There are several deciding factors that each builder uses when sourcing materials and products for use in the homes they build. Traditionally, these have been elements such as price, suitability, quality, and availability. The order of importance in ranking these elements is somewhat decided by us individually, influenced by external forces such as budget and client expectations.
With our sustainable construction goals, we can add additional criteria to the list above, and simply rank products as they best fit. This is the beginning of life-cycle analysis, which we discuss in more detail in a later article – for now, however, we are just interested in outlining the basic criteria we can quickly use
to determine suitable products to use. There are three main elements of consideration noted in national certification programs such as LEEDÒ for HomesÔ or the NAHB Green Building ProgramÔ. Products that feature one or more of these elements are considered ‘Environmentally Preferred Products’.