How Green Are Your Green Building Products?

March 6, 2009  /  commercial property management

If your green building project is going to be certified by LEED®, it’s especially important that the products you use in the project are really “green”. If reading the product descriptions won’t do it, what will? How do you make sure that the materials you use are the “real deal”?What to Look ForAny green building product or material can claim to be green, environmentally safe, non-toxic, etc, etc. However, saying it’s so doesn’t make it so, anymore than saying the sky is red will make it red.The easiest way to make sure your green building project is as environmentally safe and sound as you need it to be is to look for the labels. If you don’t see a label, talk to the manufacturer or check with the organization they claim has certified their products. Here are just three organizations involved in product and company certification:Certified Wood – The Forest Stewardship Council independently certifies the wood products originated from a well-managed and sustainable forest. Forest certification indicates that the wood products were made with best management practices, protecting the ecosystems of the forest, water quality and more.Electricity – Companies certified by Green e Power are truly energy efficient. These companies agree to a yearly audit, ensuring that at least 50% of their electrical supply comes from some sort of power other than traditional electricity. Sun, water, wind and geothermal are types of renewable power these companies must use.Sustainable Products – According to international law, any product that claims to be sustainable, environmentally preferable or has more than one environmental benefit must be back by Life Cycle Assessment, or LCA. LCA monitors the entire life cycle of a product to verify their environmental benefits.More certifying organizations can be found at Sustainable Products. Verifying the products and materials you use in your green building project will make LEED® certification that much easier.

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