Aspects of fair trade and labor rights are social costs of global building material manufacturing.
Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings.
These trends tend to increase the initial and long term economic, ecological, energy, and social costs of building materials.
The initial economic cost of building materials is the purchase price.
The initial embodied energy of a structure is the energy consumed to extract, manufacture, deliver, install, the materials.
The lifetime embodied energy continues to grow with the use, maintenance, and reuse/recycling/disposal of the building materials themselves and how the materials and design help minimize the life-time energy consumption of the structure.
This is often what governs decision making about what materials to use.