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How to Select Products With Antimicrobial Treatment
Recommended Reading
How to Select Products With Antimicrobial Treatment
March 2017.

While we encourage everyone to read the latest Healthy Environments paper, "Understanding Antimicrobials," we have also prepared a quick-view summary. "The Top 10 Takeaways" summarizes the major points of the paper; use this to come up to speed on the topic, or share with your clients and project teams. Learn how and why we should be avoiding these chemicals, showing up everywhere from textiles to countertops.

The Latest in the Healthy Environments Series Focuses on Antimicrobials in Building Products
White Paper
The Latest in the Healthy Environments Series Focuses on Antimicrobials in Building Products
Feb. 28, 2017.

Antimicrobial building products marketed as "healthy" contain ingredients that may have adverse environmental or human health impacts, and alternative products should be considered whenever possible, according to a new white paper by Perkins+Will and the Healthy Building Network (HBN). The paper exposes the lack of scientific evidence supporting claims that so-called antimicrobial products help ward off communicable diseases. Perkins+Will is placing "Products Marketed as Antimicrobial" on its Precautionary List, urging designers to consider alternatives before specifying them.

The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare
In the News
The Lawyer Who Became DuPont’s Worst Nightmare
Jan. 6, 2016. January 2016. Rob Bilott was a corporate defense attorney for eight years. Then he took on an environmental suit that would upend his entire career — and expose a brazen, decades-long history of chemical pollution.
Healthy Environments: What’s New (and What’s Not) With PVC
White Paper
Healthy Environments: What’s New (and What’s Not) With PVC
Nov. 16, 2015. Despite laudable efforts by polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturers to reduce the health and environmental impacts of their products, PVC still poses hazards that designers should consider before specifying products for the built environment. "The fact is, PVC is a chlorinated plastic, which is potentially responsible for a range of human health and environmental problems. So even with the removal of lead-based stabilizers and toxic plasticizers, studies linking PVC to cancer throughout its lifecycle are still relevant," says Suzanne Drake, a senior interior designer at Perkins+Will and co-author of the white paper.
New Research By Perkins+Will Identifies Alternatives to Flame Retardant Building Materials
In the News
New Research By Perkins+Will Identifies Alternatives to Flame Retardant Building Materials
October 17, 2014. Perkins+Will's Healthy Materials Group and Science Fellow Michel Dedeo released a white paper identifying both new and existing opportunities to design healthier buildings without compromising fire safety or code compliance. The research can help designers identify which products should be subjected to extra scrutiny during the design and construction process and provides options for less hazardous alternatives. The white paper also helps to identify gaps in current understanding of the sources and paths of chemical exposure.
California law change sparks nationwide demand for flame-retardant-free furniture
In the News
California law change sparks nationwide demand for flame-retardant-free furniture
September 30, 2014. A change to a building code that California enacted back in the 1970s is reverberating through the furniture industry. The rule known as TB-117 requires that materials inside furniture – such as foam – meet certain fire safety requirements, essentially created the nationwide market for chemical flame retardants. This article provides a useful context for the rising conversation about flame retardants in the design industry.
Who's Afraid of Bromine
In the News
Who's Afraid of Bromine
September 26, 2014. Bromine-based chemicals such as polybrominated diphenyl ether or hexabromocyclododecane are all around us, in our homes and even in our foods. Even though some have been banned or withdrawn, the bromine industry feels that it has become the victim of 'chemophobia.' What are the facts? What should you know? This article by Laurence Knight of BBC News provides needed background about the issue.
How Office Furniture Makers Tackled Chemical Transparency
In the News
How Office Furniture Makers Tackled Chemical Transparency
October 11, 2013. These days, the chemical of concern world doesn’t seem as lonely as when efforts began in 2008. Furniture customers now ask for compliance to various red or restricted lists. Some customers point to regulatory lists, while others refer to lists developed by NGOs, such as LEED for Healthcare or International Living Futures Institute’s Living Building Challenge Red List. Companies such as Google or Perkins+Will have developed their own specific lists.
LEED The Way
In the News
LEED The Way
October 4, 2013. The trend toward material health has burgeoned since the C2C Products Innovation Institute published its precautionary list of chemicals. The design community reinforced this trend with its embrace of Perkins + Will's transparency list in 2010.
Taking a Stance on Transparency
In the News
Taking a Stance on Transparency
October 1, 2013. Perkins+Will is among a growing number of architecture firms are requesting Health Product Declarations from building product manufacturers, and the industry’s response will affect what they specify going forward.
Advocating for Transparency: Six Tips for Thinking about Building and Material Health
Recommended Reading
Advocating for Transparency: Six Tips for Thinking about Building and Material Health
