Construction and buildings are huge consumers of resources, especially wood. Traditional building practices propel the logging of forests at an unsustainable rate. This trend can be reversed by using alternative building materials and construction practices.
Green building methods include using non-wood materials, such as adobe, rammed earth or straw bale for whole building systems, or using bio-based materials, such as cork, bamboo or compressed straw for interior finishes. When wood can not be substituted, reclaimed, recycled, or sustainably harvested wood should be used. In addition to choosing the right materials, careful planning can optimize wood used and minimize the amount of wood cut off as waste.
The federal government alone operates half a million
buildings. It is important that these government buildings be constructed
in sustainable ways, including ways to reduce wood use. By doing so, the
government conserves resources and sets an example to the private sector.
The Government Purchasing Project is a project of the Center for Responsive Law.