This is an intensive two day workshop explaining the benefits and limitations of green building materials. This course will examine green materials choices for nearly all aspects of the home including: roofing, cabinets and flooring, siding, wall coverings, wall systems, framing, plumbing and more. Environmental impact, life cycle assessment, and indoor air quality ramifications will all be discussed for the various building materials. This course will help both amateurs and professionals to make best-possible environmental choices when designing and building a home.

Course start time: Saturday, 9am
Course end time: Sunday, 5pm

  • Competency Level: All Levels
  • AIA credits: 14 -- Qualifies for HSW and SD requirements.

Course Objectives

Students will develop a framework to assess materials selection using sustainability criteria. Students will explore the question: "what makes something green", and will be exposed to the latest innovations in green building materials choices.

Recommended Readings

Building Green Journal

Green Spec Guide - New Society Publisher

Tools/Materials to Bring

  • Pen
  • paper
  • Open mind.

Class Schedule

This class will run 9am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Course Outline

Life-cycle Assessment

  • Life-cycle impacts
  • Embodied vs. Operating Energy

LEED and Materials Selection

Salvaged, Recycled, and Rapidly Renewable Materials

For each area of construction in a home we will examine conventional materials choices and green alternatives. Areas to be covered include:

  • Concrete
  • Flooring
  • Sheathing
  • Roofing
  • Cabinets and Counters
  • Appliances
  • Toilets and Faucets
  • Plumbing
  • Windows and Doors
  • Insulation
  • Landscaping Choices
  • Wood and Steel framing
  • Lighting
  • Paints and wall coverings
  • And more

Areas for discussion will include impacts on indoor air quality, climate change, social equity, toxicity, and air and water effects.

Course will be interactive, allowing time for discussions on possible trade-offs, and understanding environmental impacts.

Instructor: Rodney Wilts