February 13, 2013. From Perkins+Will’s ideas+buildings blog: This issue is crucial. Americans spend almost 90% of their time indoors, and the CDC reports that many indoor environments have pollutant levels of 2 to 5 times higher, and occasionally more than 100 times higher, than outdoor levels. At Perkins+Will, we have discovered there were many ways to increase engagement with the transparency movement; here are our top six.
Healthy Environments: A Compilation of Substances Linked to Asthma
White Paper
Healthy Environments: A Compilation of Substances Linked to Asthma
August 8, 2012. Perkins+Will prepared this report on behalf of the National Institutes of Health, Office of Research Facilities, Division of Environmental Protection. A compilation of data on substances in the built environment that may cause or aggravate asthma, this list is intended to be a valuable resource for identifying asthma triggers and asthmagens, minimizing their use in building materials and furnishings, and contributing to our larger goals of fostering healthier built environments.
The Nutritional Life of Buildings
In the News
The Nutritional Life of Buildings
January 2012. GreenSource. GreenSource magazine cites Perkins+Will's Transparency site in this article about uncovering information about the environmental and health impacts of products. Exposing the hypocrisy between the ubiquitous availability of nutritional information on cereal boxes and the inaccessibility of building products ingredients, the author asks: "Why isn't this sort of information available for the products going into our buildings?" The article lauds Perkins+Will for illustrating how such information on product constituents can be used by the design community through the prototype product label created for Construction Specialties.
The New York Times Interviews Perkins+Will on Material Health
In the News
The New York Times Interviews Perkins+Will on Material Health
February 2, 2012. Precautionary List co-authors Chris Youssef and Peter Syrett discuss material health in a Q&A: "To Help Make Sure Your Home Is Healthy, and Ingredients List" with New York Times contributor, Fred Bernstein. Touching on everything to building product labeling to the most sustainable building product (it will surprise you!), Peter and Chris share important insights into why we need to demand greater transparency in the face of limited government regulation.
Perkins+Will Launches Transparency Site
Press Release
Perkins+Will Launches Transparency Site
November 2011. The built environment's first free, universally accessible database aimed at creating greater transparency into building materials containing substances that are publically known or suspected to be associated with an adverse finding in relation to human and environmental health.
C/S and Perkins+Will Debut Building Industry's First On-Product Ingredient Label
Press Release
C/S and Perkins+Will Debut Building Industry's First On-Product Ingredient Label
October 2, 2011. PR Newswire. In October, 2011 Construction Specialties (C/S) and Perkins+Will revealed the industry's first building product transparency label detailing the complete make-up of a product, highlighting critical lifecycle information and potential human health impacts. This intensive effort, launched at Greenbuild 2011 in Toronto, Canada, is a collaborative step toward market transformation through increased disclosure on the part of building product manufacturers.
Building Product Transparency Label
In the News
Building Product Transparency Label
October 2011. Perkins+Will and Construction Specialties developed the industry’s first building product transparency label with hopes of helping people make informed decisions when they fabricate, specify, install, use and dispose of building products. Designed to make environmental and health disclosure easier for any manufacturer who chooses to adopt the template, the label offers a forthright declaration of the make-up of a product and its potential impacts in multiple formats.
Fly Ash in Concrete
White Paper
Fly Ash in Concrete
November 2011. Perkins+Will has put forth this report on the use of fly ash in concrete in order to assist building owners and design professionals in their decision-making processes about the safety and ecological implications of using this building material. While the use of fly ash in concrete still has no consensus with regard to opinions on environmental harm and human safety, this paper is a consolidation of the many diverse opinions, mutually agreed upon facts, and minimal independent scientific research on this topic.
Robin Guenther on Material Health
Video
Robin Guenther on Material Health
June 2011. Metropolis Magazine. In Metropolis Magazine's special "Three Decades of Architecture and Design" issue, Robin Guenther, Principal and Sustainable Healthcare Design Leader, is featured in a video interview discussing material health in healthcare design.
Recommended Reading
Recommended Reading
Recommended Reading
October 2011. Read more about the Building Product Transparency Label in recent articles from Forbes, Fast Company, Huffington Post and more!
Choice of Materials Seen as Key to Healthier Indoor Spaces
Interview
Choice of Materials Seen as Key to Healthier Indoor Spaces
January 24, 2011. BNA's Environmental Compliance Bulletin. How the Precautionary List came to be, it's critical role in market transformation, and how focus on material health has positively impacted big names such as Kaiser Permanente and Herman Miller.
Perkins+Will Unveils Its Precautionary List
Press Release
Perkins+Will Unveils Its Precautionary List
November 3, 2009. Reuters.com. Official press release of the original Precautionary List launch, unveiled to the world at the GreenBuild Conference in 2009. An online tool listing chemicals on Governmental risk lists, and providing healthy alternative substances.