Designers, builders, and product manufacturers will appreciate this easy-to-use program for selecting cost-effective, environmentally preferable building products. Developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Building and Fire Research Laboratory with support from the U.S. EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program, BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) is based on standards agreed to by the EPA, industry associations, and public-interest groups.

Twelve environmental impacts are now included in each product's environmental performance score: global warming, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion, indoor air quality, habitat alteration, ozone depletion, water intake, criteria air pollutants, smog, ecological toxicity, and human health.

Version 3.0 includes more than 200 building products, including 80 brand-specific products from participating manufacturers. Other improvements include updated life-cycle assessment information and updated data from the U.S. EPA.

Download the software for free. Registration is required. A CD ROM and print manual can be ordered through the EPA’s Pollution Prevention Information Clearinghouse; call 202-566-0799 or e-mail a request to: ppic@epa.gov.