The New Imperative: Optimizing for Embodied Carbon and Material Health

HBN | October 2023 | Newsletter

Perkins&Will and Healthy Building Network Release Groundbreaking Reports


In a monumental step for green building, Perkins&Will has partnered with Healthy Building Network to release two groundbreaking reports: "Embodied Carbon and Material Health in Insulation" and "Embodied Carbon and Material Health in Gypsum Drywall and Flooring." This collaboration represents a significant achievement in efforts towards holistic building product specification. Download the reports below: 

Empowering Architects and Designers:

Now available for download on Healthy Building Network’s website, the reports provide architects and designers with unprecedented guidance on selecting low-carbon products that are also optimized for material health. The reports show that product types optimized for both embodied carbon and material health are readily available in the categories insulation, gypsum drywall, and flooring. This means that professionals have the tools today to prioritize carbon without compromising on material health or safety.

Navigating the Complexities:

A central challenge in sustainable design today is identifying which product attributes to prioritize, between carbon, material health, cost, performance, and others. Perkins&Will and Healthy Building Network acknowledge this complexity and are clear in the report guidance that professionals do not need to choose between prioritizing embodied carbon or material health - product types exist that optimize for both. We encourage professionals to make informed decisions by first screening for optimized product types before selecting specific products.

Insights for the Future:

Gina Ciganik, CEO of Healthy Building Network, expresses the transformative potential of this guidance: "This guidance enables project teams to scale the selection of product types that are best in class for both embodied carbon and material health." These reports serve not only as a snapshot of the current state of sustainable design but also as a roadmap for future industry advancement.

Join the Movement:

These reports aren't just informative, they mark a call to action. Architects, designers, and all stakeholders in the building industry are invited to embrace this new approach to product selection. By incorporating Perkins&Will and HBN’s guidance, professionals can contribute to a built environment that is not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally responsible. As architects and designers navigate the complexities of material choices, these reports provide a guiding light toward a greener, healthier, and more sustainable built environment.