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HBN’s New HomeFree Resources Help Affordable Housing Practitioners Achieve 2020 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria.

Enterprise Community Partners recently announced that the new 2020 Green Communities Criteria are now in effect. Through its HomeFree national initiative to support affordable housing leaders, Healthy Building Network (HBN) has created a suite of resources to help affordable housing professionals achieve the updated healthier materials requirements. 

The only national green building standard designed specifically for affordable housing projects, the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria has a major impact on how affordable housing properties are constructed. The Criteria is integrated into the funding process for affordable housing projects in 28 states and dozens of cities. Since first launched in 2004, the Criteria has impacted more than 130,000 units across 43 states and the District of Columbia.

HBN has participated in development of the last three versions of Green communities – 2011, 2015, and 2020 criteria. HBN played a major role in shaping the updated 2020 materials requirements, providing extensive recommendations and guidance on the Materials category. Many of HBN’s resources are incorporated as references throughout the Materials category, including HomeFree recommendations and education for affordable housing, the Optimizing Recycling series of reports, the Making Affordable Multifamily Housing More Energy Efficient report, and Pharos compound groups.

“Significant improvements were made to the Materials section of the Green Communities standard thanks to the leadership of HBN,” said Krista Egger, Senior Director of National Initiatives at Enterprise. The updated standard includes criteria related to product transparency, recycled content, chemical hazard optimization, and an expanded chemical avoidance criterion that includes new mandatory and optional chemical avoidance criteria.

The Enterprise Green Communities 2020 Criteria covers eight categories: Integrative Design; Location + Neighborhood Fabric; Site Improvement; Water; Operating Energy; Materials; Healthy Living Environment; and Operations, Maintenance, + Resident Engagement, each with mandatory and optional criteria. Learn more about 2020 Materials Criteria.

The Materials category specifically contains four criteria related to material health:

6.1 Ingredient Transparency for Material Health

Specify and install products with publicly disclosed content and health hazards.

6.2 Recycled Content and Ingredient Transparency

Use building products that feature recycled content and disclosure about that recycled content.

6.3 Chemical Hazard Optimization

Specify and install products that minimize human and environmental health hazards.

6.4 Healthier Material Selection

Avoid key chemicals of concern in specific product categories.

The 2020 Criteria are now available for projects to use and are the mandatory version for projects started after October 2020.  Designers, architects and developers can work to achieve the 2020 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria using these HBN resources: