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Material Collection

Exterior & Structural

A facade and its underlying structure create the appearance and language of a building. Together with aesthetics, considerations of thermal performance, durability and maintenance are critical factors for these product choices.

Where energy efficiency in building product innovation has made great strides in the past decades, material choices have not always included consideration of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) pollutants.

Avoiding commonly added toxic chemicals, such as halogenated flame retardants, high VOC emissions or toxic binders, allows exterior material choices to continue the goal of material health for people and planet.

Exterior & Structural

10 products
How to Use This List

About Our Collections

The goal of our collections is to help promote transparency in the material ingredients of building products by fostering knowledge and awareness of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available, and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts.

Keep an eye out for the following symbols:
A Healthier Affordable Building Product

Products with the designation of "Healthier & Affordable" were specified and installed in at least one of our Case Studies of healthier affordable housing.

Available at the Donghia healthier Materials Library

The Donghia healthier Materials Library library is open to Parsons student and faculty. Learn more about access and opening hours here.

Low Embodied Carbon

“Embodied Carbon” is the total amount of carbon emitted during the process of making a material. *HML refers to a manufacturer's EPD to determine whether a product's A1-A3 carbon emissions falls within HML's threshold for Low Embodied Carbon.

New Product

This product has been added to the collection within the past six months.

Ingredient Disclosures

There are several ways of evaluating a material’s health that we include with product information. Disclosures are reports by manufacturers about product ingredients, impacts, or other attributes.

Key Disclosures include:
Health Product Declaration (HPD)

A voluntary technical specification for reporting information on product contents and associated health information, intended to be the health-analogue to Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

Declare Label

Declare is a transparency platform and product database that answers three questions: 
  1. Where does a product come from?
  2. What is it made of?
  3. Where does it go at the end of its life?

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

A standardized format for communicating the environmental effects associated with a product’s raw materials extraction, energy use, chemical makeup, waste generation, and emissions to air, soil, and water.

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

A reporting format that provides basic information about a material’s chemical ingredients, the potential safety hazards to installers, and recommended practices for installation.

Other
Learn More
Category Sub-category Manufacturer Product Ingredient Disclosures

Green Leaf Brick

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Green Leaf Brick is a strong, sustainable, healthy building product. It is a fired masonry brick made of 100% recycled content with up to 31% post-consumer waste-streams. Green Leaf Brick is Red List Free. It comes in a range of colors and sizes, and clients have the option to customize the brick size, color, and texture.


Category
Masonry, Brick
Manufacturer
Green Leaf Brick
Product Website

Material composition*

Aluminum Silicates 75-85%, Iron Compounds 0-5%, Calcium Compounds 0-12%, Quarz VARIES, Barium Compounds 0-3%, Iron Chromite 0-3%, Manganese Compounds 0-3%, Magnesium Compounds 0-3%, Bottom Ash 0-18%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Available in a range of sizes

COLORS

Available in a range of colors

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Last Updated

July 22, 2019

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Glazed Thin Brick

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

The raw brick that makes up Fireclay's Glazed Thin Brick is sourced through a supplier who has been in business for over 100 years and continues to source and manufacture all brick in California, within 150 miles from the Fireclay Tile factory. The brick qualifies for LEED points and is glazed by hand on-site at the Fireclay Tile factory in Aromas, CA. The bricks provide a durable, long-lasting, and easy-to-clean surface suitable for a range of projects.
*Note that the EPD listed is for the glazing portion of the tile and not the brick itself.


Category
Masonry, Brick
Manufacturer
Fireclay Tile
Product Website

Material composition*

Clay 95-100%, Frits (Unleaded) 2-5%, Manganese Dioxide 0-3%, Chromite 0-3%, Barium Carbonate 0-3%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

2.5"x8"

COLORS

28 colors available

bioMASON

A Healthier Affordable Building Product
Available At the Donghia Materials Library

bioMASON grows tiles using technology similar to hydroponics - units mixed with microorganism are fed an aqueous solution to harden the tiles to specification. bioMASON’s process eliminates the need for firing by replacing the curing/hardening process with biologically controlled structural cement.


Category
Pourables and Aggregates, Concrete
Manufacturer
bioMASON
Product Website

Material composition*

Sand, Sporosarcina pasteurii (bacteria)

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Declare Label icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Last Updated

February 27, 2018

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Thermacork Standard Insulation

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Thermacork is a 100% natural, renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable rigid-insulation material produced from natural cork. Under the effect of pressure and superheated steam, cork granules expand and are agglomerated, originating blocks, avoiding any type of added adhesives. Cork forests benefit the environment, acting as habitats for a diverse range of species and providing a carbon sink that captures CO2 and greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Like most cork producers, Amorim Isolamentos, S.A. is based in Portugal. Thermacork's R-value is declared at 4/inch.


