Take the Transparency Pledge, Lead the Way to Better Health

HBN | July 2019 | Newsletter

The Homefree Transparency Campaign is engaging and empowering HomeFree users and allies to demonstrate the demands for transparency and greater disclosure of material content in building materials. Take the pledge and add your voice to the call. Be a part of the change that will bring healthier building materials to everyone!

In our January Newsletter, we wrote about the importance of materials transparency regarding public safety, the right-to-know, and product innovation. There are a few leading manufacturers who already disclose their product information using tools like the public Health Product Declaration repository. Some others will give you that information if you request it—however, most do not. As an industry, we can make disclosure standard practice if we work together. Manufacturers who provide that information are showing increased responsibility and are often working towards healthier products. 

The campaign will:

  • Build awareness of the lack of disclosure of material content and of the need for transparency in the affordable housing sector
  • Aggregate and empower the voice of the affordable housing sector and empower HomeFree users and allies to lead market transformation of products at all price points

One of the first to sign onto the HomeFree Material Transparency Pledge, David M. Johnson, AIA, principal at SERA Architects and Advisor to HomeFree stated:
 
“The time for doubt has passed. Now, we all need to demand healthy, affordable, practical, and beautiful building materials to house our families. The very first step is establishing a clear, simple, and transparent way to understand the composition of our building materials and the negative environmental impacts of manufacture. As design professionals, this is very simply our ethical and moral imperative.”   
 

The Pledge:

As designers, architects, building owners, and contractors, we aspire to choose products that are affordable, that perform, and that benefit human health and the environment. This includes considering life-cycle impacts, embodied carbon, safe and circular design, and health equity.  Access to disclosure of chemicals and materials present in building products is the critical first step to making informed material choices.  

Stronger Together

There truly is strength in numbers: According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), on average, more than 1,400  projects and 107,000 units were placed in service annually between 1995 to 2017. This represents an annual investment of $8 billion dollars. Imagine the volume of products selected! For instance, assume an average unit size of 800 square feet—that would mean that over 85 million square feet of flooring is installed every year. The owners and operators of these developments constitute a major market and can have a huge impact on which materials are offered, simply by demanding better. 

Whether you are working on a new development project or maintaining your existing portfolio, you shouldn’t need to be a chemist to safeguard the health of your residents, employees, or the environment. 

We invite you to visit the HomeFree website and take the Pledge to add your voice to the call for transparency.