“The indoor built environment plays a critical role in our overall well-being. We spend about 90 percent of our time indoors, and buildings have a unique ability to positively or negatively influence our health.”
Building with healthy materials is crucial for human health and the health of the environment. At IES, we are advocates for the Living Building Challenge (LBC) approach to healthy materials. LBC requires that project teams learn what the contents of all building materials/products are and avoid a list of worst in class ingredients called the Red List. By doing this work, project team members become advocates for changing the market to avoid ingredients that are harmful to people and the environment. (Quote is from “The Impact of Green Buildings on Cognitive Function, ” Harvard School of Public Health, 2015.)
A project with the goal of LBC materials compliance profoundly impacts the building materials market. An LBC project cannot use lead, PVC, neoprene, and 22 other worst-in-class chemical families commonly found in building materials. LEED had already proven that green building certification systems can change the market. LBC can improve upon LEED’s success exponentially but it needs the momentum of more projects to have a meaningful impact.
Integrated Eco Strategy developed a healthy materials database called Red2Green, initially for our own LBC materials work. We are now ready to invite other project teams to use it too. LBC materials compliance work is complicated, expensive, time consuming and lonely. Red2Green makes the work:
→ easier for the novice
→ faster for all
→ less expensive
Red2Green provides a product library as well as a methodology for determining a product or material’s LBC compliance. Definitions, guidance and vetting tips will help you with this complicated work. Manufacturing contacts and advocacy templates will increase your speed. The database will organize your materials research and make vetting documentation easier for auditors to understand.