Building | Resources
An excellent introduction to green building concepts and materials, compiled by the City of Santa Monica, California. This site is written for commercial buildings, but homeowners can get ideas, too.
A complete resource for green building, including product listings, bookstore, classified ads, and an extensive library of informative articles. Product searches are organized for professionals, but easy to use for homeowners. Product catagories include doors, and windows, sitework, concrete, masonry, metals, thermal-moisture, specialties, equipment, mechanical, electrical, and special construction.
"A voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Members of the U.S. Green Building Council representing all segments of the building industry developed LEED and continue to contribute to its evolution." The LEED program is more for professionals than consumers, but I've included it here because they are developing standards for certifying individual homes, and you may hear about "LEED standards." Here you can find out more about what they are.
This site is dedicated to making it easier for consumers to choose green building and remodeling products. Click on "product dirctory" and you'll find essays on choosing green products and lists of links to the most popular green products of that type. The site is targeted for Northern California resources, but is worth visiting regardless of where you live.
Database of pvc-free construction products.
A sustainable building materials database and design tool for the environmentally and socially responsible designer, builder and client. Has useful databases of products and green building resources, plus information on sustainable design and case studies. Has a sustainability review section for each product.
A project of the Southface Energy Institute in Atlanta, Earthcraft House is "a green building program that serves as a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment." While not available online, they do have extensive planning documents that can serve to give you ideas for your own green building project.
Cool roofs reflect and emit heat back to the atmosphere, thereby reducing energy costs, and increasing roof longevity and occupant comfort. By reducing enery use, cool roofs reduct the carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming. In addition, cool roofs help mitigate Urban Heat Island Effect and reduce smog formation. This website rates various roofing products for their "solar reflectance" (the fraction of solar energy that is reflected by the roof) and "thermal emittance" (the relative ability of the roof surface to radiate absorbed heat) and guides you through choosing the cool roof that is right for your home.
Free, easy-to-use downloadable guides to various aspects of green remodeling, including Remodel Overview, Bath & Laundry, Kitchen, Painting, Landscape Materials, Roofing, Hiring a Pro, and Salvage & Reuse. These books are simple, user-friendly, and full of photos. Designed for homeowners.
Though this website is oriented to the needs of the San Francisco Bay Area, it contians much general information on green building that is useful anywhere. Their free downloadable Green Building Guidelines are an excellent place to start if you are designing new construction or a remodel, and the AccessGreen Directory is full of green building products.