Today the HPD Open Standard, a voluntary, stakeholder consensus standard, has become established as the leading industry standard for reporting building product content and associated health information. It is incorporated as a reporting tool in many leading certification programs, such as LEED v4 and WELL, and is also the foundation for industry harmonization efforts to establish a single method that can simplify reporting – and also improve the accuracy, consistency and reliability – of information about building products and health.
An important distinction, for those new to the HPD Open Standard: it is a “specification” standard – not a “rating” standard. What this means is that having a complete and compliant HPD is the first step toward understanding a product – it provides the information that can be further analyzed to understand a product’s health characteristics.
The goal of the Standard is to provide a well-defined method for accurate, reliable and consistent reporting of product contents and associated health information – across products and product categories. The HPD Open Standard consists of two elements: 1) a Format and 2) Instructions for filling out the Format. Together these define, at a technical and precise level, which data elements are to be included when reporting on a product’s contents and associated health information, to facilitate making decisions when health characteristics of a product are included.
The HPD Open Standard reflects the consensus judgment of the HPDC Technical Committee and HPDC Board – a broad cross-section of professionals, representing the members of HPDC – who are actively engaged in these practices in their work. A “completed” HPD, which has been created in a manner compliant with the HPD Open Standard, provides high-quality data that can be used by a myriad of rating standards, certifications, and analytical tools, to help decision-makers assess and compare product health characteristics.
History of the Health Product Declaration® (HPD) Open Standard
The concept that became the Health Product Declaration® Open Standard took an important first step in November 2010, when The Materials Research Collaborative (led by the Healthy Building Network and BuildingGreen) started to map out ideas for how such an industry standard could come into being. This idea came about because of two emerging trends:
- Specifiers and selectors of building products – building owners, architects, designers, constructors – want to make informed decisions about the products that are being used in the built environment, including the potential for impacts on human and environmental health.
- Product companies and manufacturers want to provide this information about their products in ways that are accurate, reliable and consistent, replacing redundant and confusing formats with efficient and effective reporting tools that can work throughout the supply chain and with their customers and other stakeholders.
It was clear that existing methods for reporting product contents – such as Material Data Safety Sheets (MSDS – today replaced by SDS) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) – while offering some of the information needed, did not have all of the information that experts have determined is important in understanding product health characteristics. Product inventory reporting templates were being created by architecture/design firms and building owners, to help fill their needs for more comprehensive information for decision-making, where health is a consideration. This situation led to overlapping and duplicative efforts to respond to, and use, the growing number of reports and requests for information.
In July 2011, the Materials Research Collaborative convened an ad hoc group of experts from the community of building designers, owners, contractors, specifiers, material researchers and non-profit organizations. Their purpose was to explore the usefulness and feasibility of creating an open industry standard format for reporting building product content and associated health information. The concept of such an ad hoc industry standard – which has been used many times in other industries – is to provide a means for open collaboration and innovation among voluntary industry members, who see the benefit of working together to create, and agreeing to use, a common approach to solving a common problem. In this case, how to report the basic facts about product contents and health information, where product decision-making using health information is the goal. By the end of its first meeting the group had agreed that such a standard would be both useful and feasible. They created the first working draft of this standard, and committed themselves to refining the document and releasing a public draft at Greenbuild in November 2011. They called themselves the HPD Open Standard Working Group.
At Greenbuild 2011, the HPD Working Group released the public draft of the HPD Open Standard version 1.0, endorsed by 23 leading design, construction and building management firms. It also announced the formation of a Steering Committee to guide the evolution of the Working Group towards a membership organization that could accommodate widespread participation from a cross section of the building industry, and oversee the further development and long-term management of the standard. A small group of manufacturers joined in this announcement and volunteered to participate in a Pilot Program to test the draft Standard. Other manufacturers joined this effort, resulting in a total of 31 manufacturers participating in the Pilot Program. The Pilot Program took place in the summer of 2012. Thirty leading product manufacturers submitted 40 draft HPDs for review. Fifty independent expert reviewers from the building industry provided additional feedback.
The Working Group created the Health Product Declaration Collaborative® (HPD Collaborative, or HPDC) as a non-profit, member organization in the Summer of 2012, dedicated to the standard development of the HPD Open Standard through an open process, led by members. As its first act, HPDC approved HPD Open Standard version 1.0 for public release at Greenbuild 2012.
Participation with the HPD Open Standard Version 1.0 grew rapidly:
- Registered users grew from 643 in January 2014 to 1,367 one year later
- Published HPDs grew from 113 in January 2014 to 885 a year later
- Manufacturers with published HPDs in the online platform expanded from 30 in January 2014 to 172 by January 2015
The HPD Open Standard is envisioned as a continuously evolving standard, in order to reflect the learning and development of practice in the use of health information as a normal element of product selection and specification in the building industry. This evolution will be reflected in the ongoing release of both major and minor updates to the Standard. Updating is overseen by the HPDC Technical Committee and its Technical SubGroups, which involve over fifty HPDC members, appointed through an application process, open to any HPDC member. Approval of revisions to the HPDC Open Standard are made by the HPDC Board of Directors, a 15-member body, elected annually by HPDC General Members.
