Innovations in manufacturing have brought forth more sustainable, plant-based products. They reduce negative health and environmental impacts and can replace fossil fuel based components in many cases. Products made from organic materials like hemp provide healthy alternatives to harmful synthetics. Ideally,  products are either fully compostable in soil or water; or biodegradable in industrial composting.  

Please note: at this point, the CAS# or EIN# for a petrochemical product that is replaced by a plant based innovation will be identical in most cases.

Plant

20 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.

Product in Development

Products with this designation identify they are currently scaling or only available in markets outside of the building industry. they could be experimental or in use in capsule collections.

Available in the EU

Products with this designation are currently available only in the European Union and identified as being an exemplary healthy option in the respective product group.

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.

USDA Certified Biobased Product Label

Managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the goal of the BioPreferred Program is to increase the purchase and use of biobased products.

Other
Learn More
Category Sub-category Manufacturer Product Ingredient Disclosures

Kelsun

Kelsun by Keel Labs is a compostable yarn made from readily abundant biopolymers. This product was designed as a sustainable, closed loop alternative for the apparel and footwear industries.


Category
Textile, Algae
Manufacturer
Keel Labs
Product Website

Material composition*

kelp, seaweed, algae

*as reported by the manufacturer

COLORS

red, seafoam green

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Last Updated

February 01, 2024

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Cellulose Fiber Insulation

This product provides a natural insulation alternative that optimizes human and environmental health. Greenfiber's cellulose insulation is free from formaldehyde, asbestos, glass fibers, and mineral wool. The product is also made with up to 85% recycled materials from local sources, diverting hundreds of tons of paper from landfills and reducing energy consumption from transporting raw materials.

Greenfiber's R-value is declared at 3.8/inch.


Category
Insulation / Fibrous, Cellulosic, Granular, Cellulose
Manufacturer
US Greenfiber LLC
Product Website

Material composition*

Cellulose Fiber <85%, Boric Acid <10%, Ammonium Sulfate <11%, Distillate Mineral Oil <2%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

19.05 lb Package

COLORS

Off-White

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.
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Declare | Red List Free
Contributes to LEED credits
Last Updated

April 01, 2024

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Polar Barrier Loose Fill

Polar Barrier’s Loose Fill insulation is manufactured using 100% recycled paper. Primarily intended for use in walls and attics, this insulation provides superior sound control, fire protection, and energy savings compared to fiberglass. The production of Polar Barrier Loose Fill also uses up to 10 times less embodied energy than fiberglass does, and its reliance on recycled materials diverts waste from landfills.

The Loose Fill's R-value is declared at 3.9/inch.


Category
Insulation / Fibrous, Cellulosic, Granular, Cellulose
Manufacturer
Insolution Manufacturing
Product Website

Material composition*

Ammonium Sulfate 0-15%, Boric Acid 0-15%, Wheat Starch 0-5%, Non-hazardous Dust Control Agent 0-1%, Cellulose Particles (percentage not disclosed)

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

30.0 lbs package

COLORS

White

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

April 01, 2024

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Tradical Hemcrete

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

Tradical® Hemcrete® is a highly sustainable hemp-lime product line designed to create insulating walls in new structures or to retrofit existing floors, roofs, and walls with thermally efficient, breathable insulating layers.


Category
Masonry, Hempcrete
Manufacturer
American Lime Technology
Product Website

Material composition*

Hemp, Lime (Calcium Hydroxide), Hydraulic Lime Binder, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Silicates, Silica, Oxides of Magnesium, Aluminum, and Iron

*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.
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Last Updated

April 01, 2024

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Hempcrete Blocks

Just Bio Fiber's hempcrete blocks are a breathable, durable, non-toxic alternative to typical structural wall assemblies. Made primarily from hemp and lime, these blocks are Declare Red List Free as well as naturally fire resistant. Wall systems built with these blocks regulate temperature and humidity while retaining heat. They also do not require a vapor barrier and are resistant to mold, insects, rodents, and mildew.


