Photo credit:


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

Our Plastic Buildings - the New Driver of Fossil Fuel Demand

HBN | July 2021 | Newsletter

The idea of a “plastic building” might bring to mind Barbie DreamHouses or Lego towers, but probably not the real life spaces we occupy every day. However, plastics have a long history of use in construction and are increasingly being used in a wide variety of building products.

HomeFree Resources Make Healthier Choices Easy

HBN | July 2021 | Newsletter

Whether you've been a fan of HBN for a long time or you have just been introduced to our work, there’s a good chance you might have come across our HomeFree program. This brief primer will get you up to speed with our latest resources and actionable steps you can take to bring material health into your project.

HBN Welcomes New Data Systems Analyst

HBN | July 2021 | Newsletter

Please welcome HBN’s newest team member: Rena Miu, Data Systems Analyst! She comes to us with a Master of Public Health from George Washington University and a BS in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

A Tenant’s Call for Safer, Healthier Housing

HBN | May 2021 | Newsletter

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) awarded Healthy Building Network a grant to work alongside a community-based organization called Renters United for Justice to reduce toxic chemical exposures among vulnerable individuals. Read about one tenant's story and how a new cooperative is making strides to create safer and healthier housing for all their neighbors.

The Illusion of Plastics Recycling: Neither Just Nor Circular

HBN | May 25, 2021 | Tools

The production and use of plastics is predicted to soon be the largest driver of world oil demand. While plastic building products are often marketed in ways that give the illusion of progress toward recycling and a circular economy, the reality is that virtually no plastic building materials are recycled. Today our only choices for plastic waste are to burn or landfill most of it. And expanding plastics production and incineration is a conscious decision to perpetuate well documented inequity and injustice in our building products supply chain.

What We're Reading This Earth Month

HBN | April 2021 | Newsletter

This Earth Month, we wanted to take the chance to highlight some great conversations that are happening in our ecosystem. We compiled a list of some of the articles and media HBN staff are reading and listening to that we think you should know about.

Our Children’s Health Depends on Our Materials Choices

Teresa McGrath | March 2021 | Newsletter

HBN Chief Research Officer Teresa McGrath shares how doing her job and keeping her children safe go hand in hand. This article uses a personal story to discuss two groups (or classes) of toxic chemicals found both in household dust and children’s bodies, and shares recommendations for how we can collectively use our voices and buying power to shift the market towards safer products.

Modular Construction - Let’s Get it Right from the Start

Roberto Valle Kinloch | March 2021 | Newsletter

In November 2020, First Community Housing and SERA Architects announced a partnership to build a 66-unit housing project in Morgan Hill, California. The 66-unit apartment building will use modular construction techniques, offering a chance to explore healthier material solutions that leverage the technologies and standardized processes that are characteristic, or at least available to, the modular construction industry.

Dr. MyDzung Chu is Committed to Environmental Justice and Health Equity

HBN | March 2021 | Newsletter

As Women’s History month is coming to a close, Healthy Building Network (HBN) would like to take a moment to amplify the voices of the next generation of environmental health leaders - the Agents of Change. If you are not following them, you are falling behind! Today, we will take a moment to highlight the work of one of those Agents, Dr. MyDzung Chu.