Sustainable Materials Management

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What is It?

Materials selection and management involves exploring ways to reuse existing and salvaged materials, and investigating the overall sustainability, embodied energy and lifetime impact of new materials. Materials selection and management can include:

Prioritizing these three types of materials can greatly impact the overall health, safety and well-being of both the Earth and the individual.

  • Also known as: Sustainable building. sustainable building materials, green building,

Why is it Important?

Sustainable building materials are important because they:

  • Directly connect the building and it's occupants to the earth's natural resources (e.g. wood, gypsum, etc.)
  • Demonstrate an "appropriate" use of materials. Use of new materials can be selected only after used and salvaged material use has been considered.
  • Can include renewable, sustainable and low embodied energy choices.
  • Can result in healthier indoor environments when installed properly.

Green Garage Use of Materials

Sustainability Goals

The sustainability goals for Materials are:

  • Reuse 90% of all non-toxic deconstructed materials from the existing building on site.
  • Find off site reuse for 90% of the remaining 10% of non toxic deconstructed materials .
  • Return <1% of all materials to land fills

Strategy and Conceptual Design

Management Process

Stay calm. Planning is extremely advantageous to the material management process. It could make the difference of having to fill dumpsters or having little to no waste. Planning the reutilization of materials within a site can defer carbon emissions and embodied energy for the project. Picking the correct materials for the space can lower energy consumption and increase the lifespan of your space. With so many reasons, planning is one of the most important aspects regarding material. It can be the most rewarding gathering many different minds together and planning. Sustainable ideas create sustainable lives.

  • Building Materials Reuse - On Site
    • Collaborate with people of various backgrounds and professions. Answer Why???
    • Identify the fifteen most abundant materials within the space.
    • Verify if any are materials that are toxic or unsafe for reuse.
    • Avoid removing materials by exploring alternatives to the original use.
    • Quantify the materials as accurately as possible.
    • Find space for deconstruction materials.
    • Have reconstruction plan in place and keep materials separated appropriately.

  • Building Materials Reuse - From Off Site
    • Identify needs to local community to encourage opportunity of locally deconstructed materials to be available without need for additional transportation.
    • Identify local suppliers of Used/Salvaged materials. This supports local community and economy.

  • Building Materials - New
    • Look for materials with high recycled content.
    • Choose manufacturers who adhere to green manufacturing processes.
    • Find products manufactured locally.
    • Evaluate maintenance and life cycle of new products. Look for products with low maintenance, long life expectancy.

Proposed Materials / Suppliers

Development Story

The Sustainable Materials Management - Development Story has images that document the Green Garage's processes involving materials.

Related Internal Links


To Do's

  • add links for (new) suppliers being considered
  • check additional information links
  • rename page to 'Sustainable Building Materials'
  • In Sustainability Goals, can include goal about use of new materials (Peggy)
  • Look for bolded question.

Peggy edited this page :)