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Resources and References

PowerPoint Presentation on the Development of the Minnesota Building Materials Database. Download MBMD_Presentation.pdf (3.2 MB).

Information from many of the following sources and websites, along with original research, was used to compile the tables and documentation for the Minnesota Building Materials Database. The most current versions were used wherever possible, but these sites are constantly updated and the information may change over time. MBDB is not responsible for updating to reflect those changes. Before relying on any of the information for specific projects, verify with product manufacturers where test results of specific property information is necessary.

Abbreviations (see below for expanded information on resource sites)

AGB Austin Green Builder Program
CIWMB California Integrated Waste Management Board
EBN Environmental Building News
GG GreenGuard certification program
GS GreenSeal certification program
HBN Healthy Building Net
SDRG Sustainable Design Resource Guide

The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute (ATHENA): www.athenasmi.ca/smi_info/about/athena_smi.htm
is a Canadian-based, non-for-profit organization specializing in Life Cycle Assessment tool and Life Cycle Inventory database development for the building construction materials industry.

Austin Green Builder Program (AGB): www.greenbuilder.com/sourcebook/contents.html
Creators of the Sustainable Building Sourcebook, this governmental program begun in the early '90's established criteria for green building in Austin, Texas and was developed to complement the efforts of the Green Builder Program to foster the implementation of environmentally responsible practices in homebuilding. Materials included are primarily useful for residential and light commercial building.

Building for Environmental and Energy Sustainability (BEES): www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/software/bees.html
A tool for selecting cost-effective, environmentally-preferable building products. Developed by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Building and Fire Research Laboratory with support from the U.S. EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program. Contains generic and proprietary products.

California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) Recycled Content Building Materials Matrix: www.ciwmb.ca.gov/GreenBuilding/Materials/Matrix.htm
A matrix that provides information on green construction materials from several California building projects that placed an emphasis on achieving environmental benefits. The matrix provides an overview of recycled content levels of products, their availability, and environmental attributes.

Environmental Building News (EBN): www.buildinggreen.com
BuildingGreen is the publisher of Environmental Building News and has developed a comprehensive set of tools, The BuildingGreen Suite, which brings together three information resources into one powerful tool. Articles, reviews, and news from Environmental Building News (EBN) are integrated with product listings from the GreenSpec products directory and project case studies from the High-Performance Buildings Database.

EPA Recycled Content Guidelines www.epa.gov/cpg/products.htm


Product Total Recovered Materials Notes
Insulation, rock wool 75% From mineral slag
Insulation, fiberglass 20% From waste glass cullet (consumer containers)
Insulation, cellulose 75% From newsprint
Insulation, plastic fiber batt 100% From PET soda bottles
Carpet, polyester face fiber 25% From PET soda bottles
Concrete, fly ash 15% Coal ash as a proportion of cement in mix
Concrete, ground slag 25% Furnace slag as a proportion of cement in mix
Latex paint, reprocessed 20-100% Consolidated or reprocessed. Colors limited.
Gypsum board 10% Recycled gypsum and face paper
Rubber or plastic patio block 90% Tire rubber and waste plastic
Structural fiber board 100% Wood, paper, or agricultural waste fiber
Laminated paper board 100% Post-consumer paper
Shower or restroom dividers, steel 20%
Shower or restroom dividers, plastic 20-100% Post-consumer plastic
Hydraulic landscape mulch 100% Wood fiber and paper waste
Compost 100% Leaves, grass, clippings (yard waste only)

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): www.fscus.org
A third-party certification organization established to promote sustainable growth and harvesting practices throughout the world's forests. A companion group, the Certified Wood and Paper Association (CWPA) www.cwpa.info has information related to obtaining LEED credits using certified wood products.

GREENGUARD™ www.greenguard.org/default.asp
Provides the world's only guide to certified low emitting interior products and building materials. An independent, indoor air quality laboratory has tested these products and materials according to stringent environmental chamber testing protocols and they meet current indoor air quality standards.

GREENSEAL™ www.greenseal.org/standards.htm
The Green Seal is awarded to products that have less impact on the environment and work well. A product must meet the Green Seal environmental standard for the category as demonstrated by rigorous evaluation and testing and a plant visit. Green Seal standards are set so that they identify the most environmentally preferable products currently available.

Healthy Building Network (HBN): www.healthybuilding.net
A national network of green building professionals, environmental and health activists, socially responsible investment advocates and others who are interested in promoting healthier building materials as a means of improving public health and preserving the global environment.

Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (MOEA): www.moea.state.mn.us/greenbuilding/products.cfm
Has an extensive website devoted to Green Building strategies, guidelines, programs, waste management, and environmentally preferable products and materials. MOEA was the original sponsor of the Minnesota Building Materials Database (MBMD.)

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): www.nahb.org/reference_list.aspx?sectionID=235
Have been progressive in developing alternative systems for home and light commercial building that minimize material use without sacrificing structural integrity. They have developed "frost-free" foundation alternatives and resource-efficient framing methods that are available in with drawings and specifications.

Sustainable Design Resource Guide (SDRG): www.aiacolorado.org/SDRG/home.htm,
3rd Edition, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Denver Chapter, and Committee on the Environment (COTE), Colorado Chapter Architects, Designers, and Planners for Social Responsibility A list of products, materials, and resources to assist Colorado and regional designers select appropriate materials that enhance local manufacture, resource efficiency, indoor air quality, recycled content, and other specific sustainable characteristics.

United States Green Building Council (USGBC): www.usgbc.org
Developers of the LEED Rating System (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design www.usgbc.org/LEED/LEED_main.asp ) A voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings.