Reintroducing Pharos Team Notes

Melissa Coffin | July 09, 2013 | Newsletter

The Pharos team is often on the receiving end of phone calls or emails from our users who have questions about our building product evaluations – the meaning of a flag or hazard association, or why we’ve listed a product with a particular level of completion or participation.

While we’re always happy to talk about our approaches and methodologies with the folks who use our analyses, we thought we should call your attention to a helpful but often missed section of the display profiles in the Building Product Library: Pharos Team Notes.

In this section of our profiles, you will find our cutting edge research and other insights.

The Pharos Team Notes section appears on the bottom half of the profiles, just below the manufacturer’s description of the product.  Clicking on the section headers will expand each section, and while there are certainly exceptions, more likely than not, the Pharos Team has left additional information about the product here for users to consider. 

Here you can understand the full context of our evaluations. For example, you might be confused as to why a product with approximately 100% of its ingredients provided is listed with merely “sufficient” content.  The Pharos Team Notes in this example would explain our reasoning – perhaps company literature suggests that the product is protected with a coating of some kind, or states that the product is made with recycled content but our team has been unable to determine which ingredients are recycled, and whether that content comes from pre- or post-consumer sources.

Even when products earn full marks for content and manufacturer participation, there is often valuable additional information in the Pharos Team Notes section.

So, please remember to click on those Team Notes.  These will help you understand how our conversations with manufacturers, our independent research, and our data quality controls inform the Pharos evaluation of a given product.


Melissa Coffin, Data Systems Project Leader, is responsible for leading the development of the Pharos Project's Building Products Library. Follow Melissa on Twitter: @HBNmelissa