By Guest Blogger Beth Bond, Southeast Green
The latest move towards “green” or “sustainable” building has lead to significant shifts in the construction and development arenas. However, as trends are moving quickly there is still a good deal of work to be done. One of the areas that is still lagging is discernment in understanding the contents of buidling products.
It’s not just simply about building a better building in regards to energy efficiency, construction techniques and integrating with the environment. It’s also about what chemicals are being used in the products to build that perfect green building. If you construct a better building but everything you use is toxic in the manufacturing of the product you are using, are you really any better off?
Beyond the political debate of foreign oil, the question remains do you want to be breathing in even a low VOC petroleum product? The answer for many would be no. Is there a product that can be use that isn’t petro-based? The answer is yes. Mineral products based on technologies created by the Etruscans are an obvious choice. Lime washes and plasters use good old mother nature to create not only an esthetically pleasing but also with almost no odor at all.
So when sourcing products to construct the ideal green home start with the materials being used. Those materials shouldn’t just be about “do I meet my LEED points?” They should also be how will these products effect the long term health of the people living, working or playing in the building.