 21. This we know… We live on a planet of finite natural resources We are currently using those resources at an unsustainable rate As a nation, the United States uses a disproportionate share of the world’s natural resources These conclusions are rooted in simple physics, chemistry, biology and economics 21 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 22. A solution: Green Building 22 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 23. Defining green building: The effective and responsible integration of the built environment into the natural world to protect natural resources and ensure healthy and comfortable indoor environments 23 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 24. Why build green? Building green: • Reduces the ecological footprint of the building • Creates a safer and healthier indoor environment • Saves on utility expenses • May improve property resale value • May increase affordability • Typically results in a more durable, maintenance- free building • Provides security/ passive survivability • Reduces our dependence on foreign oil The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 25. What makes it green? • Low embodied energy (entire lifecycle) • Minimizes impact on wildlife habitat, green space, waterways, etc • Minimizes depletion of natural resources • Poses minimal harm to humans during its manufacture, transport, installation, end-use or disposal The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 26. Underlying all: Scale Scale Scale The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 27. Consider this: The average size of a U.S. single-family house has increased by 33% since 1975. At the same time average family size has decreased. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 28. How green is it? • The “no-build” option is always the greenest way • Smaller is greener • More efficient material resources use is better • The more durable (in use) & maintenance free the better • The lower the operating energy, the better The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 29. The LEED Credit Categories Sustainable Sites Water Efficiency Energy & Atmosphere Materials & Resources Indoor Environmental Quality Innovation & Design Process The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 30. Life-cycle analysis & embodied energy • Life-cycle analysis is an examination of all of the energy & resources that go into a product and their associated impacts- environmental, economic, health, etc. • Embodied energy typically occupies central position in any LCA • For LCA to be effective, you need to try to identify all of the ‘upstream’ energy & resource inputs • This is often easier said than done! The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 31. Life-cycle stages to consider • Extraction & harvesting • Manufacture/ production • Storage/ Warehousing • Transportation • Assembly & Installation • End use (including maintenance) • Disassembly/ demolition • Transportation of waste • Waste processing/ disposal The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 32. What is embodied energy? The quantity of energy required to manufacture, and supply to the point of use including: • Extraction • Assembly • Transportation • Installation • Manufacturing • Some definitions also include: Disassembly & Removal The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 33. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 34. And don’t forget about embodied water! • The food we consume each day requires 2,000 quarts of water to produce • Two and a half billion gallons of water were used to replace the aluminum cans trashed in 2001 with new cans made from virgin materials. (http://www.bottlebill.org/about_bb/benefits/wa ste-alum.htm) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 35. A new paradigm: The Cradle-to-Cradle Lifecycle See McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry http://www.mbdc.com/c2c_home.htm The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 36. Cradle to Grave: Linear flow Materials extraction/ Mfg/ harvesting Processing End Use Disposal The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 37. Cradle to Cradle: Cyclical End Use Demolition/ Re-Manufacture/ Removal/ Re-Processing Collection The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 38. Choosing green materials 38 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 39. General methodology: • Define what makes a product green • Identify ‘best in class’ product characteristics • Don’t forget to factor in performance & durability characteristics • Verify green claims using 3rd party resources • Identify your most important selection criteria • Compare products side-by-side • Get additional guidance from suppliers 39 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 40. Points to remember • It may be difficult to determine the best-in-class for a product category • Determining most important criteria can be very subjective • Certain greenness criteria may be more important/ applicable to some product classes than to others • A product may be green on some attributes but not on others • Need to be wary of so-called “green” resources sponsored by manufacturer associations 40 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 41. Selection criteria: Materials • Efficiently uses energy & resources • Derived from rapidly renewable resources • Contains re-used/ salvaged material • Contains high recycled