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Background of Green Building Materials

Contents of the Green Building Material
What is Green Building Material?

  The green building material is an ecological, healthy, recycled, or high-performance building material that is capable of efficiently minimizing impacts to earth environment and damage to human health during its entire life cycle (including resources exploitation, manufacturing, application, utilization, disposal and recycling). In addition, the green building material recognized in the “Design Technical Regulations for Green Building Materials” of the CPAMI includes the Green Mark verified by the EPA for Type I environmentally preferable products (recycled plastics and rubbers, heat insulation materials for buildings, water-based paints, recyclable bricks, recycled building materials), and the Green Building Material Label conferred by the Ministry of the Interior.

Categories of Green Building Materials

  The Green Building Material (GBM) system consists of four categories: Healthy, Ecological, Recycling, and High-Performance. The healthy GBM requires low emissions on HCHO and TVOC. The ecological GBM is typically made by natural materials without shortage concerns (such as bamboo, recycled wood, etc). The recycled GBM aims to recycle wastes and to reuse abandoned materials. As for high-performance, it refers to materials with noise prevention, high permeability, and energy saving.

Green building material classification map
 

Categories of Green Building Materials (GBM) explain:
1. Ecological GBM: Natural materials, low artificial treatment, etc.
  (1) Basic threshold: general requirements (including environmental protection, performance specifications, and safety standards) and prohibited substances.
  (2) Evaluation indicators: No scarcity concerns, low artificial treatment, etc.
  (3) Future extension: energy/resource saving, meeting the conditions of local industry, recyclability, durability, etc.
2. Low-emission healthy GBM: low health risk.
  (1) Basic threshold: general requirements (including environmental protection, performance specifications, and safety standards) and prohibited substances.
  (2) Evaluation indicators: HCHO and TVOC.
  (3) Future extension: positiveness, health promotion, etc.
3. High-performance GBM: high-performance, high-efficiency, etc.
  (1) Basic threshold: general requirements (including environmental protection, performance specifications, and safety standards) and prohibited substances.
  (2) Evaluation indicators: noise prevention, permeability, and energy saving.
  (3) Future extension: items of high-performance and high-efficiency.
4. Recycled GBM:
  (1) Basic threshold: general requirements (including environmental protection, performance specifications, and safety standards) and prohibited substances.
  (2) Evaluation indicators: Recycled components and origins, mixing proportion, etc.
  (3) Future extension: Better performance, higher percentage of recycled ingredients, etc.  

Background of the Green Building Material Label

  According to the statistics, the CO₂ emission of the building sector accounts for 28% of the total emission of Taiwan. And the fact that people stay indoors for about 90% of the time also raises issues related to impacts of building materials on indoor environment and human health. Therefore, in order to achieve a comfortable and healthy living environment, to eliminate the impacts caused by manufacturing building materials, and to drive the building material industry upgrade, the ABRI established the Green Building Material (GBM) Evaluation and Labeling System in 2004, following the Green Building Labeling System. It is also one of the major tasks of the “Green Building Promotion Program (2001-2007)” and the “Eco-City and Green Building Promotion Program (2008-2011).”

  Referring to international standards, testing methods, criteria, and experiences, and accommodating with local conditions of climate and industry, the GBM evaluation system and its detailed items and corresponding criteria have thus been established. The system was initiated in July, 2004, starting with healthy GBM and recycled GBM. In 2005, the evaluation items, methods, and criteria for high-performance and ecological green building materials were further devised and incorporated into the evaluation system.

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