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The Red List

Posted in Blog on Monday, January 12th, 2015 at 10:56 am No Comments
The Red List

So it didn’t win at last night’s Golden Globes, but most likely you’ve heard of the Black List, NBC’s latest TV-drama series starring James Spader. But have you heard of The Red List? If you’re in the green building industry then most likely you have. Per the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), The Red List represents the “worst in class” materials, chemicals, and elements known to pose serious risks to human health and the greater ecosystem. The Institute has developed the following list of Red List materials that builders may not use in construction that seeks to meet the Living Building Challenge. Private entities, including Google and specific building materials manufacturers such as Mohawk have committed to avoiding these materials in the construction of their buildings and/or the manufacturing of their products.

The Living Future Institute believes the below materials should be phased out of production due to health/toxicity concerns. For those manufacturers that want their products to be eligible for a Living Building Challenge project, they can “declare” their product “safe” for the transparent materials economy (http://declareproducts.com/).   While any material can be listed in the Declare database, a Living Building Project cannot contain any of the following materials or compound. The World-Renown architecture firm Perkins+Will has spear-headed the Red List and their website also has valuable information on these hazardous products.
Below are some examples of what is banned:

  • Asbestos
  • Cadmium
  • Chlorinated Polyethylene and Chlorosulfonated Polyethlene
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Chloroprene (Neoprene)
  • Formaldehyde (added)
  • Halogenated Flame Retardants
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
  • Lead (added)
  • Mercury
  • Petrochemical Fertilizers and Pesticides
  • Phthalates
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Wood treatments containing Creosote, Arsenic or Pentachlorophenol

By: Jessica Lieberman, Director of Marketing, LEED AP ID+C
Sustainability + LEED Consulting, Energy Modeling, Building Commissioning
The Spinnaker Group Inc.