News Brief

Finding Better Materials for Affordable Housing

The International Living Future Institute’s Declare database has added two filters to help find products that meet Enterprise Green Communities criteria.

Declare ILFI database search screen capture

The Alignment menu allows Declare database users to filter for products meeting Enterprise Green Communities requirements.

Screen capture: International Living Future Institute
The Declare website from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) has made it easier to find products that meet criteria for Enterprise Green Communities—a green building certification program for affordable housing. Under the pulldown menu “Alignment,” there are two new options: “Enterprise Green Communities – Meets Mandatory Criteria” and “Enterprise Green Communities – Meets Mandatory & Optional Criteria.” The products that meet Enterprise Green Communities Criterion 6.4: Healthier Material Selection have to meet requirements for VOC emissions, as well as certain chemicals of concern, including formaldehyde, isocyanates, phthalates, bisphenol A, alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), and more.

The Enterprise Green Communities requirements differ by category, such as paint, flooring, insulation, and composite wood, but they are similar to the requirements of the Red List imperative in ILFI's Living Building Challenge. The criteria also align with WELL, since affordable housing projects certified to Enterprise Green Communities are also automatically certified to WELL.

Criterion 6.4 is not all about purchasing a “healthier” product, however; sometimes it means avoiding a product category. For instance, one could choose a carpet from the Declare pulldown that is Red List Free and meets the Mandatory and Optimized criteria, but avoiding carpet altogether also earns the credit.

Published November 7, 2022

Ehrlich, B. (2022, October 26). Finding Better Materials for Affordable Housing . Retrieved from

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