NEWH - Fall 2016 - 24

Sustainability Point of View Transparency is the New Green An NEWH Green Voice discussion recap Transparency is hot right now-and for good reason. Exciting new developments like SERA's mindful MATERIALS Collaborative, which provides access to transparency information across a variety of manufacturers and products, help foster discussions between manufacturers and the design community. During HD Expo 2016, Alison Bane, SERA's director of interiors, and Becca Dobosh, project designer and member of SERA's in-house sustainability group, presented on transparency in NEWH's Green Voice series. Here are some of the discussion's highlights: Why should designers be concerned about transparency? * Pervasiveness of chemicals: Flame retardants, vinyl-it is very difficult to construct a building without anything hazardous, and consumers are beginning to understand how pervasive these chemicals are-from the built environment to clothing and food * Body burden: Many chemicals we want to avoid can already be found in our bodies, and some can cause negative longterm effects * Consumer awareness: Consumers are demanding to know more about what's in their environment. The health and technology sector's ability to analyze the effects of that environment on the human body is becoming increasingly sophisticated. * Professional organizations and institutions: States and other agencies are now requiring more information. The AIA recently released guides incorporating transparency into construction documents, contracts, and legal documents. What tools exist today? The decades-long evolution of disclosure regarding material components has ultimately resulted in a robust set of tools, including: * Healthy Building Network: Th is nonprofit and think tank founded in 2000 aims to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in building products to improve human health and the environment * Building Green: A Green specification and product search engine * Pharos: The Healthy Building Network's product evaluation tool, including a chemical library * Declare: A nutrition-style label from the International Living Future Institute * Cradle to Cradle and the new Material Health Certificate: A product certification by William McDonough + Partners * Environmental Product Declaration: Environmental impact and life-cycle assessments * Healthy Product Declaration 2.0: Transparency related specifically to health hazards and toxicity 24 * Living Building Challenge: A tiered building rating system with very high standards, a Materials Red List, and a systemic approach toward buildings * LEED v4: Encouraging material ingredient disclosure * mindful MATERIALS: Launched nationally in summer 2016 and looking across multiple certifications, it is industrydriven, not manufacturer-driven, and seeks to simplify selection of products that embrace transparency If you support transparency in building materials, how can you help? * Use your voice: Tell manufacturers that transparency matters. Use the power of your firm's commitment to the transparency dialogue to make an impact. * Walk the walk: Begin to integrate transparency into your specifications and even your contracts. As manufacturers and designers become more conversant about what is in the built environment, we must codify and protect ourselves by being clear about the need for transparency. * Pick your one thing: Transparency can be an overwhelming topic. Narrow your focus, pick a chemical or product type you'd like to concentrate on and work toward progress in that area. * Go local: Get involved in your local area professional organizations (like NEWH, IIDA, AIA, ASID) and join forces with other groups working on transparency initiatives. Or start your own local group, such as the Portland Material Transparency Collaborative. ❙❘❚ Healthy Building Network: Building Green: Pharos: Declare: Cradle to Cradle & the new Material Health Certificate: Environmental Product Declaration: Healthy Product Declaration 2.0: Living Building Challenge: LEED v4: mindful MATERIALS:

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Fall 2016

NEWH - Fall 2016
Table of Contents
Who’s Who
Have You Seen?
Have You Seen?
Q&A: Stacy Costa
Q&A: Sandy Banks
Q&A: Ron McDaniel
On the Scene
Project: Los Chingones
Project: Embassy Row
Project: Springhill Suites & Residence Inn San Diego Bayfront
Partner Profiles
Chapter Highlights
Save the Date
New Members
Ad Index

NEWH - Fall 2016