Chemistry in Context: Materials Science in Building and Construction

Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) professionals are asked to make informed materials decisions on an almost-daily basis – decisions which call for a foundational understanding of how those materials are made and their potential impact on the building’s health, sustainability and resiliency. This course will help architects, engineers, designers, and contractors navigate the complexity of materials selection by providing an overview of the role of chemistry in enhancing the product and building performance. The course will provide a review of key methodologies for measuring benefits and relevant information to help inform product selection. Further, it will provide a primer on how chemicals are regulated in the marketplace.

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LEED Pilot Credit: Integrative Analysis of Building Materials

In the materials selection process, builders seek to balance numerous product performance attributes, including durability, aesthetics and health, safety and environmental impacts. Transparency and life cycle thinking are central components of a robust materials selection process, one that enables builders to choose the most appropriate materials for their project.

The U.S. Green Building Council now offers an innovative LEED pilot credit, Integrative Analysis of Building Materials, to encourage building project teams to evaluate products and materials using available life cycle information to identify those that have positive environmental, health and safety impacts. The credit informs project team decisions by providing access to information shared by building materials manufacturers on their product’s life cycle impacts.

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