Enterprise Community Partners recently announced that the new 2020 Green Communities Criteria are now in effect. HBN has created a resource to help you achieve the updated healthier materials requirements. 

Updated roughly every five years, the criteria provide a useful standard that leaders in affordable housing can use to create healthy, efficient, and environmentally responsible projects. Currently, 27 states and Washington D.C. require that affordable housing developments receiving public funds comply with the Green Communities Criteria. HBN was instrumental in working with Enterprise to shape the updated 2020 materials requirements with extensive recommendations and guidance.

"Significant improvements were made to the Materials section of the Green Communities standard thanks to the leadership of HBN,” said Krista Egger, Senior Director of National Initiatives at Enterprise. The updated standard includes criteria related to product transparency, recycled content, chemical hazard optimization, and an expanded chemical avoidance criterion that includes new mandatory and optional chemical avoidance criteria.

To help you focus on what matters the most, HBN developed a clear and concise resource page on our HomeFree website that explains what the 2020 Green Communities materials criteria are, why they are important, and how you can meet the requirements. The resource page follows a structure similar to that of the Green Communities criteria so you can easily navigate to the sections that interest you the most. Our recommendations include:

  • links to databases that can be used to identify products that meet the materials criteria and guidance on how to interpret the information in those databases
  • templates you can use to request information related to the transparency and recycled content of the products you’d like to use
  • specification language you can “copy and paste” to request the use of products that meet the criteria

In addition, we developed two brief guidelines designed to support architects and developers navigate through the documents, labels, and certifications related to product transparency (criterion 6.1) and product optimization (criterion 6.3)

These resources were developed as part of HomeFree’s larger effort to accelerate the adoption of healthier, affordable product options. We hope that these resources make your work easier as you embark on the important task of developing healthier, safer, and affordable housing through Enterprise green building certification. Join the healthy building movement by visiting HomeFree, using our free resources, and sharing them with your peers. Together we Know Better, together we can Do Better!