What Are the Ingredients of Your Products?

Katy Devlin
June 4, 2014
THE TALK... | Design & Performance

The green building movement has evolved rapidly over the last five or six years, from considerations solely about energy-efficiency and thermal performance, to the addition of sustainability and life-cycle concerns, and now to considerations of the health and environmental impacts of individual product ingredients. That final topic, the issue of disclosing what makes up building products, topped discussions yesterday at the American Architectural Manufacturers Association Summer Meeting, taking place June 1-4 in Indianapolis.

“Architects are demanding transparency. They want to know the ingredients of the products going into the building,” said Bill Freeman, technical consultant of the Resilient Floor Covering Institute during his keynote presentation at AAMA.

To satisfy this demand, Health Product Declarations were introduced by the Health Product Declaration Collaborative Building Network two years ago. The HPD is an open-source standard, through which building product manufacturers report all ingredients of their product, indicating any potentially hazardous materials. Some in the architectural community have begun to ask for HPDs. “Some architects are sending letters to manufacturers, saying ‘if you don’t give us an HPD, we aren’t going to use your products,’” Freeman said.

An alternative product transparency method is also in the works from Freeman’s organization, the RFCI. The platform, Product Transparency Declarations, is designed to be a less onerous method for manufacturers to satisfy requests for product ingredients.

While the trend toward product transparency is still in its infancy, these types of requirements could majorly impact building product manufacturers. So, for today’s Talk, I want to hear about the window and doors industry’s familiarity with product transparency. Have you heard about HPDs or PTDs? Have you completed any product declarations? Have you received any letters requesting this type of information?

Let us know your thoughts by participating in this week's poll, posting a comment below, or email me directly. 


Survey Results for 06/04/2014 :

Is your company ready for the product transparency movement?

Not at all





Yes, we are in process of developing these declarations





We are familiar with product transparency, but not ready






Katy Devlin is senior editor of Glass Magazine, Window & Door's sister publication, also published by the National Glass Association.


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