This handbook offers guidance to the architect or planner wishing to make environmentally-conscious choices when selecting building materials. Arranged into two sections, new building and retro-fitting, the work clearly grades the options available. The grading is explained and a summary of the best choices for a particular aspect of construction is given. Subdivided by topic, the materials are categorized by four gradings - "best environmental choice" through "to be avoided". Behind the grading is extensive research into life cycle analysis of materials (durability, disposability, raw material consumption). The impact on the immediate environment is also taken into account, for example incidental benefits to wildlife, heat retaining or cooling properties.
David Anink, Chiel Boonstra, and John Mak are researchers and consultants of the company W/E consultants sustainable building, the Netherlands.