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About this Guide

This Guide was written for manufacturers and reflects the practices of reporting, disclosure, and transparency to support the use of material health information in the design, development, selection, and specification of building products, from the manufacturer’s perspective. It is designed to assist the people who create HPDs:

  • To understand the benefits of reporting ingredient and associated health information,
  • To understand processes that will help you report information about your products in compliance with the HPD Open Standard, and
  • To be able to gather and report the required information successfully and efficiently.

The Guide recognizes that working with information on chemical-level ingredients and health is new territory for many manufacturers and that most manufacturers don’t have staff toxicologists, industrial hygienists, and other experts to help you navigate this new territory. While the Guide isn’t intended to replace this expertise, it will help manufacturers better understand the HPD Open Standard and how to meet these requirements.

The Guide is not intended to replace the HPD Open Standard (download free). The Instructions in the Standard are the authoritative source for detailed guidance on each data field to be completed – what is to be reported. The Guide does not repeat this information but instead suggests processes and steps that will help you create your HPDs. Because our understanding of these processes and the resources available is evolving rapidly, the Guide provides basic information with links to resources on the Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) website that will evolve along with the market.

This Guide is not intended to replace the HPD Open Standard and its instructions. The Standard is the authoritative source for detailed guidance …. We encourage you to become familiar with it.

The Standard answers many questions and provides guidance on how to use the HPD when your product or data seems to vary from what’s presented in the Standard Instructions. The Guide gives you an overview of the Standard, how it’s organized, and how to find answers to your questions. We encourage you to become familiar with the Standard so you can turn to it along with the other resources provided by HPDC and other experts.

The Guide is organized into the following chapters:

  1. Introduction – What is the HPD Open Standard? How has it evolved? What’s new in HPD 2.1.1?
  2. About the Standard and How to Use It – What’s in the Standard? How do I find specific guidance? Why is this Guide needed? What are the key concepts I need to understand?
  3. Creating an HPD – Process Recommendations – What is the overall process? What decisions do I have to make? How do I gather the information from various sources? How do I use the Builder? How do I overcome problems and issues?
  4. Case Studies and Examples – Where can I find samples of HPDs? Where can I hear how other manufacturers have handled this process and learn from them?

This version of the Guide is based on version 2.1.1 of the HPD Open Standard. As the Standard is updated and revised periodically, the Guide will also be updated.


Chapter 1.0 Introduction

The HPD Open Standard is a voluntary technical specification for reporting information on product contents and associated health information. Developed by a coalition of architects, designers, specifiers, owners, manufacturers, contractors, materials researchers, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the HPD Open Standard is a key element in the movement toward achieving greater transparency and disclosure in reporting the human and environmental health aspects of building products and materials.

Ultimately, the goal of transparency and disclosure is product innovation, improvement, and optimization – enabling open collaboration of voluntary market participants to enhance the healthfulness of materials used in the built environment. The rewards of participation can accrue to all. For building owners and designers, an HPD provides the data needed for product selection incorporating health considerations. For manufacturers, this same information can inform product design. As disclosure takes place, and products are developed that have superior health characteristics, HPDs enable these efforts to be publicly known – and rewarded – by those who make decisions about product specification and procurement.

Creating an HPD, which is the responsibility of the product manufacturer, is the first step in this process. The HPD provides accurate, consistent and reliable reporting of the basic information that opens the door to the collaborative process. Project teams play a key role in a collaborative process of innovation – bringing together customers and manufacturers. In requesting and then using an HPD, project teams can set a “virtuous cycle” in motion. With access to health-related information disclosed in HPDs, project teams can give preference to products for which such information is available.


The HPD Open Standard consists of a reporting Format and Instructions. When a manufacturer enters product data into the Format, it becomes the completed “HPD” – the document used by project teams.

How does the HPD Open Standard work – what does it do?

  • The HPD Open Standard is a voluntary technical specification for reporting data about product contents and associated health information.
  • It provides detailed technical specifications – Format and Instructions – for reporting data about the attributes of a product, as delivered to the job site.
  • It defines how to report screening of the product contents, using authoritative lists of hazards and other information that is valuable for further analysis and assessment of health-related questions.
  • It allows for reporting of any additional information, not explicitly specified in the Format, that the manufacturer wishes to provide about a product. This can include additional health-related information, such as exposure and/or risk assessments.
  • It provides a single reporting format that is accepted as documentation to meet the requirements of various certification systems, standards, and assessment tools, including LEED™, WELL®, and Cradle to Cradle™, and using the HPD Builder, manufacturers will be able to choose to automatically share data with other tools.
  • By providing a common standard for reporting across products and product categories, it reduces duplication of effort and conflicting requirements for manufacturers, and enables decision-makers to directly compare information from different products.
  • It enables manufacturers to disclose information to the level you choose or based on the information you have – from meeting minimum requirements to full disclosure and transparency at a high degree of granularity.
  • It assists manufacturers and users in the design community to use a common language and database to discuss improving and optimizing products from a health perspective.
  • It is managed and supported by the HPD Collaborative (HPDC), a nonprofit member organization representing a large and growing cross-section of building industry participants. The HPDC’s standard development process ensures that all perspectives are represented and that the HPD Open Standard is an evolving standard that will incorporate reporting for new health-related data as it becomes available.

