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The HPD Collaborative (HPDC) has published Best Practices for Reporting Antimicrobial Content, a guide that standardizes the reporting of antimicrobial content in building products. In doing so, the HPDC responds to the growing demand for antimicrobial data that has arisen during the COVID-19 crisis.

Antimicrobial chemicals are often added to products with the intention of protecting our bodies from microbes, such as the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. However, according to many experts, including the Green Science Policy Institute (GSPI), and the Healthy Building Network, these chemicals are often unnecessary, and may in fact cause more harm than good to human and ecological health.

In fact, antimicrobials have been linked to the disruption hormone function, developmental and reproductive impairments, allergen sensitivity, and antibiotic resistance. The decisions that manufacturers, designers, and others make around these antimicrobials-added products are nothing less than a matter of public health.

Despite this, manufacturers and architects have faced a greater call than ever to add antimicrobials to building products of all kinds, as the design and construction industry has grappled with the pandemic.

HPDC’s best practices guide does not take an advocacy position on antimicrobials. Instead, consistent with the HPD Open Standard’s approach to supporting consistent reporting of data, HPDC provides a framework for manufacturers to report use of antimicrobials. That framework supports architects and others who want that data to make informed product selection decisions.  The data is reported in the context of the consistent, reliable data reporting protocols and datasets HPDC has built over the last 10 years.

The Best Practices guide provides manufacturers  with an easy to navigate, step-by-step guide for reporting accurate data. The guide includes a series of questions, with, each answer leading to specific data reported on the HPD, including identifying antimicrobial pesticides used, and sharing information on public health claims, if applicable..

Best Practices for Reporting Antimicrobial Content is available for use with the HPD Open Standard on the HPDC website. Manufacturers can begin using it immediately, and architects can request its use in HPDs. Use of the guide is optional and does not affect LEED v4 compliance.