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.

Picking a Safer Paint is Easier Than You Think

HBN | January 2020 | Newsletter

Selecting the right paint for your project can be challenging and identifying a paint that reduces your exposure to toxic chemicals on top of that can be even more daunting. The good news is that transformation continues to happen in the paint market, providing developers, architects, and consumers more options for choosing less toxic paint products. Moreover, at Healthy Building Network (HBN), we continue working with our partners to help simplify the process of selecting a safer paint. 


HBN Helps Guide New Green Communities Materials Criteria

HBN | January 2020 | Newsletter

Enterprise Community Partners has just released the next generation of their Green Communities Criteria. The only national green building standard designed specifically for affordable housing projects, the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria has a major impact on how affordable housing properties are constructed. HBN is proud to have contributed to the development of the new 2020 Green Communities Criteria. Krista Egger, senior director of initiatives at Enterprise Community Partners, acknowledged HBN’s contribution, saying, "Significant improvements were made to the Materials section of the Green Communities standard thanks to the leadership of HBN."


New LEED Circularity Pilot Credit Incorporates HBN Optimize Recycling Research

Teresa McGrath | January 2020 | Newsletter

A circular economy is an essential  strategy to reach carbon reduction goals, reduce waste, and reduce the impact of resource extraction. Use of recycled content can also re-introduce legacy chemicals of concern into new products. By knowing where recycled content is coming from and testing for common contaminants of concern, we can encourage a safer and circular economy, while increasing the value of beneficial recycled feedstocks. A new pilot credit in LEED rewards project teams that use “safe & circular” products. 


The Best Climate Action Plans Include This...

HBN | December 2019 | Newsletter

Current climate action plans are bold, they are necessary, they feel impossible, and they are coming into the consciousness of all concerned (and unconcerned), decades after the early reports should have been taken seriously. At this point, there is an urgency because people are experiencing the effects of a warming planet (storms, fires, rising tides, health impacts from warmer temperatures, etc.). 


Embodied Carbon and Climate Justice: Confluence or Conflict?

HBN | December 2019 | Newsletter

Two important initiatives are gaining momentum in the green building movement. One seeks to reduce the embodied carbon of building products. The other seeks to increase inclusion, diversity and equity in the green building industry, addressing, in the words of the LEED “Social Equity” Pilot Credit, “social equity from the perspective of everyone who is touched or impacted by a building.”1 It is critical that these efforts align their goals lest, once again, the latest definition and marketing of “green” building products overlooks and overrides the interests of the front line communities most impacted by both climate change and toxic pollution.


Five Reasons Why Climate Change and Toxic Chemicals are Connected

HBN | December 2019 | Newsletter

If we say climate change, what is the first thing that pops into your head? It’s probably not the impact of toxic chemicals on the environment. Some people can probably name a chemical that contributes to climate change, whether that is carbon dioxide or methane. But what about other chemicals that you are not as familiar with? In the building materials world, these may include fluorinated blowing agents used in some foam insulation. The agents either have high global warming potential (GWP) or use chemicals in their production that have high GWP.[1] Another example is the release of the toxic, global warming, and ozone-depleting chemical carbon tetrachloride in the enormous supply chain of vinyl products, otherwise known as Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC).[2] Purveyors of vinyl products, you may unwittingly be contributing to global warming! 


NRDC Prioritizes Safer Products in Energy Efficiency Programs

HBN | December 2019 | Newsletter

As part of their Energy Efficiency for All (EEFA) campaign, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) partners with Healthy Building Network (HBN) and our HomeFree initiative to integrate healthier materials strategies to meet core energy program goals and achieve targeted health equity outcomes. These forward-thinking organizations are on the leading edge of holistic climate strategies that result in stronger outcomes for people and the planet. Through research and community action, they’ve learned that breaking down silos to inclusive policy interventions, is both efficient and effective for creating comprehensive change. 


A Healthy Future.

HBN | November 2019 | Newsletter

The holidays are approaching swiftly. And so is a very special new year’s eve—Healthy Building Network is turning 20 years old in 2020.

I find myself more deeply committed to our vision—where all people and the planet thrive. As I reflect on the loved ones I’ve lost from cancer, and those battling for their lives today, I want to do better for them. I want to do better for the children who carry the permanent effects from toxic exposures to their young and developing bodies. I want to do better for the women struggling with infertility as an outcome of chemical exposures. I envision an alternate, healthier path for everyday employees whose quality of life is impacted right now because of the hazardous chemicals with which they’ve come into contact while simply trying to make a living.