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.

Green Seal poised to launch “Greener Insulation” certification

James Vallette | July 25, 2016 | Policies

This week, product certifier Green Seal plans to release its new insulation standard, almost four months after receiving a slew of critiques of its draft.  It has not yet certified any products, but the organization is asking buyers to ask for “Greener Insulation” that achieves Green Seal certification.  We have not seen an ad...


Spinning Vinyl: A Response for the Record

James Vallette | July 13, 2016 | Materials

The Vinyl Institute, an association of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturers, continues its industry-sponsored campaign against the Healthy Building Network in its latest blog post, “VALLETTE COULD USE A FACT CHECKER… (AND A PROOFREADER).” Like earlier posts in its Vinyl Verified website, this article has no discernible author....


HBCD-free Styrofoam™ Insulation Coming to USA

James Vallette | July 08, 2016 | Materials

By 2018, extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation[2] Last month, Dow trademarked its butadiene styrene brominated copolymer by the name "BLUEDGE™."[4] Polystyrene insulation is the primary use of HBCD. The removal, recycling and disposal of this insulation from buildings will contribute to global HBCD pollution long after companie...


A Bigger Chemical and Material Library Means Healthier Products

Michel Dedeo | June 29, 2016 | Announcements

As more and more manufacturers disclose chemical hazards through programs like Portico, the Health Product Declaration, Declare, and Cradle to Cradle, it is critical that everyone have access to complete and accurate hazard information, even if they don’t have a chemist on staff. HBN's Chemical and Material Library is growing and evolving...


From NIMBY to Now in Everyone’s Backyard

James Vallette | June 23, 2016 | Policies

When one waste disposal option closes, another inevitably opens.  A half-century ago, the federal government started regulating solid wastes and preventing rampant dumping in the woods, ocean, and unlined dumps. Then the so-called Not-In-My-Backyard (NIMBY) movement of the 1970s and 1980s prevented scores of landfills and incinerators from bei...


On Tire Wastes in Playgrounds

James Vallette | June 16, 2016 | Materials

As temperatures rise on ballfields across America, so do concerns over the piles of tire waste upon which children play. Synthetic turf playing fields lie atop heaps of finely ground recycled rubber from old tires. In playgrounds, chopped up tire mulch is becoming as common as dirt.  In the United States between 2007 and 2013, enough ground ti...


Filled with Uncertainty: Toxic Dirt in Building & Construction

James Vallette | June 13, 2016 | Materials

In a cavernous, lightly filled, State House hearing room last month[2]

Over in New York City, regulators have cracked down on soil traders, and say contaminated fill is going into the “cheapest hole.”[4], that received over 11 millions of tons of waste to recycle, including contaminated soil.[6] After losing its license, Pure...


Risky Business: Undermining the LEED Material Credit

Tom Lent | May 25, 2016 | Policies

They did it again. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has pushed another greenwashing credit option into LEED. The new [1] represents perhaps the most audacious effort to date by the ACC to neutralize LEED’s leadership in improving material health in building products. The Credit ignores some of the highest concern chemical hazards (includi...


ACC Pits Risk Assessment Against Right to Know in New LEED Credit

Tom Lent | May 25, 2016 | Policies

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) consolidated their gains today in their battle to undermine design teams’ right to know about product contents and hazards with a new LEED Pilot credit.  The Building Material Human Hazard & Exposure Assessment Pilot Credit that the USGBC announced this week provides manufacturers with an alternat...


The Vinyl Industry Strikes Back

James Vallette | April 29, 2016 | Policies

The Vinyl Institute, a trade association of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturers, this month launched a blog site, called Vinyl Verified, which embodies the spirit of this year’s presidential campaign. The industry website launched with a suite of posts that try to discredit transparency and disclosure tools, many that the modern green buil...