Material Considerations: A Library of Sustainable Building Materials

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Material Considerations: A Library of Sustainable Building Materials is open to the public and based at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. You also search the resource online at


The purpose of the Library is to showcase sustainable, traditional and emerging low carbon building products in general and to promote and encourage innovation in construction in Scotland using indigenous resources. Supported by the Forestry Commission and the Scottish Government, it gives architects, builders, students and the public an opportunity to get hands on with a wide range of building materials – from slate through to sheep’s wool – available in Scotland, while learning more about each material’s sustainability credentials.


The Materials Library offers visitors the opportunity to experience real samples of natural building materials and products at a variety of scales – from small samples to full-scale mock-ups. There is an emphasis on ‘bio-regionalism’, with sourcing based on indigenous products and traditional materials, re-envisaged for the 21st Century.

Materials are sorted into eight different categories, colour coded in order to assist navigation. Each sample own unique code defining the material, state (raw, processed etc), item number, origin, the type of sample we have (physical, case study etc) and possible uses of the material within a building or development.


A number of case studies are on show highlighting excellent examples of sustainable buildings projects. Additionally, you can have a play on MySust.House – a series of exciting interactive games exploring what sustainability means and how it relates to our homes and communities


The library supports Architecture and Design Scotland’s promotion of innovation in construction in Scotland and the Scottish Government’s commitments to the development of a low carbon economy.

This free library is now open to the public Monday – Saturday 10:30-17:00 and no appointment is necessary. You can find it at Level 2, The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU.

Image Credits: Alan Dimmick

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