Category
Board Insulation, Cork
Manufacturer
Amorim Isolamentos
Product Website

Material composition*

100% cork (suberin, lignin and cellulose).

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

8"x 39” Panel - Available in a variety of thicknesses

COLORS

Burnt Cork

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Declare | Red List Free
FSC Certification
Last Updated

September 01, 2020

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Purified Boiled Linseed Oil

Linseed Oil is a natural, solvent-free finish coating derived from flax seeds. Not only does it perform better than petrochemical alternatives - it is also much healthier. Linseed oil is free of toxics such as isocyanates and bisphenols, which are found in polyurethane and epoxy resins. Allback manufactures their Purified Linseed Oil in Sweden. Their Purified Boiled Linseed oil is a drying oil, making it ideal for a final finish on wood and metal.


Category
Sealant, Oil_Linseed
Manufacturer
Allback
Product Website

Material composition*

Linseed Oil <99.01%, Manganese Drying Agent <0.09%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

5 Liters

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Last Updated

July 30, 2019

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Aluminum Extruded Louver

Industrial Louvers, Inc. fabricates screens, vents and screens from extruded aluminum. Louvers and air vents allow air flow through openings in buildings while rejecting unwanted elements such as water and airborne debris. It is in coatings and finishes where hazardous substances need to be looked out for.
ILI’s standard finish is Valspar’s Fluropon® Pure which is declared and complies with Red List Free requirements for Living Building Challenge projects. The ingredient list shows a small percentage of Carbon Black which may cause irritation of the lungs in the manufacturing stage of its life cycle yet as it is not on the Red List it is LBC compliant.


Category
Louver, Metal
Manufacturer
Industrial Louvers, Inc.
Product Website

Material composition*

6063 aluminum 92.935%, 3003 aluminum 4.592%, polyvinylidene fluoride (1,1-difluoroethene homopolymer) 0.181-1.114%, chromium iron oxide < 0.821%, hematite, chromium green black < 0.801%, nickel rutile yellow < 0.748%, ferric oxide < 0.737%, chromium (iii) oxide < 0.709%, c.i. pigment green 50 < 0.679%, c.i. pigment black 28 < 0.674%, c.i. pigment blue 28 < 0.647%, titanium dioxide 0.081-0.641%, c.i. pigment blue 36 < 0.588%, rutile, antimony chromium buff < 0.582%, bismuth vanadium tetraoxide < 0.56%, iron hydroxide oxide yellow 0.001-0.556%, acrylic resin 0.066-0.404%, 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate 0.046-0.28%, 5,12-dihydroquino(2,3-b)acridine-7,14-dione < 0.264%, barium sulfate 0.043-0.264%, acrylic-melamine resin 0.041-0.25%, carbon black < 0.238%, pyrrolo[3,4-c]pyrrole-1,4-dione,3,6-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-2,5-dihydro- < 0.235%, phthalocyanine green < 0.159%, c.i. pigment blue 15 < 0.113%, triphosphoric acid, aluminum salt 0.007-0.044%, alumina trihydrate 0.004-0.036%, silica, amorphous 0.005-0.036%, carbonic acid, strontium salt (1:1) 0.006-0.035%, ethanol, 2-(2-butoxyethoxy)- < 0.034%, aluminum hydroxide oxide (al(oh)o) 0.005-0.031%, 1,3-benzenedicarboxylic acid, 5-nitro-, zinc salt (1:1) 0.004-0.026%, wollastonite 0.004-0.026%, Unknown Cas# 0.002-0.012%, cellulose, acetate butanoate 0.002-0.012%, molybdate (moo42#-), calcium (1:1), (t-4)- < 0.011%, type 304 stainless steel 0.44%, proprietary silicon polymer 0.065-0.082%

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Last Updated

February 06, 2020

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Classico Limewash

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Classico Limewash is a slaked-lime ( lime mixed with water) paint with which you can achieve wash off effects on interior or exterior brick and masonry. After application, it calcifies to the brick, turning hard as a rock. It does not chip or crack due to allowing moisture to evaporate. The high pH of the paint makes it naturally mold-resistant. As a result, maintenance is minimal. The application is done by brushing the paint on the wetted surface and creating the patina effect by hosing spots off the wall.


