In sustainable architecture design, where do look for materials and how do you decide what to use?

I had to look up what exactly sustainable architecture design is, and saw really fantastic materials and shapes in the buildings that aren't usual in your average building design. How do you decide and test the materials to use with each other? What materials have you found a 'love' for if any? How do you not just use the same materials over and over if they're so environmentally friendly and structurally sound? Thanks!

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When we decide on materials it is not only about which material is the most efficient but also about which material tells a story and moves people emotionally. We have used dixie cups, recycled skateboards and aluminum cans, brooms and even used ping pong balls. We choose materials that are performative and dramatic. For example, when we used ping pong balls it acted as a light difuser, and glare reducer but also because it was a familiar thing. Robert Venturi once said, "A familiar thing seen in an unfamiliar way becomes both perceptually old and new at the same time."