What Criteria Make a Building Product Green? By Raymond Frobosilo Jr. About the author: Raymond Frobosilo Jr. is Vice President of Operations for Super Stud Building Products, an Edison, New Jersey, manufacturer of metal building products. The company’s framing products, which are manufactured from cold-formed steel, can contribute substantially in meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification requirements. LEED is an internationally recognized, third-party verification program for green buildings. Concern for the environment, sustainability, recycling, and reducing waste have become increasingly important to consumers and businesses in recent years. The construction industry is no exception, with green building projects on the rise. In looking at these projects and the countless materials that go into them, you may wonder, “What criteria make a building product green?” Global Green USA’s Green Building Resource Center provides five important guidelines in identifying whether a building product or material is green: Does it save energy? Windows and insulation, which reduce heating and cooling needs, and Energy Star-rated appliances fall within this category. Does it conserve water? Dual flush toilets and devices installed under the sink to restrict water flow are good examples that exceed legal conservation requirements. Does it contribute to a safe, healthy environment? Products such as carpets, paints, adhesives, and sealants should not release significant levels of indoor pollutants. Does it protect natural resources? Recycled products and those made from renewable, salvaged, or sustainable materials receive high marks. Finally, does it reduce the building's’ footprint within a community? Products that minimize storm water runoff, do not require pesticide treatments, and contain no harmful chemicals will cause a building to have less environmental impact within a community.
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