Greening Your Siding

March/April 2006
A version of this article appears in the March/April 2006 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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March 02, 2006
        When the siding/cladding decisions emerge in a green residential building project, we are all reminded that green building is a work in progress, and that it has a considerable way to go. In the early 1990s, a tool called Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was developed originally for internal use by manufacturers considering options for product development. Most LCA studies today adhere to the principles laid out in a series of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) documents known as the 14040 Series within the broader ISO 14000 category on environmental management. LCA can be used to help decide whether a building material or system is truly green or sustainable.The idea is to look at its entire life cycle, from the mining or manufacture of the material to the end of its useful life, including such considerations as the transportation cost of moving the material from one place to another.The goal is to modify each phase of the life of a material or system so that it gradually gets closer and closer to the green or sustainable ideal.

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