News Brief

Green Label to Highlight Sustainable Building Products in Resource Libraries

With its free Mindful Materials label, HKS Architects offers a quick reference for finding green products on library shelves.

The Mindful Materials label is a scannable format for identifying products that meet a variety of sustainability criteria.

Image: HKS Architects
Your firm’s resource library might be a go-to source for aesthetic inspiration, but how much of its content is really green? Some firms have sustainability filters for what can make it onto the shelves, but still, connecting samples with green certifications can be a challenge.

Enter HKS Architects and its new Mindful Materials label. Its simple checkboxes are designed to attach to binders and product samples to indicate when a product meets specific health and environmental targets. Its criteria cover:

  • Health Product Declaration (HPD)
  • Participation in the Pharos product database
  • Declare label
  • Other material ingredient list
  • Absence of PVC
  • Cradle to Cradle certification
  • Environmental product declaration (EPD)
  • BuildingGreen Approved
  • Pre- and post-consumer recycled content
  • Place of manufacturing

HKS is already using the label in several of its own offices, including Dallas, Detroit, Chicago, and Indianapolis.

The firm refers to its labeling system as “a practical means to incorporate transparency information into designers’ everyday work process.” HKS emphasizes that the label puts the relevant information—much of which can help projects qualify for LEED v4 material transparency and optimization credits—“where designers search for it most often: on resource library shelves.” At HKS, this process involves a “labeling champion” to fill out the boxes.

The firm is offering free downloads of its mindful material labels for designers at

More on building product research and transparency

Take Control of Your Materials: Four Empowering Lessons from Teams That Beat the Red List

Finding Products for LEED v4: A Guide

Product Watchdogs Pledge Standardized Ingredient Reporting Platform

Published June 19, 2015

Fichman, A. (2015, June 19). Green Label to Highlight Sustainable Building Products in Resource Libraries. Retrieved from

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