Easier Than Ever to Select Safer Paints and Flooring

HBN | May 2020 | Newsletter

Are you interested in selecting building products that have fewer toxic chemicals, so that contractors and painters, residents and even maintenance crews aren’t exposed to potentially harmful substances? If you’re an architect, specification writer, or developer and you want healthier paint and flooring materials, Healthy Building Network (HBN) has many resources to help you in your work.


The new HomeFree Specifications are a great place to start. HBN developed specification language for paints and flooring in editable Word documents that are organized according to MasterFormat® standard divisions. In addition to drop-in specification language for safer materials, the Specifications also provide examples of products that meet HomeFree guidelines. Lauren Zullo, Director of Environmental Impact at Jonathan Rose Companies says, “The HomeFree Specifications are really clear documents that my team can pass along to our various architects and general contractors to help provide the reasoning behind our requests. The Specifications not only help increase awareness of healthier materials, but allow design teams to make more informed decisions with value-engineered product selection.”

The Specifications provide:

  • Drop-in specification language for materials that meet the HomeFree healthier material guidance, providing project teams with an actionable, practical resource for incorporating safer materials into project specifications,
  • Examples of specific products that meet the specifications,1 
  • Educational context and links to additional information to provide project teams with not just the “what” of healthier materials, but the “why” as well.

Online Courses:

The HomeFree Campus provides online learning to guide you through your exploration and selection process. Become better equipped to talk to manufacturers and suppliers about the ingredients in their products and have more success in selecting safer alternatives.

Product Category Guidance:

Product Category Guidance gives you insights about chemicals of concern found in various product types and hazardous chemicals associated with the product’s life cycle. You will be able to understand, for example, why certain flooring products, like linoleum, are preferable to others, such as  vinyl. In addition to paint and flooring, there are seven other product categories to explore, including  insulation, countertops, sealants and more.

In addition to these, there are many other resources for you on our HomeFree website. Please take some time to review it and let us know what you think. We are open to suggestions that will ensure you have the information you need to make the best decisions possible.


[1]  The specifications include examples of products that meet the requirements for a specific category on the Hazard Spectrum. These products were determined to meet our requirements using publicly available information, manufacturer provided information, or a combination of the two. The products do not represent a complete list of available products that may meet the specifications, but are included for illustrative purposes. Their inclusion is not an endorsement or certification of products.