HPDs--Why Product Transparency is the New Norm
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HPDs are being required on more building projects and building product manufacturers are having to comply with HPD requests. Product transparency is here to stay whether manufacturers like it or not. Forward-thinking manufacturers who want to increase product specifications and build brand awareness will develop HPDs. Product manufacturers that have something to hide, don’t have the budget or resources, and lack a longterm strategy to address transparency will be penalized.
How HPDs Increase Building Product Specifications
Product transparency offers many new opportunities for product manufacturers. With the launch of LEED v4, product manufacturers can help contribute up to two points under the new LEED credit MR Credit 4: Building product disclosure and optimization - material ingredients. Architects, specifiers, and LEED consultants want access to HPDs to assess the health impacts relating to a building product. If your company complies you have a much greater opportunity of getting specified then refusing this request. Firms such as HKS, Gensler, SmithGroup JJR, and other prominent firms are requesting HPDs for product specification. Manufacturers could lose product specification opportunities to competitors if they do not offer HPDs for their products.
Material safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
Building product manufacturers have already been offering documentation related to product transparency for years. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that contains information on the potential hazards (health, fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to work safely with the product. The document also contains information on the use, storage, handling and emergency procedures all related to the hazards of the material. Building product manufacturers who are afraid of revealing product ingredients and hazards have already disclosed some of this information via MSDS for years.
In 2012, the United States adopted the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to replace the antiquated MSDS documents. The SDS includes important information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and important safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical. There are major differences between MSDS, SDS, and HPDs but it is important to note that manufacturers have already been complying with transparency documents for decades.
HPDs Are Not Going Away
Some building product manufacturers and architects think that HPDs are a fad and might go away. Thats simply not the case. With the advent of LEED v4 and other sustainable design certification systems, designers are asking for more product transparency documentation. HPDs, EPDs, LCAs, Declare Labels, and Cradle to Cradle Certification are all becoming everyday tools used by firms to help with product specification. Google Portico is using many of these transparency documents for its program. Architects are tired of greenwashing claims and now rely on documentation like HPDs to review the health hazards associated with a building product. Product transparency can lead to product optimization. As designers demand healthier building products from manufacturers, HPDs can illustrate what ingredients might be removed or swapped out for a less harmful chemical or substance. Innovative companies will respond to architects seeking healthier products and will offer alternatives.
Has your company received a request from a design firm for HPDs?
For more information or to discuss the topic of this blog, please contact Brad Blank