Guidance for the buildings and construction sector

Resources in this section provide key background information on chemicals of concern in building materials, to support development of sound chemical management strategies.

Resources are primarily aimed at the following stakeholders in the buildings and construction value chain:

  • Architects and designers.  Resources such as the Healthy Materials Lab guidances provide background to enable healthier material selection in projects.
  • Sustainability practitioners.  Support for those working alongside manufacturers and suppliers of building materials to help establish best practices and understand current state of product markets in relation to chemical safety.
  • Procurers.  Examples such as the Healthy Hospitals programme can provide insights for development of procurement strategies and goals for specifying healthier materials such as flooring, paints, and adhesives used in public buildings.
  • Retailers.  More and more retailers are providing chemically safer products in response to consumer demand and pressure from environmental organisations.  Resources can be used to inform better sourcing policies, as well as advising on effective communication to customers on sustainable chemical use, avoiding greenwashing. 
  • Manufacturers, of both chemicals and building products, can develop strategies and policies for phasing out hazardous substances, and improve the sustainability of their chemical processes - resources such as the Green and Sustainable Chemistry Framework Manual provides guidance for this.
  • Policymakers at both a local and national level can become better informed on the key issues and barriers to better chemical management policies, and understand the drivers needed to shift markets and develop frameworks around safer chemicals.

Explore the infographic to learn more about chemical hazards from common building materials (this list is non-exhaustive). 

Infographic Chemicals in Buildings