Materials Library Online Resource

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Sustainable building materials ranging from sheep’s wool insulation to Scottish timber, and recycled plastics to breathable paints all feature in a new online resource for construction professionals, architects, builders and home owners.

Created through a partnership led by Architecture and Design Scotland, and supported by Scottish Forestry, Zero Waste Scotland, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and BRE, the Materials Library online resource will allow users across the country to compare and explore a wide range of building materials as well as accessing information about construction innovation, sustainable design and architecture, resource efficiency and low carbon building.

Sustainable resources at your fingertips

The digital resource complements the physical library managed by Architecture and Design Scotland at The Lighthouse, Glasgow, where visitors can get hands on with a range of sustainable and innovative building materials, consider how they affect climate change, as well as pick up case studies and further information. The new resource will support users across the country to access the resources of the library at their fingertips throughout Scotland.

The new digital resource allows the user to:

  • Browse, search and compare materials by type, origin and typical use
  • View case studies of the materials used in Scottish projects – everything from homes to visitor centres
  • Find events and training opportunities
  • Download publications and guidance on construction innovation, sustainable design and low carbon building.

Partnership delivery

Jim MacDonald, Chief Executive, Architecture and Design Scotland, said ‘The digital materials library is a powerful tool for finding out about sustainable materials and technologies wherever you are. Building on the success of our library at the Lighthouse, I am delighted that more people will be able to learn about building sustainably and benefit from the knowledge, experience and resources of key partners involved in sustainable design and architecture.’

Andy Leitch, Sectoral Economic Growth and Skills Development Advisor at the Scottish Forestry, said “The Materials Library is already a fantastic physical resource for construction students and professionals to learn about sustainable building products, the digital version means that this resource will be available to a much wider audience.”

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland said: “I’m pleased that Zero waste Scotland is part of the team behind this new digital resource, which will make important information extremely useful and accessible for those working in the design and construction industries. Construction is a key industry where increased knowledge and skills will help Scotland transition to a more circular economy. The easy availability of information, through resources such as the new digital library, is helping us take another step forward towards our circular economy ambitions.”

Building innovation

Rohan Bush, Business Relationship Manager, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said “Innovation in construction products and materials is part of Scotland’s heritage and critical to our future. The creation of the digital materials library means that emerging products and materials can now be showcased locally, and to the world. This excellent resource complements our recently opened Innovation Factory where Scottish businesses can prototype and test their products before going to market.”

Lori McElroy, Director – Building Energy Performance and Research at BRE, said “BRE is pleased to support the development of this digital version of the Materials Library and hope that it remains a valued asset within the design and development community. As we place increasing demands on our built assets, knowledge of materials and the role they play in operational performance, health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated. The development of the Materials Library is also complementary to BRE’s Innovation Parks Network where the use of traditional and innovative materials present full-scale solutions for the future built environment. The collaborative approach to the development of the Materials Library provides real opportunities for success and BRE is delighted to be part of the team.”


The Materials Library is available at

You can also visit on level 2, The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU.


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