The Living Building Challenge is a philosophy, advocacy tool and certification program that addresses development at all scales. The purpose of the Living Building Challenge is straightforward – it defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions.

Imperative 11, Red List, within the Living Building Challenge requires that manufacturers disclose the ingredients in their products to ensure that they are free of Red List chemicals and materials. Declare supports the Living Building Challenge by providing a transparent materials database that project teams can select from to meet Imperative 11. Manufacturer and raw material location listed on the Declare label assist project teams in determining how best to source local products that support regional economies as required in Imperative 14. A complete list of ingredients ensures that project teams are specifying materials that are Red List free or comply with a red list exception.

The Red List represents the “worst in class” materials, chemicals, and elements known to pose serious risks to human health and the greater ecosystem, We believe these materials should be phased out of production due to health/toxicity concerns. While any material can be listed in the Declare database, a Living Building Project cannot contain any of the following materials or compound.

  • Asbestos
  • Cadmium
  • Chlorinated Polyethylene and Chlorosulfonated Polyethlene
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Chloroprene (Neoprene)
  • Formaldehyde (added)
  • Halogenated Flame Retardants
  • Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
  • Lead (added)
  • Mercury
  • Petrochemical Fertilizers and Pesticides
  • Phthalates
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • Wood treatments containing Creosote, Arsenic or Pentachlorophenol

There are temporary exceptions for numerous Red List items due to current limitations in the materials economy. The Declare staff will review each product to determine if there is an existing exception and make a notation on in the material database and on the product label.