Energy and resource efficiencies are both critical to achieve building design and construction sustainability. Embodied energy measures the energy needed to produce, install and maintain materials while technical metabolism enhances building design recyclability. Although the concepts of embodied energy and technical metabolism have been around for many years now, the measurement systems for embodied energy and recyclability are still unreliable. Four projects were selected and the energy use the recycled materials from these projects were thoroughly examined. Past researches were also investigated. The study found that the embodied energy and recyclability were affected by several critical factors, such as, distances between project site and the locations of recycling facilities, regional variables and conditions, social preferences, and design complexities. The study also concluded several critical imperfections in the existing sustainability tools, such as the calculation of embodied energy, and the implementation of technical metabolism. The authors propose a framework to capture accurate information on embodied energy and resource efficiency to better reflect the "true" sustainability and greenness of building designs and construction. However, the authors also acknowledge that more works need to be done in this area to allow engineers better understand and acknowledge the real energy and resource consumptions of their designs. Copyright ASCE 2009.