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How Bad for the Planet Are Your Building Materials?

The infographic highlights the high impact of manufacturing metals like steel and aluminum.

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Green architecture is all the rage. But do you know exactly how much the specification of different building materials affects the environment?

Created by the Materials Council, the “In the Scale of Carbon” infographic shows visual representations of materials according to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO²) that is produced during their manufacture. Each square illustrates the volume of material that can be produced for one tonne of CO² emissions, relative to other materials commonly used for architectural constructions.

The infographic highlights the high impact of manufacturing metals like steel and aluminum, while illuminating less impactful raw materials such as clay, sandstone and wood. Clay and softwood come out on top in the “green” stakes: it’s possible to produce 9.8 cubic meters of those materials per one tonne of CO², while just 0.02 cubic meters of stainless steel can be made for the equivalent emissions.

To find greener materials for your next project, begin researching manufacturers of sustainable building-products using our newly improved Manufacturer Search tool. For a frank take on the state of sustainable design, check out “Sense and Sustainability: Taking Back Ownership of Architecture’s Biggest Buzzword.”

Search for sustainable building-products through Architizer’s new community marketplace for building-products. Click here to sign up now. Are you a manufacturer looking to connect with architects? Click here.