material content • Can be reused/ recycled at the end of it’s useful life • Can be down-cycled at the end of it’s useful life • Biodegradable • Locally sourced • Poses minimal harm in production, use, disposal • Economics & environmental justice also important! The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 42. Recycled Content Post-Consumer vs. Pre-Consumer aka Post-Industrial The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 43. The Precautionary Principle Precautionary Principle: "When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof." - Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998 (http://www.sehn.org/wing.html) 43 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 44. Some things we may want to write off: • Vinyl-based products • Products containing heavy metals like arsenic • Products containing halogenated fire-retardants • Products that emit excessive amounts of formaldehyde • Appliances that contain HCFC’s and do not meet the standards referenced by LEED The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 45. 3rd Party Resources for Judging Products • Online green product databases (e.g. GreenSpec) • Certification organizations (GreenSeal, FSC, etc.) • LCA software tools (BEES, PHAROS, etc.) • Manufacturer Material Safety Data Sheets • Other online databases like NIH hazardous materials database The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 46. Online resources • Environmental Building News/ Greenspec- http://www.buildinggreen.com) •http://www.austinenergy.com/Energy%20Efficiency/Progr ams/Green%20Building/Sourcebook/index.htm The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 47. Product Certification • GreenSeal (www.greenseal.org) • Scientific Certification Systems (www.scscertified.com) • GreenGuard (www.greenguard.org) • Green Label (http://www.carpet-rug.org/) (2nd party) • Forest Stewardship Council (http://www.fscus.org/) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 48. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 49. Green Seal Product Categories • Alternative Fueled Vehicles (GC-02) • Anti-Corrosive Paints (GC-03)** • Cleaning Services (GS-42) • Coated Printing Paper (GS-10) • Commercial Adhesives (GS-36) • Compact Fluorescent Lamps (GS-05)+ • Degreasers (GS-34) • Electric Chillers (GS-31) • Fleet Vehicle Maintenance (GC-10) • Food Service Packaging (GS-35) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 50. Green Seal Product Categories • Green Procurement Criteria (GS-38)*** • Green Facilities Operation and Maintenance Criteria (GS-39)*** • Household Cleaners (GS-08) • Industrial & Institutional Cleaners (GS-37)# • Industrial & Institutional Floor-Care Products (GS-40) • Industrial & Institutional Hand Cleaners (GS-41) • Lodging Properties (GS-33) • Newsprint (GS-15) • Occupancy Sensors (GC-12) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 51. Green Seal Product Categories • Paints (GS-11)** • Paper Products Used in the Preparation of Food (GC-08) • Paper Towels and Paper Napkins (GS-09) • Powdered Laundry Bleach (GC-11) • Printing and Writing Paper (GS-07) • Recycled Content Latex Paint Standard (GS-43) • Re-Refined Engine Oil (GS-03) • Reusable Utility Bags (GS- 16) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 52. Green Seal Product Categories • Tissue Paper (GS-01) • Windows (GS-13) • Window Films (GS-14) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 53. Software tools 53 The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 54. A sampling of software tools • BEES 4.0 (see next slide) • Pharos (http://www.healthybuilding.net; http://www.pharosproject.net/) • Sylvatica (http://www.sylvatica.com/tools.html) • LISA (http://www.lisa.au.com) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 55. http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/software/bees.html The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 56. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 57. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 58. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 59. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 60. PHAROS The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 61. Other tools/ methods • Check “SIRI” database for Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) at http://siri.uvm.edu/index.html • Check for known dangers/ toxicity at NIH Household Products Database (http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/index.htm) • Check NIH Toxnet Database (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/) • Contact manufacturer The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 62. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 63. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 64. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 65. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 66. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 67. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 68. