Information in the HPD provides an opening for dialogue with manufacturers – if an HPD contains hazard information, you can talk to the manufacturer (ask your sales rep for the most appropriate point of contact within the organization for this type of discussion) about the possibility of finding alternatives to reduce or eliminate the hazard. You can express your goal of finding healthier products and note the marketing advantage they will have with your firm and others.
Beyond reporting information in the HPD Open Standard format, manufacturers can determine to whom this information is disclosed, and whether to disclose this information to the public – i.e., “transparent.” You should consider the level of disclosure and transparency that you want to ask of manufacturers.
- Is disclosure through a third party sufficient for your project purposes? In this case, you may only be informed of whether the product meets certain requirements that your project has established, based on the information in the HPD.
- Different certification programs have varying requirements for disclosure. Some require full transparency on all contents. Others require only the disclosure of hazard information. If you are selecting products to qualify for specific certifications, you need to check their disclosure requirements and communicate them clearly to the manufacturers.
- Increasingly, project teams are adopting a transparency goal, in which a product is rewarded for being publicly disclosed. If this is a goal of your project, be sure to communicate this in advance to the manufacturers whose products you are considering. Many products may have HPDs, but not be publicly disclosed, i.e., “transparent.”
Architects, designers, and specifiers should talk to manufacturers about other preferences, priorities, and needs in product lines, from color to durability to cost. Adding discussions of hazards can be done. And, it can work!
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