Design comes first. That is, picking products and materials comes after - not before - you've clarified the purpose, massing, orientation, fenestration, and other fundamental qualities of a building project. And good design is not just about beauty and looks; it is built on a foundation of good science, or else it will soon be feeding mold and lawyers. Here are some great resources on moisture, insulation, durability and all things building science presented in a way that anyone can understand:
For building science - the physics of buildings, the way heat, moisture and materials work - and don't work - together.
For your health - these folks are tracking the chemicals that can hurt the life both inside and outside your building.