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Teresa Skaar | October 2018 | Newsletter
Parsons Healthy Materials Lab has created a new, four-course online certificate program specifically designed for professionals like you, who are dedicated to making the built environment the best (and healthiest) it can be.
This innovative program is the first of its kind and brings together a group of 60 interdisciplinary experts at the top of their fields (including several HBN staff) to cover every aspect of healthier materials and sustainable buildings. Each course runs for a full semester and is completely self-paced to accommodate busy schedules. Completing the entire Healthy Materials & Sustainable Buildings certificate enables you to obtain 18 AIA HSW Continuing Education Credits.
Visit healthymaterialslab.org for more details about each course and registration information.
Gina Ciganik | September 2018 | Newsletter
Please join us in welcoming Teresa McGrath, our new Chief Research Officer, who will lead Research and Education strategies at HBN. Teresa brings holistic knowledge and multi-sector experience to our organization, having worked in government, NGO, and industry. Before joining HBN, she led the Chemical Management Program for Sherwin-Williams, the largest paints and coatings company in the world. Her work focused on hazards reduction and transparency, and assisting business units in meeting their specific sustainability and green chemistry goals. She also spent nine years as the Senior Managing Toxicologist at NSF International’s Green Chemistry Programs, and two years at the Environmental Protection Agency in the Design for the Environment (DfE) Branch of the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT).
Bill Walsh | September 2018 | Newsletter
Healthier, more sustainable alternatives have a hard time competing with a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic industry that is not held accountable for the costs of its environmental and human health impacts. These costs are paid by people like Delma and Christine Bennet, of Mossville, LA.
Learn more about the implications of chlorine as a feedstock in plastics in our Chlorine and Building Materials report.
Tom Lent | September 2018 | Newsletter
Confused by conflicting red lists? Unsure where to focus your limited project time while trying to choose healthier building materials or products? Help is on the way. This fall, HBN will be rolling out “Transformation Targets” to help you prioritize your efforts and make the greatest impact on your project and in the industry.
Gina Ciganik | September 2018 | Newsletter
If you’ll be at the 2018 Living Product Expo, please join us for two thought-provoking sessions:
Healthy & Affordable Building Materials: Strategic Transformation Opportunities
In this workshop, you’ll learn how to leverage transparency data to enable product research, evaluation, and collaboration opportunities that scale affordable product innovation.
Thursday, September 13 at 3 pm
(Track: Social Equity + Supply Chain)
Can PVC be a "Green" Product?: The Evolving Story of Polyvinyl Chloride
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is one of the most common materials in the building products industry, and also one of the most hotly debated topics in green building. While the industry has made progress in addressing health issues with the manufacturer and use of vinyl, concerns remain around the supply chain and end of life for the material. Join this session with four leading experts across the industry including a toxicologist, manufacturer, material researcher, and specifier to understand and uncover the lingering issues with the material and engage in an open, honest conversation about the best way to move the industry forward towards more sustainable PVC.
Wednesday, September 12 at 10:45 am
(Track: Biomimicry + Biophilic Design)
About the Expo
This year, the Living Product Expo is focusing on achieving healthy products and spaces. You’ll gain access to some of the most innovative products available today and meet the industry leaders who are bringing them to market. LP18 keynotes will include leaders from Mohawk Group, Phylagen, Humanscale, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), LightArt, and more.
Billy Weber | September 2018 | Newsletter
Are you curious about regional trends in building products? Do you want to know what your peers are using on their projects? Healthy Building Network has collected project specifications to assess baseline information to help you understand typical products installed in affordable housing and identify opportunities for improvement. The results of the Washington, DC baseline specification study are now live on the HomeFree site, where you’ll find similar studies for California, Louisiana, Minnesota, and the Pacific Northwest. Next up is New York.
Rebecca Stamm | September 2018 | Newsletter
Addressing concerns that some insulation products contain and emit unhealthy chemicals, HBN is proud to release “Making Affordable Multifamily Housing More Energy Efficient: A Guide to Healthier Upgrade Materials.” Developed as part of our collaborative effort with the Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) initiative and other partners working to improve energy efficiency in affordable, multifamily housing, the new report contains recommendations that provide actionable value across building sectors.
The report features HBN’s materials research and provides important recommendations anyone can use to improve energy efficiency while reducing toxic chemical exposures to workers, residents, and the environment. Our research highlights chemicals of concern commonly found in insulation and sealants, suggests healthier material options for weatherization programs, and provides information and inspiration for anyone interested in healthier product options.
James Vallette | August 2018 | Newsletter
On July 26th Healthy Building Network released Phase 1 of a landmark report on chlorine based plastics that are widely used in common building and construction products. Demand from the building industry now drives the production of chlorine, the key ingredient of PVC widely used in pipes, siding, roofing membranes, wall covering, flooring, and carpeting. It is also an essential feedstock for epoxies used in adhesives and flooring topcoats, and for polyurethane used in insulation and flooring.
Rebecca Stamm | August 2018 | Newsletter
As noted in HBN’s new Chlorine and Building Materials report, chlorine production is a major source of releases of carbon tetrachloride, a potent global warming and ozone depleting gas as well as a carcinogen. As this report reminds us, it’s important to consider not only the use-phase impacts of building products, but the entire life cycle, including primary chemical production that’s several steps back from final product manufacture. In our 2017 comments to the EPA, HBN uncovered another link to ozone depleting carbon tetrachloride in building products – one you might not expect – use in the production of low global warming potential blowing agents.
Michel Dedeo | August 2018 | Newsletter
Looking for a non-toxic surfactant for a new product formulation? Now you can search the Chemical Hazard Data Commons by chemical function and easily compare the toxicity profiles of your hits. Every chemical in commerce serves one or more functions, whether it’s a solvent, pesticide, chelating agent, fragrance, or preservative. We’re excited to announce the Data Commons now includes 11 sources of functional uses, and about 160,000 links associating specific chemicals with a functional use, product category, or product.