What does the HPD Open Standard not do?

  • It is not a certification or label – it is a standard specification for how to report information about product contents and associated health information.
  • It does not assess or certify products, materials, or substances; in this way, it is different from certifications such as Cradle to Cradle, Declare, etc.
  • It is not an assessment of product performance.
  • It is not a life-cycle assessment, or an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).
  • It does not identify whether a product is “better” or “worse” than another.

What makes an HPD a “good” HPD?

  • The quality of an HPD is judged by the completeness and accuracy of the information provided. The HPD Open Standard provides technical specifications for the Format and Instructions on how to complete an HPD. A “good HPD” complies with the technical specifications defined by the HPD Open Standard.
  • An HPD is often used as a reporting tool to document compliance with credits or criteria in one or more certifications, such as the LEED v4 Material Ingredients credit, for example. To provide a “good HPD” for such purposes, the creator of the HPD needs to ensure that the information reported meets the criteria for the certification. The definitive guidance for compliance is always the issuing organization’s own documents.
  • The HPD Open Standard provides you with a defined, standardized methodology to report at higher levels of disclosure – and more stringent thresholds – than may be required for a given certification. You may also choose to include additional information in Notes sections. And, you can show support for transparency by publishing your HPDs in the HPD Public Repository. The Repository is the authoritative source for published HPDs.

How did the HPD Open Standard Evolve?

The HPD Open Standard has evolved since it was first created. This evolution has been the result of feedback from manufacturers and project teams, as well as the evolution of the “ecosystem” in which the HPD operates. The HPDC guides this evolution via its Technical Committee and Board of Directors through an open, stakeholder standards development process.

HPD Version 1.0 was introduced at Greenbuild 2012. Then in 2013, LEED approved the HPD as a method for achieving the Material Ingredients credit in LEED v4. Based on feedback from manufacturers and users, work began on Version 2.0. HPD 2.0 came out in September 2015. It was intended to clarify requirements and to reflect the ability of manufacturers to respond to these requirements. It also was designed to harmonize with other related tools, such as Cradle to Cradle. It was followed by HPD version 2.1 in 2017. This version focused on further harmonization, especially with LEED v4 requirements.

New in HPD 2.1.1

  • Harmonized method for hazard screening
  • Introduction of Special Conditions
  • Updates and corrections to existing material in the Standard.

The latest HPD version is 2.1.1, initially released in July 2018, and fully implemented in the HPD Builder in December 2018. Here are some highlights from recent HPD updates.

In May 2017, HPD 2.1 was released to further harmonize with the LEED v4 Material Ingredients credit and an April 2016 USGBC interpretation of that credit. The interpretation was issued to affirm the use of HPD 2.0 and subsequent HPD versions to meet the credit requirements. It also defined an additional method for creating the inventory. The methods for creating a content inventory are based on:

  • how contents are categorized and listed (for the entire product or for each of the materials that comprise the product)
  • how reporting thresholds are applied (a single threshold for the entire product or individual thresholds for each material).

More in HPD 2.1.1  

HPD v2.1.1 retains key updates made to the standard in earlier versions, such as the Nested Material Inventory with a product-level threshold introduced in HPD v2.1. This built on the Nested Material Inventory with material-level thresholds and the Basic Inventory with product-level thresholds used in HPD 2.0.

Now, you can choose among the following methods

  • Nested Materials Inventory with Material-level Thresholds. In this method, thresholds are established for each material and these thresholds govern which substances must be listed under each material.
  • Nested Materials Inventory with Product-Level Threshold (new in HPD 2.1). In this method, a single threshold is established for the product and is used to determine which substances are listed under the various materials.
  • Basic Inventory Method: contents are reported only at the substance level, regardless of the material structure of the product. A product-level threshold must be used.

Revisions were made in the HPD 2.1 Instructions and Format needed to implement this new method. The Nested and Basic Inventory methods are illustrated below.

HPD 2.1 also introduced a new data field. The LEED Pre-Check Indicator is an optional (selected by the manufacturer) cross-check to determine whether all required fields have been completed and whether basic requirements of the LEED v4 Material Ingredients credit, Options 1 and/or 2, have been met. For example, is the correct threshold, 100 ppm or 1000 ppm, indicated? Are all contents characterized, screened, and identified as required? This indicator does not assess data quality or the information in the data fields. It does not “verify” that information is accurate. It’s just a preliminary scan to help you identify areas of your HPD that might need revision if your HPD is designed to contribute to LEED submittals, and to help project teams quickly identify HPDs that are most likely to contribute to their submittals.