Category
Masonry, Hempcrete
Manufacturer
Just Bio Fiber
Product Website

Material composition*

Hemp Hurd 30-50%, Calcium Hydroxide 20-40%, Calcium Carbonate 10-30%, Calcium Magnesium Tetrahydroxide 10-30%, Kaolin 1-10%, Fibrous Glass 1-10%, Silica Sand 1%, Styrene 1%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

21.3" x 10.7" x 8"

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

April 01, 2024

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Hempcrete Block

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

IsoHemp’s hempcrete blocks are a non-load-bearing masonry product. These natural, healthy blocks are designed to be used for insulating envelopes, partition walls, and counter-partitions. Made only from hemp and lime, hempcrete’s ability to diffuse accumulated heat makes it a fantastic thermal regulator. This product also regulates humidity due to its permeability and is naturally very fire-resistant, making toxic flame retardants obsolete. Not only are IsoHemp hempcrete blocks good for human health, they also have a positive environmental impact. Their manufacture requires very little energy, and they act as a carbon sink, actively absorbing CO2 from the air.


Category
Masonry, Hempcrete
Manufacturer
IsoHemp
Product Website

Material composition*

Hemp (particle size of 2 to 20 mm) 80%, Hydraulic Lime 11%, Air Lime 9%

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

30 cm x 60 cm, available in 6, 9, 12, 15, 20, and 30 cm thicknesses

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

April 01, 2024

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BioBlack TX

BioBlack TX is a direct replacement for toxic, petroleum-based black pigment dispersions. This 100% bio-based, water-based dispersion contains Nature Coatings' proprietary black pigment made from wood waste from sustainably managed and certified sources. BioBlack TX is naturally free of fossil fuels and contains non-detected PAHs and carcinogens, making it safe to touch and wear. It can be used in the textile, upholstery, and packaging industry, in paints or wall surfaces as well as in automotive applications.
The manufacturer claims to be cost-competitive with low to mid-range carbon black dispersions. BioBlack TX has FSC certification (FSC C125400), Oeko-Tex ECO PASSPORT certification, and is listed on the ZDHC.org MRSL 3.0 Gateway. It is made in the USA. This product contains 100% bio-based content according to Bioprefered.gov.


Category
Pigment / Biobased, Cellulose
Manufacturer
Nature Coatings
Product Website

Material composition*

FSC-certified wood waste

*as reported by the manufacturer

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

June 22, 2023

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HempBLOCK LB300

Low-Embodied Carbon Material

HempBLOCK USA pre-casts hempcrete into interlocking blocks. The LB 300 load-bearing system is for in-fill walls and load-bearing walls in both residential and commercial construction. The interlocking hempcrete block options include standard, post, and bond beam blocks. No mortar is required. Walls can be clad, rendered, or plastered after installation. Hemp is great for temperature regulation due to its open cell structure to allow moisture flow. Production is currently in France, but aim to have US-based production in 2025.


Category
Masonry, Hempcrete
Manufacturer
HempBlock USA
Product Website

Material composition*

84% hemp, 16% prompt natural cement (fired like lime at low temperature)

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Block sizes: 1' 11 5/8", 11 13/16", 1 1/8"

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

June 22, 2023

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Loliware

Available At the Donghia Materials Library

100% plastic-free, gluten-free, gelatin-free, BPA-free, non-GMO, all natural, non-toxic, safe, and FDA approved, LOLIWARE is made from a biodegr(edible) material so natural you can eat it. Loliware contains 100% Biobased Content and has been awarded the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label in the BioPreferred® Program.


Category
Packaging, Algae
Manufacturer
Loliware
Product Website

Material composition*

seaweed, organic sweeteners and flavors and colors derived from fruits and vegetables

*as reported by the manufacturer

COLORS

pink, yellow, green, beige

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
U.S Food and Drug Administration
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Last Updated

February 14, 2024

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Polaris

Polaris is a non-isocyanate polyurethane (NIPU) for use in foams, coatings and adhesives. The proprietary manufacturing process can eliminate harmful isocyanates and aims at using renewable soybean, linseed and algae oils to avoid petrochemicals. The oils are chemically reacted to form polyols which are reacted with C02 to create a polymerized resin polyurethane.

The NIPU processing method can be used on petrochemical oils as well. Ingredient disclosure is key. The material will be available within the footwear, apparel and outdoor industries first, and could eventually be applicable to interiors for adhesives, coatings, and flooring.


