15 Years



Introducing a new way to eliminate volatile ingredients

At Greenbuild 2015, HBN launched CompAIR, a new tool within the Pharos Project to help architects and designers to take the true measure of hazardous volatile ingredients in building materials.  CompAIR is a calculator that goes far beyond the standard certifications for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in building products, making it possible for users to measure and compare hazardous VOCs and semi-volatile content for paints, adhesives and other wet-applied products.

Creating the first open data set for building product hazards

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In collaboration with Flux Factory, Google and thinkstep, the HBN research team spent a year developing common content and hazard profiles for 100 distinct building materials, stretching from the foundation to the roof of a building.  The release of this data at Verge 2015 for free use by the industry was a first – and creates a new challenge to manufacturers for product transparency.


Planning the Chemical Hazard Data Commons

In 2014, HBN is leading work with the research community to create a global commons for the exchange of information on chemical hazards, so that the most current information can be available to all – efficiently and cost-effectively.

Leading the Health Product Declaration (HPD)

In 2011, HBN initiated the first global, industry-wide open standard for the disclosure of chemical and health-related hazards in building materials -- the Health Product Declaration (HPD) -- inspiring a growing number companies to select the products of manufacturers who fully disclose chemical contents and health hazard information.

Receiving the USGBC Leadership in Advocacy Award


At Greenbuild 2012, HBN Founders were awarded the Leadership in Advocacy Award from the US Green Building Council, for "embody(ing) the vision, leadership and commitment to the evolution of green buildings and communities as a vehicle to enhance our quality of life."





Constructing a Healthy, Affordable Housing Prototype

When hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck in 2005, HBN recognized an immediate need for healthy, high-quality affordable housing in the Gulf Coast region. With a diverse coalition of partners, HBN combined best practices in healthy materials selection and energy-efficient design with proven modular construction methods to design and build a healthy, green demonstration home. The Unity Homes prototype was installed in North Gulfport, Mississippi in January 2007, and donated to the North Gulfport Community Land Trust.

Ushering in Transparency with the Pharos Project

In 2009, HBN launched the Pharos Project, a web-based evaluation tool that enables more informed, healthy choices for building materials. The Pharos Project offers in-depth independent analysis and information on more than 1,000 building products and 34,000 chemicals and their associated health hazards – making it possible for building owners to avoid chemical hazards in building materials.

Creating the Green Guide for Health Care

In 2007, HBN co-led the creation of the first healthy building toolkit for hospitals: The Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC). The irony of trying to heal people in unhealthful buildings is obvious. These groundbreaking standards, now incorporated in LEED for Healthcare, continue to give the healthcare industry the tools to make sure hospitals and wellness facilities are sustainable and built with healthier materials. Today, over 35 million square feet of heath care facilities have been designed or renovated using the GGHC and LEED for Healthcare standards.




Restricting Formaldehyde Emissions

HBN helped establish the nation’s most stringent restrictions on formaldehyde emissions from composite wood building products. These restrictions have already reduced manufacturing emissions from 100 tons to less than 20 tons per year. Not only have these reductions benefitted the occupants of buildings, but they have also reduced exposures for the people who work in the factories and live along the fence lines of those factories where formaldehyde is no longer in production.


Eliminating Arsenic from Pressure-treated Wood

HBN was founded in 2000. In less than one year, HBN began a campaign that changed the direction of the $4 billion pressure-treated wood industry. With a diverse coalition of partners, HBN closed a gaping toxic loophole, virtually eliminating the largest source of arsenic exposure to most Americans—pressure-treated wood - the kind of wood used in playground equipment. As a result of our campaign, the EPA stepped up regulations and manufacturers reduced the use of arsenic by 80%—that’s 20,000 tons less of this toxic compound in our environment every year.




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