As firms make an effort to find new avenues in their work, some are making strides in research and development that is proving to be a valuable resource for the profession as a whole. Recently, Perkins + Will launched a Precautionary List of harmful building products that aims to be a “catalyst for marketplace change.” The firm is already a leader in green design, and with this database, one can see the evidence behind the harmful effects of certain materials. The argument for sustainable products becomes broader than environmentally-conscious building; it becomes a necessity for survival.
Chemicals are searchable by category, specification divisions and sections, alphabetical, and by health effects. When a product is selected, information includes: the origin and source of the chemical; a health impact summary; building products where the chemical is commonly found; alternative materials that can be used in its place; known and suspected health effects; regulatory jurisdiction; a rating according to the Green Building Rating System; and general reference links.
The research that went into the list is thorough, and I do not think there is a similar list out there that is so clear and created specifically for architects and professionals in the building industry. When selecting products, this is the website to consult before decisions are made.