Category
Textile, Biobased
Manufacturer
Matereal
Product Website

Material composition*

Biobased Oils (Soybean, Linseed, Algae) with NIPU processing method.

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Last Updated

February 09, 2024

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Timber-Straw Panel

Available At the Donghia Materials Library
Available in the EU

Ecococon's Wall Panel is made of straw and timber that is condensed per a special straw pressing technique. The result is a product used for wall sheathing. In combination with the appropriate wall finishes, this wallboard panel is Passivhaus certified.

Note: The plywood binder contains a phenol-formaldehyde-based resin. The plywood is FSC Certified Chain of Custody. 


Category
Drywall, Straw
Manufacturer
EcoCocon
Product Website

Material composition*

98% straw and timber

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Standard thickness 15.7"

Bio-Fluff

Product in Development

Bio-Fluff is a plant-based faux fur from nettle, flax, and hemp fibers created through a proprietary plant-derived enyzme process. Bio-Fluff can be used within fashion, interiors, packaging and toys. A natural proprietary flame retardant option is offered for use in interior upholstery.


Category
Textile, Natural Fiber Blend
Manufacturer
Savian
Product Website

Material composition*

Nettle, Flax, Hemp fiber

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Last Updated

March 29, 2024

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Blown Straw Insulation

Available in the EU

IStraw creates a blown-in insulation from 100% straw for roof, exterior walls, ceiling, partitations and insulation. Their ELITE GREENLINE series is confirmed to have no pesticide residues from farming. The straw is compostable after its useful life. Located in Germany, IStraw has developed a building network to connect local farmers and suppliers.


Category
Insulation / Fibrous, Cellulosic, Granular, Straw
Manufacturer
IStraw
Product Website

Material composition*

100% Straw

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Last Updated

April 04, 2024

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Straw Panel Assemblies

Croft designs straw-based wall, floor, and roof panels for pre-fabricated assemblies based in Maine. They aim to source straw from organic farms when possible. Plywood is sourced from Roseburg and timber is FSC-certified. Note: Roseburg plywood contains 3-5% phenol formaldyehyde resin, a comparably lower content.


Category
Drywall, Straw
Manufacturer
Croft
Product Website

Material composition*

Straw, Timber, Plywood (3-5% phenol formaldyehyde resin) 

*as reported by the manufacturer

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

March 28, 2024

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Straw Assemblies

Savick creates roof, flooring and wall assemblies from locally sourced wheat and barley straw in Canada. Straw gets chopped up and densly packed (90 kg per cubic meter). This density and the high silica content in wheat acts as natural flame retardant. Savick carpenters assemble the wood frames from FSC certified wood and plywood. The R-Value is approx. 3.1/inch.

Note: The plywood binder is unknown.


Category
Drywall, Straw
Manufacturer
Savick
Product Website

Material composition*

Wheat and Barley Straw, Wood, Plywood

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Last Updated

April 04, 2024

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Søuld

Available At the Donghia Materials Library
Low-Embodied Carbon Material
Available in the EU

Søuld creates eelgrass acoustic boards for ceilings and walls which achieves C2C Gold and Material Health Platinum certification. Eelgrass is a renewable marine plant and local in Denmark, traditionally used over decades for roof thatching.
Søuld has a take-back program to recycle panels and offcuts. They are available in three thicknesses 18mm, 35 mm, and 40mm options. Select FR-free if possible.

Note: A synthetic binder is used. Panels are to be 100% recyclable.

Per Søuld's EPD, this product meets HML's criteria for low embodied carbon.


Category
Acoustics, Eelgrass
Manufacturer
Søuld
Product Website

Material composition*

70-87.5% Eelgrass, 10-12.5% Bi-component Synthetic Binder (Fibervision), 0-20% Flame Retardant (Burnblock)

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

18mm, 35 mm, and 40mm thicknesses

AGOPRENE®

Product in Development

Agoprene is a bio-based foam from Norwegian kelp, cellulose and crab shells sourced from waste streams. It can be used in upholstery and footwear and is shown to be biodegradable in soil. 

Note: A presumed foaming activator is unknown due to proprietary information.


