LEED FAIL: 3 Reasons Why Your HPD Will Not Contribute Points


Not every HPD is equal. There are hundreds of non-compliant HPDs in the marketplace. These HPDs will not contribute to LEED v4 for various reasons including not meeting the LEED credit requirements thresholds and not complying with the HPD Open Standard. Developing HPDs can be a confusing and tricky experience for building product manufacturers. We will examine three common reasons why HPDs fail to contribute points and what manufacturers can do to fix these issues.

Your HPD Doesn’t Meet The LEED v4 Requirements

One of the easiest ways to contribute points to the LEED credit MR: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization: Material Ingredients, is by developing a compliant HPD. To meet the LEED credit, the HPD must demonstrate the chemical inventory of the product to at least 0.1% (1000 ppm). In addition, the end use product must have a published, complete Health Product Declaration with full disclosure of known hazards in compliance with the Health Product Declaration Open Standard. What does this mean in layman terms?

Older safety data sheets typically measure product ingredients to only 10,000 ppm. The LEED credit specifically requires 1000 ppm. This is an easy red flag for architects, LEED project teams, and GBCI LEED certification experts to identify.

One of the biggest fails by manufacturers when developing an HPD is using old Safety Data Sheets to compile the content inventory. Older safety data sheets typically measure product ingredients to only 10,000 ppm. The LEED credit specifically requires 1000 ppm. This is an easy red flag for architects, LEED project teams, and GBCI LEED certification experts to identify.

Another red flag is when manufacturers don’t follow the HPD Open Standard. The Open Standard provides a framework for product manufacturers and their ingredient suppliers to report and disclose information about product contents and associated health information. Manufacturers who don’t follow the Open Standard instructions, framework, and format will produce a non-compliant HPD that will fail to meet LEED requirements.

Manufacturers Must Publish Their HPDs

To meet the LEED v4 requirements, an HPD must be published on the HPD Public Repository. The Repository contains thousands of published HPDs and is a critical product specification resource used by AEC firms. HPDs that have been created by means other than the HPD Builder can also be uploaded to the Repository by the product manufacturer.

Several years ago, when HPDs were new to the industry, some manufacturers would hide their HPDs behind website firewalls, not release them unless asked for, and tried to conceal product information that might be construed as negative. Luckily, those days are gone and most prominent product manufacturers have their product ingredients and associated health hazards contained within the Repository. Manufacturers should make their HPDs readily available on their website as well via direct downloads or links.

The LEED Pre-Check Indicator Doesn’t Guarantee A LEED Compliant HPD

The LEED Pre-Check Indicator is a preliminary indicator of consistency with specific requirements of the LEED v4 Building Products Disclosure and Optimization: Material Ingredients credit. However, it is not a slam dunk indication that your product will contribute LEED points. The LEED Pre-Check Indicator is a useful tool but still in its infancy and not a 100% substantiated method to prove your HPD is compliant.

The HPD Public Repository can sort HPDs based on the LEED Pre-Check. Although the majority of HPDs within this sorting method may be LEED compliant, several HPDs have been known to fail to contribute LEED points due to errors. The main problem with the LEED Pre-Check Indicator is that it’s an automated response based on a manufacturers input. The Pre-Check program checks for the presence of data in specific fields, and when multiple choices are available, it checks for the correct option.

However, the data the manufacturer provides may be wrong. This is usually due to an honest mistake but occasionally some disreputable manufacturers have been known to “game” the system and enter false data. It takes competitors in the marketplace to call out these dishonest companies for providing greenwashed information or complete fabrications. Bad HPDs have been flagged by GBCI LEED certification teams which doesn’t make the manufacturer look good and definitely decreases their specification opportunities the next go around.

If a product manufacturer wants to ensure that they are developing, publishing, and distributing a LEED compliant HPD, it is suggested that the manufacturer work with an HPDC approved HPD Preparer. These approved organizations know the HPD Open Standard in and out and most of the companies are actively involved with HPDC committees that develop and maintain the standard.

Does your company have a LEED compliant HPD? What issues have you run into by not having an HPD or LEED v4 compliant HPD? ▪

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