12 August 2007

Pharos green building materials wiki

Over the past decade there has been an enormous amount of discussion and debate over what makes a building material “green.”

Manufacturers have created a plethora of new products, new marketing claims and a myriad of green rating systems, and with it the ubiquitous 'greenwashing'.

How does one decide between a product that has a high-recycled content and one that is made of virgin materials but claims to be non-toxic and healthy? And who do you trust in a field where most of the information and rating systems come from the industry selling the products?

The Pharos Project aims to put the control back in the hands of owners and the design and construction communities mapping a 360° view of green material attributes and putting those claims in context and testing them against verifiable data and user community consensus of ideal goals.

The centre of the project is their Pharos wiki and product directory. The product directory uses an assessment tool called the Pharon lens, above, to rate the environmental performance of each material. The wiki is an information source for all aspects of building materials.

The project has only been running for around 6 months, so it is still early days, but I see this being a fantastic tool.

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