Category
Mineral Paint, Potassium Silicate
Manufacturer
Romabio
Product Website

Material composition*

Hydrated Calcium Oxide (slaked lime) 40-42.5%, Calcium Carbonate 32-35%, Dipropylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether 0.12%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

available in quart, liter, 4 GAL bucket size

COLORS

available in seven colors

COUNTRY OF MANUFACTURE

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Last Updated

March 04, 2020

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Thermally Modified Wood

Arbor Wood Co.’s thermally modified wood is solid wood that is treated with only heat and steam. This impacts the cellular composition of the wood to remove moisture, hindering water absorption, and preventing mould, rot, and fungal decay. This process is done without any chemicals and the product is fully biodegradable. It can be used in exterior, interior, and decking applications. We recommend ordering without a finish and applying an alternative finish, options can be found in the Alternative Finishes Collection. Additionally, FSC-certified lumber is available upon request.


Category
Dimensional Surface, Solid Wood
Manufacturer
Arbor Wood Co.
Product Website

Material composition*

100% Solid Wood

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Planks in a few sizes based on wood and fastening style

COLORS

Comes in pine and ash in several color finishes

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
Other
Last Updated

June 10, 2022

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

Accoya Wood

Available At the Donghia Materials Library
Low-Embodied Carbon Material

Accoya® wood is an acetylated wood product that absorbs 80% less water than untreated wood. Acetylation is a process that uses non-toxic acetic anhydride to make wood more water, mold, and insect resistant. Accsys' Accoya® products can be used for siding, decking, windows, and doors. The wood is FSC certified. These products are rated Cradle to Cradle | Gold overall, and received a Platinum rating for material health.

While this product is recommendable regarding material health, its transportation during fabrication between New Zealand and The Netherlands does not meet HML standards for GWP. A local option with comparable material health is recommended.


Category
Timber, Engineered Lumber
Manufacturer
Accsys
Product Website

Material composition*

99.9% Radiata Pine, <0.1% acetic anhydride

*as reported by the manufacturer

Ecologic Potassium Silicate Paint

Limeworks ' Ecologic Potassium Silicate Paint is a durable interior and exterior silicate dispersion paint made from silicates. It chemically bonds to masonry substrates such as brick, stone, mortar, stucco and cement through penetration and curing. It is VOC free, naturally mildew resistant and water repellent. It dries with an opaque and matte finish. Note: Methyl Methacrylate is used as a dispersion agent and as a binder at up to 10%. Currently, research is not conclusive; per manufacturer, there aren't viable alternatives at this time. HML is continuing to watch this component.


Category
Mineral Paint, Potassium Silicate
Manufacturer
Limeworks
Product Website

Material composition*

Mineral fillers/pigments (titanium dioxide, alumina silicates, iron oxides, earthen pigments) 50% , Water 25% , Liquid potassium silicate 25% , Methacrylate dispersion (acute toxicity) 10% , Ammonia 1%, Sodium Phosphonate Stabilizer 1%, Polysaccharide Cellulose 1%, Fatty Acid Defoamer 1%

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS) icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Other
Last Updated

September 06, 2022

Download data sheet icon-pdf Created with Sketch.

The products in this collection have all been evaluated holistically for their contents and performance. To be considered, a product must disclose at least 75% of its ingredients by weight and avoid the biggest health concerns, as indicated by their disclosure documentation.

For exterior products that means that they avoid halogenated flame retardants, solvents or toxic binders and are low-emitting with VOC requirements of 50 grams per liter for coatings, 100 g/l for primers and stains, and 50 g/l for tints. *BuildingGreen

Spec Guidance

Prefer coatings without PVA. Choose acrylic coatings with no polyvinyl acetate added.

Prefer solvent-free finishes. Use mineral silicate paints comprised of potassium silicate as they contain no solvents or VOCs and are resistant to UV and mold, mildew, and fungal growth. They require very little maintenance and have a long service life.

Avoid added biocides and antimicrobial additives. Biocides in stains and paints could potentially leach from the coating into surrounding water and soil

Avoid PolyFluorinated Chemicals. Choose Metal coatings that do not require highly fluorinated compounds (PFA/PFC) which may stay in natural surroundings for millennia

Avoid Hexavalent Chromium. It is used in vast industry processes such as coatings and applications. According to the EPA, Hexavalent Chromium (chromium VI) targets the lungs and depending on length of exposure, can be a carcinogen.

Look for coatings with less than 50 g/l of VOC content - after tinting

Updated February 6, 2020
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