Office of Undergraduate Research

Material Sustainability

Primary objective is to map locations of material resources that relate to the construction, maintenance, and operation of buildings (residential and commercial), and develop a web accessible material selection tool for ecological decision making. Methods will involve library research, internet research, development of materials databases, mapping of locations and availability of resources, and the development of annotated bibliographies.

Tasks and responsibilities:

First, students will investigate existing systems for rating building materials. Systems will be graded based on the depth of their analysis and the breadth of issues that they address regarding the ecological impact of materials. Existing rating systems will be dissected and reconstituted in a new rating system. The new rating system will be parametrically compared to existing systems using a trial set of materials.Students will map material availabilities based on a Milwaukee-centric world view. Finally, materials will be footprinted to gauge their impact on the planet with respect to: potential area required for production, number of tons of green house gasses produced per unit of material, and quantity of remediation required for absorbing those GHGs.