Mindful MATERIALS – From Database to a Powerful Tool

Posted On: 
Oct 4, 2017
Mindful MATERIALS – From Database to a Powerful Tool

In 2014 HKS, the 12th largest architecture firm, created a labeling initiative with a focus on data transparency within the product manufacturing world. Recognizing the movement toward an internet based library system, they saw the need to marry the design library inside an architect’s office to transparency information that can be accessed easily. With product manufacturers facing increasingly tough barriers to getting in front of these design professionals, HKS saw an opportunity to make life a little easier for everyone.

Why Transparency

Let’s face some real facts. Sustainable building is growing, and large firms like HKS are on the forefront of the movement. No one wants this to be any more difficult than it currently is. Transparency isn’t always easy for a product manufacturer, and the firms know it. It’s a lot like going to the dentist. No one really wants to, but we all know we have to if we want dental health for the long term. We might not want to be transparent, but we need to in order to make our buildings and our occupants healthier in the long term. Building Green knew that as far back as 1985, and Mindful MATERIALS (mM) has joined forces with them to keep the transparency data accurate.

Step By Step

Mindful MATERIALS is set up to be as easy to use as it is to search. Set up your free account, upload your product data for free, and request a review. Simple enough. Once your information has been reviewed, it will be published for public consumption. Now your transparency documentation can be seen by all design professionals who use the database to search for the next product they need.

mM is Not Alone

mM is not alone in gathering transparency data together to make it easier to build sustainably. GIGA, the creator of ORIGIN, is collaborating not only with mM but is currently working towards collaboration with SCS Global Services, the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Registry, HPD Public Repository, and the International Living Future Institute’s Declare Products Database. Online Libraries like ZeroDocs are also looking to make transparency easy to use, and easy to access.

The Present and the Future

This year mM Collaborative launched the mM Cloud Library. This takes a simple database and expands it to be able to encompass not only the current thousands of products that it has, but the ever-expanding group of product manufacturers that want to be specified in this space. The mM tool is evolving to handle the ever-increasing participation of the product manufacturers, and the increasing usage by the design professionals. This tool will continue to evolve as necessary to include new rating systems, like WELL, and new opportunities to collaborate.

How have you utilized these tools to get in front of more specifiers? What is your company doing to make your transparency more accessible to architects?

For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank