CHPS debuts high-performance building products database

Collaborative for High Performance Schools creates tool for identifying sustainable, healthy construction products

August 19, 2009 |

The Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) made a new tool available to product manufacturers to help customers identify building products that contribute to sustainable, healthy, built environments. The tool is an online, searchable database where manufacturers can list products that have met certain environmental or health standards ranging from recycled content to materials that contribute to improved indoor air quality. The database can be found at:

The project was funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and was supported by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB), California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI).

"CHPS is excited to be able to offer a new tool to help schools and all building types achieve the highest standards for sustainability and health,” said Bill Orr, executive director of CHPS. “Identifying products that meet these standards can be the toughest part of the battle for school and building owners and designers, so we wanted to offer them an easy, accessible solution that will also help to increase the commercial use of these products.”


The database will list low-emitting materials, materials containing recycled content, rapidly renewable materials, organically grown materials, certified sustainable wood products, and products with low mercury content. The database will also list “multiple attribute” products, including Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP), Resilient Floor (NSF 140), low-emitting office furniture (BIFMA), and products that have undergone life cycle assessments.

"Using environmentally-sound building materials and products promotes healthier indoor air quality and contributes to reducing a building's carbon footprint," said Tom Huetteman, Waste Management Division associate director for U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest Division. "Manufacturers are increasingly providing environmentally-friendly, green building materials.  EPA funding has helped CHPS create this database, which offers an important opportunity for manufacturers to gain consumer awareness of their green building products.”

The database is one of the first of its kind to combine a diverse slate of certifications to address high performance building practices. As the database continues to grow, CHPS will strive to add new product categories, and new functionalities, such as a search function based on a product’s green building rating program compliance.

“This one stop, easy-to-use database supports informed choices for creating buildings that are good for people and the environment" Huetteman added.

Manufacturers are required to submit documents proving their products’ certification. Products that have not been verified can be listed in the database but are “flagged” with a self-declaration status. Certifications are valid for two years. The database replaces the low-emitting materials table, a popular resource provided by CHPS. This static table is referenced by a number of green building standards for schools and other types of buildings.

CHPS is a 501c(3) non-profit headquartered in San Francisco. The Collaborative for High Performance Schools created the nation’s first green building rating program developed especially for school learning environments. The mission of CHPS is make schools better places to learn. CHPS improves the quality of education for our nation’s schoolchildren by facilitating the design, construction and operation of a new generation of high performance - environmentally sustainable, healthy and comfortable - schools.  For more information about CHPS, visit

To access the database, visit:

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