Seven Shades of Green

by Matthew Bushey, July 30, 2009

On July 30, 2009Building on our continuous exploration of architectural and interior materials, we recently compiled a checklist of the pros and cons of the most popular green building materials and products that are on the market today. These were presented at a talk I gave at the Residential Design and Construction conference in Boston, for a presentation to homeowners on ‘How to Green Your Home’.It seems everyone is claiming they’re ‘green’ these days, and homeowners are overloaded with information on green products and materials for the home. It’s often hard to make a simple comparison between products, and it’s unclear which one is the ‘greener’ option.

Anyone can spend days on the internet and uncover reams of information, but what we wanted was a concise checklist that clearly presented the green attributes of various materials so you could quickly compare your options and choose the greenest product that made sense for you.

There are seven pages, each on a specific topic:

  • Structural Systems
  • Roofing
  • Thermal Insulation
  • Renewable Energy
  • Lighting
  • Flooring
  • and Countertops
Some of the products are included for comparison purposes, like the incandescent light bulb and stone countertops, but most of the materials and methods described here are being marketed as eco-friendly “green” products. However, it’s not always as simple as you are led to believe. There are a number of environmental factors, pros and cons, that you have to weigh, from the manufacture, the use and maintenance, and eventual reuse and disposal.

You can download the checklists, Residential Green Building in the Northeast, as a PDF file from theInteriors Studio: Resources page of the TruexCullins website.

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