Informed by our comprehensive research, HBN’s building product guidance uses a red-to-green ranking system to compare material types based on their hazardous content.
HomeFree resources help you prioritize material health and transparency in your design, specifications, and certification processes (including Green Communities).
These recommendations are intended as a high-level resource for those selecting and specifying healthier products, and can be used as a general resource alongside our more detailed product guidance.
The materials we touch, interact with, and are surrounded by every day affect us in ways most don't understand. HomeFree works to shine a light on toxic chemical exposures and transform the built environment by empowering decision makers to identify and use safer building products. As a national program co-created with affordable housing practitioners and designers, we work to improve the health of all people and the planet, especially marginalized communities and children who are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals.
HBN’s in-depth research into the hazards associated with toxic chemicals in building materials shapes our guidance on healthier product solutions.
HomeFree’s evidence-based tools and resources make it easy to implement healthier materials into your project that meet cost and performance requirements.
We partner with affordable housing collaboratives, green building certifications, and state housing and environmental agencies to scale the use of healthier materials and transform the market to safer products.
The HomeFree Champions are a dynamic group of national and regional experts, refining, scaling and promoting the work of HomeFree.
"Significant improvements were made to the Materials section of the Green Communities standard thanks to the leadership of HBN and HomeFree."
— Krista Egger, Senior Director of National Initiatives at Enterprise
"Working with HBN through HomeFree has helped TNDC in avoiding harmful building materials while identifying healthier viable options. It’s the first big step in building health equity by advancing procurement practices."
— Ruchi Shah, Senior Sustainability Manager at TNDC
"Our industry is inundated with product information, evaluation data, and selection criteria, which easily becomes overwhelming and quickly goes out of date. Our firm works with HBN and HomeFree to streamline internal processes and facilitate external project collaboration."
— David Johnson, Principal at SERA Architects
"It is an honor to work with HomeFree and this group of professionals to help lead the charge forward on research, guidance, and best practices to advance the healthy building movement."
— Lance Collins, Director at Partner Energy and President of SoCalNOMA