Here’s what we’re currently working on

Healthy Affordable Materials Project

A systems-based approach to reducing everyday human exposure to harmful chemicals in building products, HAMP connects manufacturers, building owners, and developers to reduce the use of harmful chemicals in homes, on construction sites, and in emissions from facilities.

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Case Study Research

We are conducting focused research on five US developers and nonprofits that incorporate healthier building materials in order to transform typical building practices within the affordable housing industry.


The Rose

MSR Design, Healthy Materials Lab

Developed by Aeon and Hope Community, The Rose is a mixed-income housing project in Minneapolis, MN. Our comprehensive investigation of this project helps us understand the processes and challenges of designing and building affordable, sustainable housing.

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Foundation Communities

Healthy Materials Lab, Parsons School of Design

The project team provides affordable housing in Austin, TX that integrates education and healthy living to enable “families to succeed”

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affordability affordable housing day care children

Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership

Healthy Materials Lab, Parsons School of Design

TNP’s single family renovations in Warren, a rustbelt Ohio city, are designed and executed to combat high rates of home abandonment. These renovations, often minor and cost effective, incentive community members to re-invest in their city. 

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repair affordability affordable housing lead rebuilding remediation asbestos community

Carmel Place

Healthy Materials Lab, Parsons School of Design

In response to increasing numbers of single person households, Monadnock Development LLC and the Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association, realized a NYC driven pilot-study to explore new housing options, using modular construction.

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micro modular SRO New York City

First Community Housing

Healthy Materials Lab, Parsons School of Design

Based in San Jose, CA, the project team demonstrates a commitment to bettering lives through integrating their affordable housing development with services - a model of “housing is healthcare”.

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Demonstrations

2014 - ONGOING

Our demonstrations test the properties and performance of materials on site and in real situations, promoting healthier and affordable building options. All specifications developed and demonstrated are made available to others. Partners and collaborators provide useful feedback, which contributes to future research and projects.


HWCEC-ECIC is a model early childhood center and professional training facility dedicated to healthier learning and development during the first few years of children's lives. HML has been working with LTL Architects to find healthier material options, and educate all members of the design, construction, and operations teams on strategies specific to improving children's health.

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A collaboration between Healthy Materials Lab and the New York City Housing Authority to improve the interior environmental health of day care centers—specifically demonstrating how color, light, and air quality can have a positive impact on early childhood development and health.

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An 8-unit residential renovation in West Harlem designed to introduce healthier building materials and products to project contractors, as well as tenants.

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TNP’s single family renovations in Warren, a rustbelt Ohio city, are designed to combat high rates of home abandonment.  Renovations to date are cost effective but have not placed an emphasis on human health. A partnership with HML will introduce healthier building practices for the future.

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Education

2014 - ONGOING

Parsons offers extensive undergraduate, graduate, and associated art and design degree program options, each of which approaches materials culture in unique ways. HML operates across these programs and with practicing professionals, prototyping new curriculum models to explore healthier materials choices for all design decisions.


Designing affordable housing driven by healthy materials research. Students are asked to redefine health from the scale of the individual to the greater community and from the food we eat to the materials that surround us.

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This studio designs in the knowledge that healthy buildings lead to healthy futures, empowering the community that resides within.

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Beginning in the Fall semester of 2016 we have created a series of Lunch + Learns with leading manufacturers to foster a community with a shared understanding of healthier products for the design industry.

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The Library

2014 - ONGOING

Our research into healthier affordable materials is an open resource for others—available via the Donghia healthier Materials Library at Parsons, our digital Resource Library, and our list of Healthy Affordable Building Products. Whenever possible, we aggregate and archive information, as well as offer physical material samples, product databases, evaluative tools, published reports, and in-person support.


Donghia Healthier Materials Library

Parsons School of Design, Healthy Materials Lab

The Donghia Healthier Materials Library is a resource for students, faculty, practitioners, and researchers from around the world to find material samples, evaluative tools, and in-person support. The Library is located at Parsons School of Design at The New School, and online in the Resource Library.

Product Libraries VIEW Product Library

Healthier Affordable Building Products

Healthy Materials Lab, Parsons School of Design

The building products in this library have been used in healthier affordable housing buildings nationwide and have been identified through Health Materials Lab Case Studies. The product categories aim to cover the most commonly used building materials in affordable housing.

Product Libraries VIEW Product Library