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 69. Considerations for Choosing Best-in-Class (a brief sampling) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 70. What makes it green? (in review) The jumping off point for all product classes: • Low embodied energy (entire lifecycle) • Minimizes impact on wildlife habitat, green space, waterways, etc • Minimizes depletion of natural resources (rapidly renewable, recyclable, etc.) • Poses minimal harm to humans during its manufacture, transport, installation, end-use or disposal The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 71. Lumber • From sustainably managed forests • Sourced locally • Naturally decay-resistant • Easy to work with (milling, finishing, etc.) • Locally salvaged or salvaged from demo phase • Sawdust & natural volatiles non-toxic The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 72. Engineered lumber/ composites (sheet goods, plywood) • Contain recycled fibers or rapidly renewable fibers (FSC, GreanSeal, SCS, etc.) • Made w/ low-VOC, formaldehyde-free adhesives • Dimensionally stable, warp resistant • Accepts finish well • Good screw-holding characteristics • Moisture & mold resistant The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 73. Paints • Low or no VOC; low odor • Pose minimal occupational hazard during manufacture (meets ISO 14001, OSHA, etc) • Good coverage (minimal coats) • Durable- scrubbable • Easy touch-up (e.g. good color matching w/ old vs. new) • Do not pose a disposal hazard The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 74. Adhesives/ Sealants • Low or no VOC • UV resistant • Flexible (or not, depending upon application!) • Freeze-tolerant • Easy clean-up • Adequate ‘open time’ • Do not pose a disposal hazard The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 75. Carpeting and Flooring • Formaldehyde-free • Made from rapidly renewable or recycled materials • Durable- abrasion, impact & moisture resistant (hard flooring) • Stain resistant • Mold resistant (carpeting) • Simplified installation (e.g. doesn’t require adhesive) • Requires minimal maintenance (cleaning, refinishing) • Easy sectional replacement (e.g. carpet tiles) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 76. Exterior Decking • Made from rapidly renewable or recycled materials • Requires a minimum of maintenance (sealers, etc.) • UV & fade resistant • Stable- resistant to checking & warping • Naturally decay resistant • Recyclable (I.e. Trex vs. all-plastic) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 77. Insulation • Formaldehyde free (e.g. binders in fiberglass batts) • High recycled content (fiberglass, cellulose, denim) • HCFC-free blowing agents (foam board) • High thermal insulating characteristics! Good resistance to air infiltration (these may trump other factors if it can reduce embodied energy of structure enough) • Moisture/ mold resistant • Low flame-spread/ non-combustible The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 78. Kitchen counters • Made from rapidly renewable or recycled materials • Mechanically fastened • Durable- Abrasion, heat & stain resistant • Require minimal maintenance • Easily resurfaced • Minimal off-gassing from adhesives/ binders The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 79. Exterior Siding • Made from rapidly renewable or recycled materials • Weather resistant; UV resistant • Easy to install • Breathable • Requires fewer paint/ refinishing/ repointing cycles The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 80. Roofing • Made from rapidly renewable or recycled materials • High-reflectance (improves longevity, minimizes heat island effect, keeps building cooler in summer) • Wind & UV resistant; fire-resistant; impact resistant • Easy to repair • Low or no maintenance requirements The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 81. The product selection matrix: Detailed The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 82. Detailed Life-Cycle Impact Workheet- Interior Wall Paint AFM SafeCoat Comments PPG Pure Performance Comments Manufacturer AFM Enterprises Pittsburg Paints Where manufactured San Diego, CA Dover, DE Impact Criteria: Raw mat'l Main constituents Manufacturing outsourced vinyl acetate ethylene extraction resins Where raw mat'ls aquired Not determined Not determined Distance to mfgr plant (raw matls) Not determined Not determined Renewable feedstocks Not determined Not determined Recycled content Not determined Not determined Mfg. phase Plants ISO 14001 certified Not determined Yes OSHA-compliant plant Yes Yes Toxics/carcinogens in mfg Yes But less than conventional Yes But less than conventional EPA VOC Guidelines followed Yes Yes Aromatic solvents used in mfg No No Heavy metals used in mfg No No Water-based? Yes Yes % mfg waste reclaimed Not determined Not determined How mfg waste disposed Not determined Not determined Water conserv./recycling in mfg? Yes "No wastewater discharge" Recycled packaging No No Use phase Distance: mgfr to end-use ~3000 mi. < 500 mi. Life-expectancy Mfg: "Typical life exp." Durability "same as premium latex" Same as conventional Maintenance req'd.? Maint. procedure Maint. environmental impacts Zero VOCs in end-use? Yes Yes VOC content, base product Zero Zero Independently certified VOC free? No Yes Tints/Colorants VOC-free? Yes If AFM colorants used No < 2g/liter, max. Formaldehyde-free? Yes Yes Meets SCAQMD Reqs. Yes Yes Safe for chemically sensitive? Yes Not determined Enviro. precautions req'd. Yes Yes Air quality, disposal Nature of precautions Air quality, disposal "Use adeq. ventilation" Air quality, disposal "Disposal" Product recyclable? No No phase Ease of dismantling/recycling Low Low Take-back program available No No Recycling infrastructure in place No No Re-useable? No No Biodegradable? No No RCRA Hazardous material? No See MSDS No See MSDS Const. waste disposal General C&D waste "Let dry out" General C&D waste "use absorbant Packaging recyclable No No Packaging take-back No No General Environmental policy/commitment Yes Yes Green Seal certified No Yes Class "A" rating The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 83. The product selection matrix: Condensed The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 84. General Environmental Impact and Selection Criteria Wall Paint AFM Pittsburgh Safecoat Pure Criteria: GWP Moderate Moderate Fossil Fuel Depletion Moderate Moderate Transportation Energy Moderate Low Indoor Air Quality Low Low Disposal, left-overs Moderate Moderate Disposal, end-of-life Moderate Moderate Durability High High ISO 14001 Cert. No Yes Green Seal Cert. No Yes Environmental Commitment High High The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 85. General Environmental Impact and Selection Criteria Wall Insulation Owens-Corning National Fiber Miraflex Cel-Pak Criteria: GWP Very High Low Fossil Fuel Depletion Very High Low Transportation Energy Moderate Low Overall Embodied Energy Excessive! Low IAQ Low Low* Disposal, const. waste Low to Moderate Low Disposal, end-of-life Low to Moderate Low Rapidly Renewable No Yes Certified Recycled Content NA Yes Durability/ Longevity High High Thermal Performance Moderate High** ISO 14001 Cert. ND ND Green Guard Cert. Yes No Environmental Commitment High ND * Odor may be problem for some ** Due to higher R-value and resistance to air infiltration The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 86. Green Practice: General Considerations for Choosing & Using Materials (a sampling) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 87. Lumber • Use advanced framing to minimize lumber use; use efficient planning to minimize waste (also use layout software- Google layout & cut list software) • Use FSC certified lumber (Forest Stewardship Council; www.fsc.org) • Use salvaged lumber from specialty suppliers like Longleaf Lumber in Cambridge (617-871-6611) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 88. Lumber, cont. • Get FSC lumber from Sterritt Lumber in Watertown (617-923-1480) or Mass Woodlands Cooperative (413-397-8800; www.masswoodlands.coop) • Suppliers with stated commitment to sustainable forest management like Highland Hardwoods in Brentwood, NH (www.highlandhardwoods.com) • For a view of sustainable forestry practices, see Hancock Land Co. in Maine (www.hancockland.com) and Cowl’s Lumber in N. Amherst, MA (http://www.sawmilltimbers.com/html/sustainable.html) • Remember to use local sources whenever possible! The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 89. Lumber/ Lumber Finishing • Use lumber salvaged from demolition phase • Avoid use of tropical hardwoods • Use natural finishes like salad bowl oil (unscented), mineral oil, beeswax (waxes may contain petroleum distillates) • Use low-VOC clear finishes (e.g. water-soluble polyurethane) from companies like AFM Safecoat The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 90. Engineered lumber/ composites (sheet goods, plywood) • Use solid lumber whenever possible (except for structural use) • Choose formaldehyde-free varieties • Use exterior grades of plywood or MDF (medium- density fiberboard); they contain phenol-formaldehyde binders rather than formaldehyde-based resin binders, which are generally safer; favor plywood over OSB • Examples of formaldehyde-free MDF (fiberboard): Medite or Medex from Sierra Pine (sierrapine.com) or Extira (cmicompany.com) • Look for SCS (and FSC) certification The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 91. Paints • Use low or no VOC paints • Make sure paints are Green Seal or Scientific Certification Systems certified (www.greenseal.org; www.scscertified.com) • Brands: - Sherwin-Williams Harmony - Benjamin Moore Aura (& Ecospec) - Pittsburg Pure Performance - AFM Safecoat (www.afmsafecoat.com) - The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company (www.milkpaint.com) - Livos plant paints (http://www.floorings.com/livos.html) - Yolo Colorhouse (See bettencourtwood.com) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 92. Adhesives/ Sealants • Use low or no VOC varieties • Look for Green Seal or Scientific Certification Systems certified (www.greenseal.org; www.scscertified.com) • Water-soluble varieties generally safer The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 93. Carpeting and Flooring • Choose formaldehyde-free varieties • Look for Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label designation for carpets (http://www.carpet-rug.org/) • Choose natural fiber carpets & flooring from rapidly renewable resources: cork, bamboo, Lyptus (Weyerhaeuser.com) and Marmoleum (forbo.com) are some good options • Local suppliers of bamboo & cork: Longleaf Lumber, Lumber Liquidators • When using cork and bamboo flooring, make sure there are not issues related to binders, substrates & finishes The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 94. Carpeting and Flooring, cont. • See online sources of recycled & low-VOC flooring like http://www.greenfloors.com • Check resources like http://www.nps.gov/sustain/spop/carpet.htm and buildinggreen.com for info on sustainable flooring choices including natural fiber carpet manufacturers & low-VOC adhesives The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 95. Insulation • Look for formaldehyde-free fiberglass products- e.g. Johns Mansville (contained in some fiberglass batt binders) • Icynene spray foam one of more