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Washington DC’s top designers and developers now have another tool in their back pockets as they strive to make more informed building material choices. Ernest Maier Block, Brick & Hardscapes has published its first three Health Product Declarations (HPDs) that disclose the health impacts for all configurations of its light, medium and normal weight gray block products made with CarbonCure’s CO2 sequestration technology.

An HPD is a standardized document that reveals any health hazards that may be associated with a building material. Since LEED version 4 rewards the use of materials that have disclosed ingredients and hazards, HPDs are quickly becoming the new industry standard for material transparency. High-profile supporters of HPDs include design firms such as SmithGroupJJR, CannonDesign, and Perkins + Will.

“SmithGroupJJR considers the human health implications of the materials and products we select in all of our design projects,” says HPD champion Russell Perry, co director of sustainable design and Washington office director, SmithGroupJJR. “We have developed our procurement practices around the creation of healthy spaces, and we congratulate Ernest Maier for supporting the growing transparency movement by issuing the first HPDs for concrete masonry products in the DC area.”

The publication of Ernest Maier’s HPDs is timely as the USGBC-National Capital Region Chapter and SmithGroupJJR are hosting the third session of its Materials: The New Landscape panel series on January 13th. The session titled “Ingredients Disclosure and Human Health” promotes the development and use of tools that provide material ingredient disclosure such as HPDs, and tools that evaluate health consequences such as the Cradle-to-Cradle protocol.

Ernest Maier commits to providing HPDs for any of its products made with the CarbonCure technology, which captures waste carbon dioxide gas from local industrial emitters and permanently stores it in concrete masonry products.

“Demonstrating leadership in sustainability is one of the driving principles at Ernest Maier,” says Brendan Quinn, President of Ernest Maier. “We recognize that sustainability includes not only adopting innovative manufacturing practices, such as CarbonCure’s technology, but also disclosing the health implications of our products through HPDs. We’re excited to be at the forefront as building owners and designers change they way they think about materials and human health.”

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