Where to find 'green' building materials

It can be difficult to figure out which building products are 'green' and what makes them so, and then to find out where to buy them. Here are some of the best directories from people who have compiled this valuable information.

The newsletter "Environmental Building News" defines green building materials this way:

  1. Products made from environmentally attractive materials.
  2. Product that are green because of what isn't there.
  3. Products that reduce environmental impacts during construction, renovation, or demolition.
  4. Products that reduce environmental impacts of building operation.
  5. Products that contribute to a safe, healthy indoor environment.


Resources that can assist with material selections:

Building Green Guide: Sustainable Product Choices, By: Sherrie Gruder
"This guide is designed to inform homeowners and building professionals about sustainable or “green”
building materials. It is a tool to help you identify and find green building products that are
healthy for your family and mindful of the environment. "
Click here.


The Alternative Building Sourcebook: Traditional, Natural and Sustainable Building Products and Services, Editor: Steve Chappell
Unique among green building guides in its exclusive focus on natural building methods, such as strawbale, clay infill, cob, thatch, and timber framing. Useful information on associated products, services, and tools is also provided.


Architectural Resource Guide, Editor: David Kibbey
A green building products directory in CSI format with about 900 listings, weighted towards the Northern California region. Available either on CD-ROM or in paperback.

Order from:
Northern California ADPSR
1618 Parker Street
Berkeley, CA 94703


GreenSpec at
GreenSpec is available to subscribers of, a suite of tools including GreenSpace product descriptions, Environmental Building News articles, project case studies, and more.

Order a subscription from