M2: Do life cycle analyses of all major building materials to reduce their impact
The environmental impact of materials begins with raw material extraction and continues through production, distribution, installation, use, maintenance, and eventual reuse, recycling, or disposal. Considering the overall life cycle impact of materials facilitates choices that reduce greenhouse gases and toxic air emissions, water pollutants, and waste. Life cycle analysis programs are a helpful way to gauge the life cycle impact of materials, particularly in multifamily buildings.
- Evaluate materials with a life-cycle methodology (such as Athena or BEES assessment tools), focusing on those used in large quantities or with significant negative environmental impact
Publications and Links
Athena software for material assessment, Sustainable Materials Institute.
Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES) software for material assessment.
Demkin, J., Ed. American Institute of Architects. Environmental Resource Guide. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996.
See full list of recommended resources and links in our library.