Looking to score some LEED points? Site about eco-design materials offers plenty of ideas

I saw a billboard in Newark, N.J., today for green paint.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

I saw a billboard in Newark, N.J., today for green paint. I honestly can't remember the name of the brand right now (must not have been a great ad, eh?) but it reminded me of a conversation I had several months back with Matt Grigsby, one of the principals for a Web site called Ecolect.net.

The site pitches itself as the "largest, freely accessible libraries" of information about sustainable materials in the world. What this means, simply, is that if you're trying to design something in a more environmentally conscious manner, you can consult this Web site for ideas. Grigsby started it after he discovered it was difficult to find interior design materials that were aesthetically pleasing AND sustainable. He decided to share the research he was collecting, and Ecolect was born. Materials are evaluated on the basis of what goes into making them and how far it has to travel in order to get to the place where it's being used. The reviewers are also concerned with things that will help builders earn points under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification system. For grins, here's a whole slew of LEED case study information.

Actually, this one called SmilePlastics IS kind of techie: It's a type of building material for tabletops, as an example, that is made out of the covers of recycled phones. There's a ton of interesting information here for anyone thinking about a renovation project: from tiles to flooring and deck materials and, yes, even green paint. (Not just in pigament.)

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