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Healthy Building Network: Don Quixote-ish
I’m joining the board of a terrific organization, Healthy Building Network, known for “tilting at windmills” by taking on thorny issues and big players.
Founded in 2000 on the belief that the environmental, social, and health impacts of materials within the built environment are profound, HBN has tackled important and controversial concerns. For example, it launched a campaign in 2001 to remove arsenic, a known carcinogen, from pressure-treated wood. This initiative led to definitive action by EPA and transformed a $4 billion industry.
Greening health care has always been a priority for HBN. The organization played an important role in the development of the Green Guide for Health Care, the first best practices guideline for the planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance of health care facilities. USGBC utilized GGHC to inform the development of LEED for Healthcare and speed this vital tool to the entire industry.
HBN has taken on formaldehyde, dioxins and other toxins in its quest for healthier materials. Founder and executive director Bill Walsh is a persistent yet respected transformational advocate for materials that are good for the planet, safe, and socially just. His bi-monthly newsletters, topical and provocative, address issues for the most part ignored by the media. The most recent on USGBC’s 15th year is typically forthright about the Council’s successes and challenges.
HBN’s current and much anticipated endeavor is the Pharos Project, a materials evaluation method for identifying and documenting the environmental, safety, and social performance of building products in the marketplace. Consumer driven, Pharos will be comprehensive and transparent. Much, much more on this tool in future postings.
I support Healthy Building Network because, as I state in my pitch for donations on its Web site, I believe that this organization plays an important and constructive leadership role in the green building movement. The key to their success is the financial independence that they gain from supporters like you and me.
Join me, won’t you?