Leading Firms Endorse Health Product Declaration

Bill Walsh | December 21, 2011 | Policies

Last July an ad hoc group of experts from the community of building designers, specifiers, and owners got together to discuss the concept of creating a standard format for reporting product content and associated health information of building products. The idea was to create a means for sustainability leaders to more easily make informed decisions about the products they purchase and their impacts on human health, and to reduce the burden on product manufacturers juggling multiple types of information requests and reporting formats. The group came together at the invitation of the Materials Research Collaborative, our non-profit alliance with our friends at BuildingGreen, Inc. It was our first project since announcing the collaboration in November 2010.

There was no budget, but there was high energy. Everyone paid their own way and volunteered their time. We convened in the afternoon. We worked through dinner. We ordered in. By the time we adjourned at noon the next day, we thought we had a good idea: a draft HPD (Health Product Declaration) Open Standard. By Greenbuild we called our ad hoc group the HPD Open Standard Working Group, and released our first draft of the HPD Open Standard endorsed by 23 leading design, construction and building management firms. Five manufacturers initially volunteered to participate in a Pilot Program to test our draft format.

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Today we are adding 22 names to our official endorsers list, bringing the total number of endorsing organizations to 45, representing architecture and design firms, building owners and developers, construction firms, workflow management software developers, and non-profit organizations.

An open standard is one held in the public domain, with its use intended to be freely licensed to all. It is intended to be developed, maintained and evolved in an open process, encouraging widespread industry participation and adoption. The HPD Open Standard Working Group is currently developing a Pilot Program to test and refine the Draft HPD Open Standard in preparation for the Version 1 release in mid-2012. More information about the Pilot Program will be released in January 2012, including a list of more than 20 participating manufacturers.

The endorsers announced today include Related Companies and Jonathan Rose Companies of New York, which join The Durst Organization and Google in the building owner/developer category. Turner Construction Company and Skanska join Pankow Construction as endorsers from the construction industry. Fifteen additional architecture, design and engineering firms have endorsed the HPD Open Standard since its introduction in October: Arup, BNIM, Boulder Associates Architects, Cook + Fox, [eco]impact, Envision Design, GreeNexus, InsideMatters, Mazzetti Nash Lipsey Burch, NBBJ, Oh planning+design architecture, SEI, Terrapin Bright Green, WHR Architects, and ZGF. The HPD was also endorsed by GreenWizard, a product management software company, and Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups.

HPD Open Standard Founding Endorsers are: boora architects, Cannon Design, Center For Maximum Potential Building Systems, Durst Organization, FXFowle, Gensler, Google, HDR, HLW, HKS, HOK, International Living Future Institute, KMD, Mary Davidge Associates, Mithun, Pankow Builders, Perkins+Will, Sasaki Associates, SERA, Smith Group, Specifications Consultants, Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, White+GreenSpec, and Yost Grube Hall Architecture.

The steadily growing support across the building industry for the HPD Open Standard is both gratifying and energizing to everyone who has contributed to its development. We are more confident than ever of securing its widespread adoption industry-wide in 2012! More information about the HPD Open Standard is available at www.hpdcollaborative.org. And if your firm would like to become an official endorser, please let us know!

Best Wishes for Happy Holidays, and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.