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Parameters around selection of the elements of the building

Our approach to building material selection has been to start from basics and not trust anyone. This is not to say we are not guided by others’ knowledge and experience but in doing our research we have found that statements are often misleading and sometimes wrong.

There are many documents and approaches to sustainable material selection around (and we have listed the more useful ones in the resources section of this site) but we have found that everything comes down to context. We feel our selection is correct for this building on this site and will not necessarily be appropriate everywhere. Hence the approach is more important than the specific outcome.

Our criteria in making decision have been the following:

  • Make sure materials are not toxic & are free of LBC Red List materials
  • Locally source as many skills & materials as possible
  • Track materials from source to manufacturer to site, and ensure the best possible outcome
  • Use recycled materials wherever possible and applicable
  • If new materials are to be used ensure they are sustainably and ethically produced
  • Seek reputable third party certification
  • Use materials that require minimal protection and maintenance
  • Design to use as few materials as possible
  • Order accurately and work with materials to minimize waste
  • Select durable materials and incorporate them in a way that allows them to be recycled or reused later
  • Document process and outcomes


The specific sections in this part of the site set out our decisions and the journey we went through to make our selections.

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