Sustainability & Health

Sustainability Resources
The links in this article lead to great educational resources that help to promote a sustainable future for the built environment.
Energy and Thermal Performance Tools
Energy and thermal performance software is a critical component in an architect's toolbox. This list contains free and paid software and web tools.
Energy Use Intensity (EUI)
Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is a way of comparing the energy use of different buildings. Essentially, EUI is energy use per square foot of space. This article talks about EUI, how to calculate it, and some ideas on how to reduce it.
Site vs. Source Energy
The difference between site energy and source energy is important to understand when considering energy use for buildings.
Our guide to Building Commissioning covers all of the basics you need to know as an architect, engineer, or building owner.
Refrigerants Used in Buildings and HVAC Equipment
An overview of the various refrigerants used in buildings and the effects they have on the environment.
Green Building Certification and Rating Systems
There are a number of green building certification programs and rating systems. Some focus on energy reduction, some focus on occupant health, and others try to cover it all. We review the various rating systems for sustainability, resiliency, and health.
Sustainable products are identified by various certifications. The certifications can be first-part or third-party verified. Certifications follow many standards. Learn how to understand the different product certifications.
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are like nutrition labels on a food product, but geared toward environmental and sustainable attributes. EPDs include the product’s life cycle assessment, from the raw material extraction to its disposal, so we can measure a product’s environmental impact.
Health Product Declarations
Health Product Declarations (HPDs) help owners, architects, and contractors understand what ingredients are in the materials and products that make up our buildings. While they don't declare whether a product is healthy, they provide the transparency for people to evaluate the health safety of our built environment.
Building Material Red Lists: A Comparative Review
A review of the three major red lists used to help architects and users identify safe building materials: the Living Building Challenge Red List, The Perkins & Will Precautionary List, and the Cradle to Cradle material certification.
Help make Archtoolbox better for everyone. If you found an error or out of date information in this article (even if it is just a minor typo), please let us know.