Despite a pandemic, supply chain issues, project delays, and a rocky economy, 2021 resulted in many successes for the AEC industry. Sustainable design projects including LEED and WELL certified buildings continue to expand across the country. According to the AIA’s monthly Architecture Billings Index, construction activity fell in November. “Ongoing external challenges like labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, spiking inflation, and prospects for rising interest rates will likely continue to slow the growth in firm billings in the coming months,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker.
Health Product Declarations (HPDs) continue to play a critical role for product specification. Building product manufacturers have felt the pressures of increased specification requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic and HPDs have been part of those discussions. As of December 2021, there are over 9,000 HPDs published from over 700 manufacturers. Over 1500 HPDs are downloaded every month from the HPDC Repository.
The future is bright for building product manufacturers who have published HPDs. LEED v4.1 is most likely to launch in 2022. LEED v4.1 will reward building product manufacturers that have third party verified HPDs. Currently a LEED compliant HPD can help contribute one point for the Material Ingredients credit. Under LEED v4.1, a third party verified HPD will help contribute 1.5 points.
The HPDC is developing the HPD Open Standard Version 2.3 for a launch in 2022. There will be new features added to the HPD Builder and other resources available to design professionals and manufacturers. In 2021, several strategic collaborations took place to further promote healthy building materials and product ingredient disclosures. The HPDC formed an alliance with Green Seal and also partnered with mindful MATERIALS at the GreenBuild show to promote their sustainability efforts. Overall, it will be exciting to see the continued success of HPDs in 2022 and how they impact the construction industry.