benign options • Newer soy-based foams may be good choice too (see www.biobased.net) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 96. Kitchen counters • Avoid laminated particleboard (e.g. Formica) unless on formaldehyde-free substrate & bonded with low- VOC contact adhesive • Examples of formaldehyde-free substrates: Wheatboard, Agriboard (see Bettencourtwood.com) • Favor solid surface & products that use mechanical fasteners and don’t require finishing • Natural stone & recycled glass might be good options • See Paperstone also (www.bettencourtwood.com) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 97. Exterior Decking • 100% plastic varieties may be best choice as they are generally more recyclable than composites (like Trex) • Pressure treated may be OK but it requires considerable care to keep it from weathering too quickly; For a more environmentally preferable option, borate treated lumber may be a better choice (than the ‘typical’ ACQ pressure-treated lumber) • If cedar or redwood is used, make sure it is not from old-growth forests (use Eastern White Cedar) • Ipe is a good choice if it is harvested from sustainably managed forests • “Raw” linseed oil may be good choice for finishing (“boiled” contains chemical driers) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 98. Exterior Siding • Look for durability & ease-of maintenance in addition to the ‘usual’ criteria • Ease of installation may affect cost (and your willingness!) to use product • There are several composite materials on the market now that make use of recycled wood fibers • If cedar is used, make sure it is not from old-growth forests (see Maibec Eastern White Cedar) • Masonry finishes generally provide the best longevity & require the least maintenance The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 99. Roofing • Use high-reflectance roofing to minimize urban heat islands and cooling loads • There are many products available that incorporate recycled materials, like faux slate shingles made from recycled rubber • Metal roofs (like standing seam) may be considered sustainable due to their durability, but they may have a relatively high embodied energy • Use of copper roofing/ roof drainage materials may pose an environmental hazard (to aquatic wildlife) The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 100. Some roofing options • Ecostar- www.ecostarinc.com • Authentic Roof- www.authentic-roof.com • Interlock- www.interlockroofing.com • Naturals- www.naturalsroofing.com • Natural slate a fairly sustainable option • Also, cedar shakes if from sustainable wood source & installed properly • Note: Some of these given high marks based on durability more so than recycled content The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 101. Additional guidelines for material efficiency • Employ advanced framing techniques in wood- framed structures • Use structure as finish • Keep it small! • Use re-used/ salvaged/ surplus materials whenever possible • Use locally harvested/ extracted materials whenever possible The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 102. Some Pitfalls in Spec’ing Green Materials • Uninformed & resistant code and municipal officials • Products that ‘go away’ • Sourcing materials in a developing market • “Greening” small-scale projects The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 103. Local sources of supply Alternative Energy Store www.altenergystore.com Boston Building Materials Coop www.bbmc.com Boston Materials Resource Center www.bostonbmrc.org Boston ReStore www.bostonrestore.org Green Depot www.greendepot.com The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 104. Local sources of supply, cont. Pure Home Center www.purehomecenter.com Green Source Supply and Design www.greensourcesupply.com NE Green Building www.NEgreen.com The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 105. General Resources GRT: www.greenroundtable.org Building Green: www.buildinggreen.com Energy Star: www.energystar.gov Charles River Watershed: www.crwa.org US Green Building Council: www.usgbc.org Renewable Energy: www.nrel.gov US DOE: www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/ EPA: www.epa.gov/ne/greenbuildings Residential Green Building Guide: A Web Source Book for New England www.epa.gov/ne/greenbuildings NAHB: Model Green Home Building Guidelines: www.nahb.org The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 106. And don’t forget about NEXUS! • Upcoming workshops • Reference library • Samples library • Cyber Lounge • Online resources at nexusboston.com (in the pipeline) • Local green building community The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 107. Local Resources The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)
  • 108. THANK YOU www.greenroundtable.org info@greenroundtable.org 617-374-3740 The Green Roundtable, Inc. (GRT) is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to mainstream green building and sustainable design and become obsolete. We work toward this goal by promoting and supporting healthy and environmentally integrated building projects through strategic outreach, education, policy advocacy and technical assistance. Located in downtown Boston, NEXUS welcomes all to come ask questions, research topics, and attend tours and www.nexusboston.com events on green building and sustainable 38 Chauncy Street, Boston design innovation. The Green Roundtable (copyright © Green Roundtable 2007)