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Blogs

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

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.


Apply Now: Free Technical Assistance for Affordable Housing Practitioners

HBN | December 2021 | Newsletter

HBN’s HomeFree program is excited to announce that it has received funding to provide a new round of technical assistance to six organizations seeking to improve their material practice by using healthier products. This opportunity is available at no cost to building owners, managers, developers, architecture firms, and general contractors who own, build, and/or manage affordable housing projects in the United States. 
 


A Year End Gift that Heals

HBN | December 2021 | Newsletter

At HBN, we are poised to be a force for healing together with you. As we work to "build back better," we must build back differently – taking seriously the impact on our bodies of relentless toxic chemical exposures from the manufacture and use of building materials. By making a contribution to HBN before the end of the year, you show your commitment to a safer, healthier future for our planet and the people who inhabit it. 


HBN Co-Signs Updated Louisville Charter Calling for Environmental Justice

HBN | December 2021 | Newsletter

HBN and 100+ organizations stand united behind the new Louisville Charter for Safer Chemicals, a roadmap for transforming the chemical industry to one that is no longer a source of greenhouse gas emissions and significant human and environmental health harms. Launched December 7, the goal of the updated charter is to protect human health and the environment and achieve environmental justice for all who experience disproportionate impacts from cumulative chemical sources, including people of color, low-income people, Tribes and Native/Indigenous communities, women, children, and farmworkers.


Turn Black Friday GREEN

HBN | November 2021 | Newsletter

As Thanksgiving approaches, so does a range of retail-focused days, including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. We all want our holiday gifts to be magical and memorable, but often these purchases have real human health and environmental impacts. Learn how you can make choices that are healthier and safer for your family and the environment.


Industry Leaders You Should Know: Simona Fischer, MSR Design

HBN | November 2021 | Newsletter

As registered architect, sustainable design professional, and associate with MSR Design, Simona Fischer has spent much of her career thus far developing and testing strategies for integrating sustainable design into the workflow of architectural practice. She was instrumental in the Living Building Challenge Petal Certification of MSR Design’s new downtown Minneapolis headquarters, which achieved the materials, beauty, and equity petals. We sat down with Simona to learn more and to get her perspective on the green building industry today.