How do you select environmentally preferable products? Is a product environmentally preferable if it has recycled content? Is it not preferable if it offgasses during use? Are mainstream products always less preferable than products marketed and perceived as "environmentally friendly"? Do environmentally preferable products always cost more? The BEES software says, "not necessarily." BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability) provides a powerful technique for selecting cost-effective, "green" building products. Developed by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Building and Fire Research Laboratory with support from the US EPA Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program and the White House-sponsored Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), the tool is based on consensus standards and is designed to be practical, flexible and transparent. Version 2.0 of the Windows-based decision support software, aimed at designers, builders and product manufacturers, is now available for downloading at no charge (www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/bees.html
). This new version includes actual environmental and economic performance data for over 65 generic building products.