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Take an inside look into emerging markets and trends. Gain valuable new perspectives from HBN experts and our partners. Be inspired to know better.

Board Chair Monica Nakielski Sees a Big Future for HBN

Austin Wiebe | April 2022 | Newsletter

HBN is excited to welcome Monica Nakielski as our new Board Chair in 2022! A longtime champion of healthy buildings and spaces, Monica is the Vice President of Sustainability at Advocate Aurora Health. Learn why Monica is passionate about healthier materials and hear her vision for HBN in the coming years.

Pharos Helps Manufacturers Future-Proof Their Products

HBN | April 2022 | Newsletter

You’ve probably heard us talk about the hazardous chemicals that can exist in your paint, flooring, and other building products. But chemicals of concern lurk in a great many products, from food packaging and computer monitors to lipstick and sunscreen. Learn how Restricted Substances Lists in HBN's chemical hazard database Pharos help manufacturers in a variety of sectors lead the market with safer chemicals.

Low VOC? Don’t Stop There.

HBN | March 2022 | Newsletter

If you’re reading this article, chances are you are familiar with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chemicals emitted from products into the surrounding air. Perhaps you even know that choosing zero- or low-VOC products is a good first step in selecting healthier building materials. But did you know that products labeled as zero- or low-VOC can still contain hazardous volatile compounds or other chemicals of concern?

Leaders You Should Know: Teresa McGrath

HBN | March 2022 | Newsletter

This Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating an incredible leader in the green chemistry and healthy materials space: our very own Chief Research Officer Teresa McGrath! Learn why she’s a champion for safer chemicals and healthier products and hear her perspective on the industry today.

Membrane Roofing: More Than Just a Hot Topic?

HBN | February 2022 | Newsletter

When it comes to selecting a roofing system, the type of membrane you choose can play a big role in reducing both a building’s energy consumption and its contribution to the urban heat island effect. But have you ever thought about how your choice of roofing membrane can impact human health and the environment? HBN recently released guidance for choosing safer Low-slope Membrane Roofing products.

Multifamily Energy Efficiency Programs Not Sealing the Deal

HBN | February 2022 | Newsletter

A well insulated and sealed building enclosure is key for both energy efficiency and health – so we were surprised when our recent research with NRDC and Energy Efficiency for All revealed that insulation and air sealing may not be happening in many energy efficiency programs for affordable multifamily buildings. Read about our findings and recommendations for improving these programs and ensuring the use of safer materials. 

SERA Demonstrates Safer Products Leadership with Magnolias Project

HBN | February 2022 | Newsletter

Affordable housing is a space for innovation and market leadership for the entire building sector. We are excited to release a new HomeFree case study highlighting our collaboration with SERA Architects to shape healthier material selection for their Magnolias project, an industry-leading affordable housing development that places a strong emphasis on equity and community-centered design.

HBN Welcomes Four New Board Members

HBN | January 2022 | Newsletter

HBN is thrilled to announce the addition of four new members to our board of directors in 2022! Please join us in welcoming Chrissa Pagitsas, Nse Witherspoon, and Anne Lebleu, who fill regular board director seats, and Joiana Hooks, who expands our Emerging Leader directors.

The Pipe Dream of Sustainable Plastic

HBN | January 2022 | Newsletter

We have been picking on plastics a lot recently. This is because we believe that typically the best way to avoid hazardous chemicals in the building industry is to avoid plastic building materials altogether. With this said, we recognize plastics in buildings are currently ubiquitous. So, let’s consider what would need to happen for plastic building products to be considered truly sustainable. Can the plastics industry do better?

HBN Researcher Cassidy Clarity Part of Team Publishing PFAS Research

HBN | January 2022 | Newsletter

Cassidy Clarity, HBN Material Researcher, was recently published in the journal Environmental Health for her research on the effects of PFAS and flame retardants on the bodies of women working in San Francisco, work conducted while Cassidy was a Research Associate at University of California, Berkeley in 2020. This is one of several papers from the Women Workers Biomonitoring Collaborative, a group research effort that aims to understand women’s workplace exposures.