Health & Transparency:
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.
- Chlorinated Polyethylene and Chlorosulfonated Polyethlene
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
- Chloroprene (Neoprene)
- Formaldehyde (added)
- Halogenated Flame Retardants
- Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
- Lead (added)
- Petrochemical Fertilizers and Pesticides45
- 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.