What’s New in HPD 2.1.1?

The HPD Open Standard was revised from v2.1 to v2.1.1 to address several specific issues. It’s not an overall standard revision. It represents ongoing, continuous improvement of the HPD Open Standard in response to manufacturers, designers, project teams, partner organizations, and other stakeholders.

The two main areas are the implementation of Special Conditions, and revisions to clarify requirements for Hazard Screening and to create an evolving “Harmonized Method for Hazard Screening” in Emerging Best Practices.

About Special Conditions

Materials or substances may be considered within the HPD Open Standard to be “Special Conditions” for several reasons, among which are these examples:

  • A content inventory cannot be created due to variable or unknown composition and lack of CAS Registry Numbers, or CASRNs. This can occur, for example, with some biological materials, geological materials, or mixed recycled content.
  • A content inventory can be created, in theory, using regular HPD methods, but it is judged not practical or feasible to do so. For example, when electronics are a minor component of a building product, if the added value to building project decision-makers of having a regular inventory reported for the electronic component is seen to be low, using a Special Condition has been approved by the Technical Committee. This is a determination that is made by the HPDC Technical Committee, not a determination to be made by an individual preparer of an HPD.

HPD Open Standard v2.1.1 rigorously defines, using Emerging Best Practices guidance, when Special Conditions apply to selected materials and substances, and how manufacturers can characterize a Special Condition in a completed HPD. Importantly, HPDs developed using HPD-defined Special Conditions will be able to qualify for the key LEED v4 credit, “Building products disclosure and optimization: Material ingredients,” Option 1.

Specific modifications to the HPD Open Standard v2.1.1 include:

  • Ability to characterize, screen, and/or identify a Special Condition according to emerging Best Practices guidance and receive a “Yes except Special Conditions” indicator.
  • Specific instructions for data fields that define information to be provided and format for that information.

Timed with the release of HPD v2.1.1, HPDC also released Special Conditions guidance for the following materials:

  • Biological Materials
  • Geological Materials
  • Mixed Recycled Content
  • Electronic Components

Over time, HPDC will release more Special Conditions guidance, such as for ceramic materials, float glass, polymers, and more. These guides and more information on HPD 2.1.1 revisions can be found on the HPDC website.

About the Harmonized Method

HPDC found discrepancies in the hazard screening results of HPDs that were created by different tools. HPDC worked with Clean Production Action and its GreenScreen program to develop harmonized methods for screening that are described in Best Practices for Hazard Screening, which was implemented wit HPD 2.1.1.

This harmonized method addresses the frequency of updating of lists used in GreenScreen and HPD hazard screening and an approach for handling compound groups within some of these lists.  In addition, HPDC provides more details on aspects of hazard screening such as criteria for selecting HPD Priority Hazard Lists, definitions of hazard screening terms, and specific requirements for hazard screening for HPDs.

How does the HPD relate to other standards, certifications and information tools?

The HPD is used as a data source for many other programs in the material health ecosystem, reporting content inventory and associated health information that has been entered by the manufacturer in compliance with the HPD Open Standard.

Core programs in the building industry’s material health ecosystem have harmonized their reporting of content inventory and associated health information with the HPD Open Standard. This data is made available in other programs either through the printed HPD report (in PDF format), or, increasingly through an automated data exchange, using the HPD Builder API (Application Program Interface) connection.

As material health practice grows within the building industry, new programs are emerging. HPDC actively supports and promotes harmonization with all material health and transparency programs.

  • HPDs receive screening information from Pharos and GreenScreen® and provide content inventory information to these tools.
  • HPDs can also provide inventory and hazard information to support Declare. HPDs can feed into Cradle to Cradle and Google’s Portico, where project teams can select and specify products with HPD information.
  • HPDs can also be used as documentation for the LEED rating system, the WELL Building Standard, and the Living Building Challenge.

The Health Product Declaration Collaborative – Resources for Manufacturers

The Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) is a not-for-profit, member organization that is responsible for the maintenance, evolution and industry adoption of the HPD Open Standard. Through its Technical Committee, Technical Sub-Groups, and Advisory Panels, HPDC works proactively with manufacturers, users, and the broader materials ecosystem to remove barriers, and lower the cost of reporting and using this information. HPDC encourages you to participate in these efforts.

In addition to this Manufacturer User Guider, HPDC provides important tools to support manufacturers in creating and publishing HPDs for your products. For example:

The HPD Open Standard is open for all to use, governed by the Creative Commons license. If you are using tools and services provided by the HPD Collaborative you are assured that they operate in full compliance with the HPD Open Standard. If you are using tools and services provided by other organizations, you should check with them to ensure that their materials are in compliance with the HPD Open Standard and the requirements of the Creative Commons license.

Finally, HPDC has developed a third party verification program, with approved verifiers as well as a list of approved third party preparers, and that is now reflected in the Standard.