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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.

Materials Transparency: Past, Present and Future

HBN | June 2020 | Newsletter

Our colleagues at the Health Product Declaration Collaborative recently implemented the newest version of the Health Product Declaration Open Standard, v2.2. At HBN, we thought we’d take the opportunity to consider where we currently are with respect to transparency in the built environment, reflect upon how far we have come and look forward to where we are headed.

Investing in a Healthier Future

HBN | May 2020 | Newsletter

The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing what scientists have said for decades: when toxic chemicals undermine the human immune system, people are at grave risk. In this round-up of cutting-edge research and insights from our supporters, we see this truth through new evidence and reaffirm the critical mission of the Healthy Building Network.

Pharos Is Shaping Green Chemistry Education

HBN | May 2020 | Newsletter

By popular demand, we are sharing the April 30 Pharos webinar recording that includes great resources and ideas to help you integrate Pharos into your formal or informal education initiatives. Meg Schwarzman, MD, MPH of University California, Berkeley and Jeremy Faludi, Ph.D., Delft University of Technology shared their success stories of using Pharos to support research and chemical alternatives assessment courses. We also provided example assignments and curriculum from the University of Victoria.

Power Your Work with the Latest Release of Pharos!

HBN | April 2020 | Newsletter

Healthy Building Network is thrilled to officially announce the latest release of Pharos! With a totally redesigned user interface, and exciting new features, it’s easier than ever to prioritize chemicals management and identify safer alternatives to chemicals of concern. Plus, check out two new case studies detailing how Klean Kanteen and University of Victoria use Pharos to improve their work, and see how Pharos is being used as a collaboration and research tool during this pandemic.

Tools You Can Use: HomeFree Specifications for Healthier Paint and Flooring

HBN | February 2020 | Newsletter

If you’re an architect, specification writer, or developer and you want to specify healthier paint and flooring materials, the new HomeFree Specifications can help. HBN developed specification language in editable Word documents organized according to MasterFormat® standard divisions. In addition to drop-in specification language, the Specifications also provide examples of products that meet the spec requirements. 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 WHY we’re asking for what we’re asking for, in terms of healthier materials. It not only helps increase awareness, but allows design teams to make more informed decisions with value engineered product selection.”

Petrochemical Companies are Burying Black History. The Building Industry Can Help Resurrect It.

Bill Walsh | February 2020 | Newsletter

In Louisiana, the factories that make the chemicals and plastics for our building products are built literally upon the bones of African Americans. Plantation fields have been transformed into industrial fortresses. A Shell Refinery1 sprawls across the former Bruslie and Monroe plantations. Belle Pointe is now the DuPont Pontchartrain Works, among the most toxic air polluters in the state.2 Soon, the Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group intends to build a 2400-acre complex of 14 facilities that will transform fracked gas into plastics. It will occupy land that was formerly the Acadia and Buena Vista plantations, and not incidentally, the ancestral burial grounds of local African American residents, some of whom trace their lineage back to people enslaved there.3 Virtually every building product we use today contains a petrochemical component that originates from heavily polluted communities, frequently home to people of color. As the green building movement searches for ways to enhance diversity, inclusion and equity, how might it address the legacies of injustice that are tied to the products and materials we use every day?