We all know that green is the new black these days. There are followers who don it like the latest fashion—the trendy cause du jour for the earnest adopters. But for those who understand it's an environmental imperative and not just a cultural superlative, it's hard to parse the hemp from the hype. So for our annual Architects' Choice issue, we decided to focus the field of selections on the proliferating category of sustainable building products. We consulted the experts—architects on the front lines of green specifications—to find out what really works in both design and practice. We expected to see lots of gee-whiz gadgetry, and we weren't disappointed. You'll find recommendations for geothermal air conditioners, solar collection systems, and a wind turbine here and there. But the quiet refrain throughout our interviews was the chant of the locally sourced, sustainably culled natural material. Think global, shop local, and top it all off with a lovely green roof—these constituted many of our architects' choices.

Let us know what you discover in your journey to help center the Earth. And we'll share your expert choices with everyone.