Writers Alex Wilson and Mark Piepkorn have put together the most accessible, up-to-date residential green building guide on the market. Green Building Products, The GreenSpec Guide to Residential Building Materials offers green product options that run the entire construction gamut—from erosion control blankets to low-solvent waterproofing for foundations to reclaimed framing timbers and soy-based insulation. “We've put our criteria for selecting the products in the front of the book,” says author Alex Wilson, president of BuildingGreen, a publisher in Brattleboro, Vermont. “We try to be very public with why we choose the ones we do. And we solicit input such as how they work and whether there are some we missed.”

Some products have “green” value because they protect the health of workers. For example, low-VOC concrete form release allows forms to be removed cleanly and non-toxically from foundations. “A product like that means healthier employees,” he explains. “They don't go home with a headache, and they come back to work the next day.”

What are the most promising new products? “Porous paving products have come a long way,” says Wilson. “Recycled rubber ‘slate' roofing is gaining popularity, and there's a new, pressure-treated wood product called TimberSIL (www.timbersil.com). It's made with sodium silicate, which is not a pesticide like other preservatives and could replace pesticide-treated wood entirely in a few years.”

Order Green Building Products for $34.95 at www.BuildingGreen.com/ecommerce/gbp.cfm.