Healthy Building Network

Washington, DC • Transforming the market for building materials to advance the best environmental, health and social outcomes.

Healthy Building Network
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Healthy Building Network


Healthy Building Network is a nonprofit focused on public safety and disaster preparedness and relief. With $2.4m in revenue and 16 employees, it is a mid-sized organization. Founded in 2007, Healthy Building Network is headquartered in Washington, DC. The organization is notable for its healthy financials, spending 91% directly on its programs. In recent tax filings, the organization reported expenses of $2.1m.

This profile was created with publicly available data obtained from the Internal Revenue Service and the nonprofit organization’s website. ALMA has no affiliation with this organization and has not independently verified this information or otherwise vetted the charity.

Healthy Building Network


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Healthy Building Network

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Mission and Work


Hbn is the leading national organization advocating for a reduction in the use of toxic chemicals in building materials. Hbn's mission is to advance human and environmental health by improving hazardous chemical transparency and inspiring product innovation.


HEALTHY BUILDING NETWORK currently has programs in three areas: innovative research; powerful data tools; and capacity-building education. 1. Innovative research hbn publishes innovative, actionable research that advances human and environmental health. For example, kaiser permanente cited hbn's research as the driver for its decision to prohibit the use of antimicrobial additives in its building product specification, and the home depot relied upon hbn's research to adopt a hazard avoidance chemical strategy that signals fundamental, permanent and systemic improvement in the building products industry, and is a strong step towards health equity in building products. In addition, our influential electronic publications reach thousands of healthy building professionals, scientists, researchers and others interested in decreasing chemicals of concern and are key resources for opinion leaders in the field. As a thought leader, hbn focuses on market trends and policy issues that impact the green building community. In communicating our latest research findings we are often the first to raise new issues of concern. 2. Powerful data tools hbn offers a suite of data tools designed to increase knowledge, promote transparency and inspire product innovation. It is currently difficult to identify healthier building materials because building product ingredients are not typically or reliably disclosed. Hbn is the healthy building movement's acknowledged leader in advancing the disclosure of the contents and related health hazards in commonly used building products. Our data tools include: pharos: the most comprehensive independent database of chemicals, polymers, metals, and other substances - currently over 140,000 records and counting. Using dozens of scientific lists for specific human and environmental health hazards, it aggregates a vast array of information used for analyzing chemicals of concern. The tool also provides a wealth of information on certifications and standards used to measure the health impacts of building materials, including voc content and emissions, recycled and biobased content, and much more. Data commons: the chemical hazard data commons is a tool to help scientists, researchers, and product innovators identify problematic chemicals and collaborate to find safer alternatives. With an active community forum and an ever-expanding library of substances - built on hbn's powerful pharos database - the data commons is more than just a new way to search for chemical information. It is a shared dynamic space fostering ideas, dialogue, and a future where products free of chemical hazards are the norm and accessible to everyone. Portico: we are currently engaged with the various interested parties within the eco-system to work on the next generation of this tool. Materialwise: fiscally sponsored by hbn, the program's mission is to be the most-trusted source for actionable chemical hazard information that empowers suppliers, manufacturers and brands to create products that are safe for humans and the environment. The mission will be realized by collaborating with the value chain to provide cost-efficient access to verified, actionable chemical hazard information and thereby enable better chemistry in product design and manufacturing. In the landscape of material-health and safer chemistry initiatives, materialwise supports organizations developing chemical guidelines (retailers, brands, ngos, certifiers), providing a trusted evidence-base toward safer products. 3. Capacity-building education hbn's primary education program is homefree, a national initiative supporting affordable housing leaders who are improving human health by using less toxic building materials. Homefree is comprised of an online resource providing critical information to the affordable housing community, as well as communities of practice, spotlighting on-the ground demonstration projects across the country. Through homefree, hbn is enabling those who develop, own and operate affordable housing to work at the forefront of healthy building practice by adapting our leading-edge research and decision-making technology to the unique needs and opportunities in this market.

From Healthy Building Network's website

In their words

Of roughly 85,000 chemicals available in the market, few are adequately tested for human health impacts. Hazardous chemicals are widespread and can be found in our water, air, food, and products we use every day. These chemicals migrate into our bodies, our children’s bodies, and our pets and wildlife, costing us our health, the loss of millions of IQ points, and contributing to climate change.

Our mission is to advance human and environmental health by improving hazardous chemical transparency and inspiring product innovation.

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Your donation will be made to a donor advised fund at Philanthropic Ventures Foundation (PVF), a 501(c)3 public charity, EIN 94-3136771, with a recommendation that PVF make a corresponding grant to Healthy Building Network. ALMA works with PVF in order to facilitate donations to charities. Please see our Terms of Use and FAQs to learn more about the donation process.