April Fools

Jimmy Hoffa’s Body Turns Up in HPD

“You can’t know what’s in your building products if you don’t look,” quips the architect who discovered the corpse.

April 1, 2016

This HPD revealed some unusual residuals.

Image courtesy Philip Andersen, AIA
With project teams paying more attention to the ingredients of building materials through the use of Health Product Declarations (HPDs), some have reported surprise and even shock at the contents—like the presence of carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, and asthmagens in some of their favorite products. Most don’t expect to discover a dead body.

But that’s exactly what happened to Philip Andersen, AIA, while he was scanning the HPDs of a variety of carpet products.

“I was looking for the mercury content from the fly ash in the carpet backing, when all of a sudden, there it was: Jimmy Hoffa’s body,” said Andersen in an email to BuildingGreen. “Turns out HPDs are pretty useless for that whole mercury thing, though.”

This isn’t the first time unusual “residuals” have turned up in HPDs. Last year, a LEED consultant reported a treasure trove of unmatched, mildewed socks that had gone into a washing machine and never been seen again. Just this month, an industrial hygienist unearthed the entire Roanoke Colony.

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