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Health Product Declaration group eyes standardization

Sustainable design education services provider GreenCE, Inc. has partnered with the non-profit Health Product Declaration Collaborative to develop third-party verification and quality assurance consulting protocols for the Health Product Declaration (HPD), an open-standard format for reporting product content and associated health information for building products and materials.

“Establishing common criteria for third party verification and quality assurance consulting is critical to advance the collective knowledge of the building industry, particularly as questions move up the supply chain,” says HPD Collaborative Technical Director Eden Brukman. “For these services to be successful, consistency is key.”

The HPD plays a significant role in the new LEED v4 green building rating system. Building product manufacturers have several new opportunities to get specified by contributing more points on projects under LEED v4. The life-cycle approach to Materials and Resources credits in LEED offer incentives for project teams to specify products from manufacturers that provide full transparency of their product’s environmental performance.

“The HPD is a much needed step forward for the construction industry,” contends Tara Blank, Ph.D., founder of Elixir Environmental. “Design professionals now have the ability to make intelligent specification choices based on full disclosure of material content and potential hazards. Building product manufactures that embrace HPD early on will benefit greatly in the years to come.”

The ongoing development and maintenance of the HPD is grounded in a transparent process that relies on input from both consumers and manufacturers. The Health Product Declaration Collaborative established a pilot group—including GreenCE, GreenCircle, NSF International, PE International, SCS Global Services, ToxServices LLC and UL Environment—to develop third-party verification and quality assurance protocols for the HPD based on functional experience and the best standard of practice. The official protocols are expected to be released in spring 2014.