Category
Foam, Biobased
Manufacturer
agroprene
Product Website

Material composition*

Norweigian kelp, cellulose, crab shells

*as reported by the manufacturer

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

March 29, 2024

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Compressed Agricultural Fiber Board

Product in Development

Compressed Agricultural Fiber Boards (CAF boards) are made with a patented mill technology for affordable, large scale straw assemblies. The straw is locally sourced with no added binders or adhesives. They use H-steel framing and obtain structural integrity from densely pressed straw. Note: 1% borate is to prohibit mildew.


Category
Drywall, Straw
Manufacturer
Agriboard
Product Website

Material composition*

96% Agricultural Straw (wheat or rice), 3% Kraft paper, 1% Borate

*as reported by the manufacturer

AVAILABLE SIZING

Span width can be 4ft.

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Last Updated

April 01, 2024

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Straw Bale Walls

New Frameworks build prefabricated structural straw panels. The wheat straw is locally sourced from a certified organic farm by NOFA-VT and densely packed at 9lbs/cu.ft. A clay/lime plaster as interior air barrier is a preferable solution. Different air sealing methods can be applied to exteriors, opt for plywood or other options free from petrochemicals. The R-Value is 1.8/inch. 
Note: clay/lime is a direct surface protection of the straw; the plywood currently used contains phenolic resin. Consult the substantial research New Frameworks has done.


Category
Drywall, Straw
Manufacturer
New Frameworks
Product Website

Material composition*

Wheat Straw, CDX plywood

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Last Updated

April 04, 2024

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BioPuff

Available At the Donghia Materials Library
Product in Development

BioPuff is a loose fill/ wadding from typha (cattail) fiber, grown to support and restore damanged peatland ecology. BioPuff can biodegradable in certain conditions due to the inclusion of enzymes. It is C2C Gold Certified with Material Health Platinum. They aim to achieve 100% bio-based content as they continue development.


Category
Loose Fill, Biobased
Manufacturer
Ponda
Product Website

Material composition*

60% Typha Plant Fiber 40% Recycled Polyester

*as reported by the manufacturer

CERTIFICATIONS & DISCLOSURES
Health Product Declaration (HPD)
Declare Label
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
USDA Certified Biobased Product Label
Other
Cradle to Cradle | Gold icon-pdf Created with Sketch.
Last Updated

April 18, 2024

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The products in this collection have all been evaluated holistically for their contents and performance. To be considered, the product must have a primary ingredient (at least 25% by volume*) that is derived or harvested from plants or a plant-derived substance that plays a critical role in the product’s performance or manufacturing avoiding additives harmful to human and planet.

 *The minimum biobased content for USDA Certified Biobased Product Label when not product category specific is 25%.

 *Glyphosate is a known carcinogen commonly applied as a pesticide to crops in the US. 

Spec Guidance

Inquire with manufacturers for transparency and LCA information as much as possible. Materials new to the market may not yet have certifications and disclosures and often are made proprietarily.

Look for the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label in the BioPreferred® Program or ASTM 6866 to identify the percentage of bio-based content present in a product. 

Avoid plant-based materials which still contain petrochemicals in the product or in the manufacturing process. Opt for bio-based binders from plants. 

Opt for bio-based materials which are fully biodegradable. Bio-based does not necessarily ensure biodegradability.

Opt for agricultural byproducts sourced from local farms and prefer supplies from a local waste stream to avoid diminishing land for food production.

Use local certified organic farms practicing regenerative agriculture avoiding biocides, pesticides and harmful fertilizers. 

Opt for renewable and low-energy used in the manufacturing processes if possible.

High density packing and high silica content in rice straw makes it naturally fire retardant. Question the use of added FR.

Ensure moisture content of straw stays below 18 - 25% dry basis (20% wet basis) through plastering and air-tight detailing. Test the moisture levels in the bale core using a moisture probe.

Prefer sun-dried straw bales. They have lower nitrogen content which impedes composting /degradation.

Consider the lifespan of different straw and reed varieties, which is directly related to the processing methods adopted. For example, in the case of thatching, water reed typically lasts 25 to 40+ years, combed wheat reed lasts 25 to 35 years, long straw lasts 15 to 25 years, and ridge thatching lasts 10 to 15 years.

Consult and collaborate with local natural builders for expertise and best practices. Knowledgeable local builders are often the best resources.

Updated February 27, 2018
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