5 Sustainable Building Materials Changing the Way We Build
Sustainable building materials contribute to healthier environments and a greener future.
Sustainable building materials are essential for greener buildings—and a healthier world. Construction and demolition waste makes up about 40% of the total solid waste stream in the U.S. and about 25% of the total waste stream in the European Union, according to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Sustainable building materials can help us reduce this large amount of waste and the negative effects of greenhouse gases.
One has to look at the big picture when considering the impact of a building—the building’s life cycle. The American Institute of Architects’ Guide to Building Life Cycle Assessment in Practice discusses how to evaluate the potential environmental impacts for every stage of a building’s life. One important factor in the building’s life cycle is selecting sustainable building materials. Architects need to consider how building materials are sourced, manufactured, transported, used, and discarded during construction. Every detail matters.