The Red List – Materials to Watch out For!

The Living Building Challenge is a holistic sustainable building program created by the International Living Future Institute.

The programme is described by the Institute as a “philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program” to promote the most holistic measurement of sustainability in construction.

As part of their construction material focus, the Institute released a “Red List” covering building materials and “building material ingredients” that should be avoided.

  • Asbestos
  • Cadmium
  • Chlorinated Polyethylene and Chlorosulfonated Polyethlene
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Chloroprene (Neoprene)
  • Formaldehyde (added)
  • Halogenated Flame Retardants
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
  • Lead (added)
  • Mercury
  • Petrochemical Fertilizers and Pesticides45
  • Phthalates
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Wood treatments containing Creosote, Arsenic or Pentachlorophenol

The Red List provides a great basis for material choice in the design of a healthy home. The institute has also developed a “Declare” certification for products – basically an “ingredients list” for building materials.

Of particular note in the wood sector is the use of arsenic and creosote as a wood preservative. Arsenic, in the form of CCA wood preservatives are particularly common in New Zealand for exterior wood applications, like decking.

Just checking you’re heading to the right place

Make sure you get the right information about our carefully crafted timber products by visiting your local Abodo website.