In September 2015, Version 2 of the HPD Open Standard – HPD 2.0 – was officially released. An updated HPD Builder 2.0 was launched in January 2016. In November 2016, the HPD Public Repository was launched. The Repository provides an authoritative source for published HPDs, which are available for search and download to the public, at no charge. Over 2000 completed HPDs have been published in the Repository, as of January 2017. To access the HPD Public Repository please click here. Version 2.1 of the Standard was released in May 2017. Further releases are planned on a periodic basis, to reflect the ongoing evolution and learning of the community of practice engaged in using HPDs and material health practices.
In September 2015 HPDC membership was opened to any organization that is actively engaged in the creation, use and/or support of the HPD Open Standard. By January 2017 membership has grown to 150 organizations, representing over 350 individual participants. The Technical Committee and Technical Sub Group structure has been expanded to include over 50 member-organization participants. To learn more about membership in the HPD Collaborative, and how to become engaged in the HPD Open Standard process, please click here.
Timeline of Key HPD Open Standard Milestones
|Materials Research Collaborative started to map out ideas for the Health Product Declaration
|50+ leaders gathered to create a draft of the HPD format
|Pilot Committee and Steering Committee formed. Manufacturers were invited to participate in the Pilot.
|HPD Pilot Initiated
|31 manufacturers participated with feedback from 50+ independent reviewers
|HPD Collaborative Incorporated and Board of Directors is formed
|HPD version 1.0 launched at Greenbuild. HPD included in the Healthy Purchasing Coalition Protocol. Pharos Project opens first HPD Library. Living Building Challenge’s Declare program recognizes HPD.
|Represented as part of the USGBC Material Health Harmonization Task Group’s “Materials Health Evaluation Programs Harmonization Opportunities Report”
|HPD included as a reference standard in the BETA run of the 2020 Vision Green Building Initiative in China
|Honored with the 2013 ASID Innovation Award
|LEED v4 Approved by USGBC members, including HPD as acceptable documentation pathway for new Materials and Resources credit: Building product disclosure and optimization-materials ingredients.
|Harmonization grant funded by Google Foundation, administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, to work with partners to promote cross-industry alignment of reporting of material contents and associated health information.
|Beta program for HPD Version 2.0 gets underway
|HPD Version 2.0 – HPD 2.0 – Officially released
|HPD Builder 2.0 Launched
|HPD Public Repository Launched
|HPD Open Standard version 2.1 Released
Thank You to the Organizations and Individuals who played a leadership role in launching the HPD Open Standard and HPD Collaborative
Anne Less, Google Green Team, Mary Davidge Associates; Amanda Kaminsky, The Durst Organization; Beth Sturgeon, Google Green Team, Mary Davidge Associates; Eden Brukman, Concenter Solutions; Jean Hansen, HDR, Inc.; Jennifer Atlee, Building Green, Inc.; Kirsten Ritchie, Gensler; Max Richter, Perkins+Will; Peggy White, White+GreenSpec Architectural Specifications; Priya Premchandran, SERA; Tom Lent, Healthy Building Network
The following companies completed at least one Pilot Health Product Declaration and offered suggestions for improvement throughout the development process.
HPD Working Group – Founding Sponsors
Boora Architects, Cannon Design, Center For Maximum Potential Building Systems, Durst Organization, FXFowle, Gensler, Google, HDR, HLW, HKS, HOK, International Living Future Institute, KMD, Mary Davidge Associates, Mithun, Pankow Builders, Perkins+Will, RTKL, Sasaki Associates, SERA, Smith Group, Specifications Consultants, Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, White+GreenSpec, and Yost Grube Hall Architecture.
HPD Working Group – Founding Manufacturers
ASSA ABLOY, Interface, Scranton Products, YOLO Colorhouse
HPD Working Group – Steering Committee
Anthony Bernheim, Mary Davidge, Susan Kaplan, Nadav Malin, Mike Manzi, Peter Syrett
The HPD allows me to finally specify products with full knowledge of what’s in them and how it will impact a building’s environment and occupants. No other certification or disclosure system is as comprehensive or transparent.
License for use
The Health Product Declaration Open Standard is the intellectual property of the HPD Collaborative, and provided to the public, free-of-charge, under the Creative Commons: Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND 4.0) license. Anyone using the HPD Open Standard must comply with the terms of this license agreement, which will be enforced by the HPD Collaborative. For information on use of the terms, logos and trademarks, please click here.