15 Years of HBN

Bill Walsh | December 17, 2014 | Announcements

In 2015 the Healthy Building Network will celebrate its 15th anniversary as the green building movement’s leader in health and transparency. With your help we are steadily reducing the use of toxic chemicals in our buildings by transforming the way building products are evaluated and made. Thank you!

To celebrate our 15th Anniversary we are asking our supporters to consider making a $15 monthly pledge on our website, a one-time gift of $150, or donating whatever is possible for you this year.

Consider what we have accomplished in the past 15 years:

In 2003, an HBN campaign resulted in eliminating one of the largest sources of arsenic exposure to children, replacing an arsenic-based formula for pressure treated wood with safer alternatives and dropping arsenic use in the US by 80%!

In 2004, we began advocating against the use of vinyl building products that contain phthalate plasticizers due to the growing body of scientific research linking phthalates to childhood asthma and endocrine system impacts.  Today most US and European manufacturers of vinyl building products are eliminating phthalates in favor of safer, often bio-based substitutes.

In 2007, we co-founded the Green Guide for Health Care, the first health-based green building guidelines, which provided a foundation for new health-based credits in LEED for Healthcare.

In 2009, we launched the industry-wide trend in product transparency with the Pharos Project, the first evaluation of product health hazards based upon full disclosure of building product content information.

In 2012, we partnered with BuildingGreen to launch the Health Product Declaration (HPD), the first open standard format for disclosing building product contents and chemical hazard information.

Every year we issue cutting edge research reports, most recently proposing a strategy for addressing asthma by eliminating the use of numerous asthma-causing chemicals in building products that are often certified as “low-emitting.”

And we have built Healthy Building News and our blog, The Signal, into trusted and essential information sources for green building professionals and healthy building advocates.

These are just the highlights from 15 years of working side by side with dedicated professionals like you, often in the face of aggressive and well-funded opposition from the chemical and plastics industries.

With your continued support, HBN plans to grow in 2015, and accomplish even more!

The product transparency movement is providing more information than ever about the building products we use every day.  More and more building owners are adopting healthy building best practices and looking for ways to reduce their use of hazardous chemicals as much as possible.  Now is the time to accelerate the market transformation that we have begun.

Every contribution is valued, and helps us to continue these important leadership initiatives:

Pharos Project: In 2015, with your help, we will expand our world-class research team and introduce the Avoidable Hazard Index, a new expert tool for estimating the amounts of specific hazardous chemicals present in installed building materials.  It will allow building owners and others to quantify the hazard reduction achieved with the products they have selected.  Your support enables us to provide more and better tools for avoiding toxic chemicals.

Health Product Declaration: With the introduction of Version 2 of the HPD, we expect market adoption to take off. I continue to serve on the Board of Directors of the HPD Collaborative, and HBN’s Policy Director Tom Lent is a key member of the Collaborative’s Technical Committee.  Your support allows us to continue serving in these critical volunteer positions.

Cutting Edge Research: In 2014, the HBN research team produced the first analysis of chemical asthmagens in building products.  With your support, in 2015 we will publish an extensive analysis of the recycled content supply chain. Your support underwrites this independent, unbiased research.

Healthy Building News and The Signal:  We offer these widely read electronic publications free; they include news, information and analysis concerning green materials and related health issues.  Your support helps get the word out!

It has been an honor to work with so many leaders in the green building community for the past 15 years.  We hope you will agree, that we have made our mark! Your tax-deductible contribution to the Healthy Building Network will ensure that there are strong, independent resources for evaluating green building products – today, tomorrow and for the next 15 years!  On behalf of all of my colleagues at HBN, thank you for your support, and of course you can make your online contribution and follow us throughout the year at www.healthybuilding.net and www.pharosproject.net, on Facebook, and on Twitter (@HBNKnowBetter).


William C. Walsh

Bill Walsh

Founder & Executive Director