Material Health

Pursuing material health in the building industry involves avoiding or eliminating toxic chemicals from building products. Toxic chemicals are those that can bring harm to factory workers, installers, or building occupants. There are tens of thousands of unregulated chemicals used in our building products, and they can increase the risk of everything from asthma to obesity to cancer.

Materials containing these toxic chemicals include carpet, insulation, wet-applied products like adhesives and sealants, and many others. It’s possible to improve material health through better design decisions and product selections.

Material Health

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.


Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.


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  • What's Your Hazard Avoidance Profile?

    Infographic

    How early or late are you when it comes to jumping on the bandwagon to avoid toxic chemicals in buildings? Find yourself on the hazard avoidance curve.

  • HPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

    Infographic

    How to get solid information from a Health Product Declaration (HPD), in just five steps.

  • The 12 Product Rules

    Infographic

    These 12 product rules provide a simple approach to selecting better, healthier, and more environmentally responsible building products and materials.

  • VOC Testing: What It Can and Can’t Tell You

    Primer

    “Section 01350” has come a long way since it acquired its curious nickname. Here’s what it can tell you about indoor air quality—and what it can’t.

Product Guidance

Unbiased information from our product experts helps you separate green from greenwash.


In The News

We break news down to the essentials and provide expert analysis.


Perspective

Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.


Learning Resources

Syllabus supplements and CEU content, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


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  • The BuildingGreen Guide to Thermal Insulation

    Special Report

    The BuildingGreen Guide to Thermal Insulation, Fourth Edition, provides detailed guidance on insulation products and practices, including environmental and health comparisons, and recommendations on what insulation to use and what to avoid.

  • Spec This, Not That: Avoiding Toxic Chemicals in Commercial Building Projects

    PDF Report

    Spec This, Not That details approaches used by architects, designers, contractors, and building owners to reduce chemical hazards in their building projects. It also includes at-your-fingertips insights for designers and spec writers on which hazards to watch out for in the major building product and material categories.

  • Pest Prevention: Steps Designers Can Take

    Feature Article

    Integrated pest management (IPM) design strategies can reduce structural damage and unsanitary conditions, and improve our community’s health. 

  • VOCs: Why They’re Still Here and What You Can Do About It

    Feature Article

    “Sick building syndrome” was one of the first problems the green building community tried to solve. We’ve come a long way, but we’re not done yet.

Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...


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  • OK COVID, It’s HAMMER Time!

    April Fools

    COVID has upended our lives, homes, and offices. It’s time to fight back with HAMMER brand biocidal antifungal nonviral germicidal disinfectant antimicrobial therapeutic (BANGDAT) sprays, coatings, and composites.