Material Transparency

Photo: Amar Saleem. License: Public domain.

OVERVIEW

It’s easy to select a product from a catalog without thinking about where it comes from. But if you care about hidden impacts like embodied carbon, toxic ingredients or byproducts, or social responsibility in the supply chain, a lack of information from manufacturers can hinder your selection process.

We offer tips, insights, and analysis on all these issues and more. We also look at:

  • the quality of the information that’s available to you

  • why it’s so hard to get

  • what makes it important

  • and even what to do with the data once you have it
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  • What’s an HPD? Health Product Declaration FAQs

    Feature Short

    We answer frequently asked questions on HPDs, which allow manufacturers to disclose product ingredients and hazards.

  • Material Transparency for LEED v4: EPDs and HPDs for Metal Studs

    Blog Post

    Reducing your building’s carbon footprint or health impacts? Going after new LEED credits? Transparency documents for steel studs can help.

  • Materials Transparency & LEED

    Webcast

    This deep dive into the three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits in LEED v4 provides the rationale for why product choices are so important, the details on how to achieve points within the three credits, and which options you shouldn't bother pursuing.

  • An Embarrassment of Riches: Products and Materials at Greenbuild 2017

    Blog Post

    A new focus on embodied carbon and LEED v4 are driving designers to dive deep into what we choose for our buildings

  • Building Product Disclosure & Optimization (BPDO) Cheat Sheet

    Infographic

    The three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits in LEED v4 are pushing the industry into new territory. USGBC has done a great job defining and spurring manufacturers to support some options, but others are not yet (as of mid-2017) achievable, for a range of reasons. So go after the easy ones, and don’t waste time on others until they’re within reach.

  • EPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

    Infographic

    Use these tips to get what you need from an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), fast.

  • The 8 Shades of Greenwash: How Many Do You Recognize?

    Infographic

    Most building products these days have an environmental angle to their sales pitches. Many are legit, but as ever, you still have to watch for the telltale signs of greenwash—the practice of inventing or exaggerating the environmental benefits of a product.

  • 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.

  • Different Tools for Different Jobs: How HPDs Fit In

    Feature Short

    Why do we need Health Product Declarations when we have safety data sheets, Cradle to Cradle, Declare, and other frameworks?