As occupant health and wellness continue to propel the green building industry forward, material transparency stands front and center as the obvious elephant in the room. Delivering healthy built results depends largely on the composition of the products and materials that are specified and installed. Without comprehensive information, designers are forced to play roulette with the data gaps they are provided. These data gaps do not exist out of negligence, but rather confusion. Manufacturers are bombarded by numerous, nuanced requests from all over the world, making it difficult (if not impossible) to provide desired information to A+D and other end users. New and evolving certification programs and building codes further challenge Manufacturers to provide accurate, comprehensive material transparency information.
At the center of the chaos, a grassroots initiative, aimed at simplifying material transparency has emerged: mindful MATERIALS (mM). First developed and launched by HKS Architects, the free initiative has since attracted members from over 140 Architecture and Design (A+D) firms. The mM Program is entirely led by volunteers from across the United States, Mexico and Ireland. Rather than create a new overarching label or certification protocol, the mM Program instead provides a common platform which recognizes existing industry transparency labels and certifications. By reinforcing existing tools, the mM Program creates a comprehensible narrowed focus for A+D follow while increasing KPIs for industry labels and certifications that provide the most relevant material transparency data. This data serves as the foundation of the mM Program (As of the time of writing, over 175 Manufacturers have signed on to the mM Program). Manufacturers are unilaterally invited to freely participate and make their products easily and freely accessible to A+D and other end users. All submitted content is reviewed by the mM Content Working Group before it is made publicly available.
The scale and growth of the initiative is a testament to its relevance and the widespread appreciation for the simplicity and value that the mM Program delivers. The volunteers behind the initiative are preparing for growth. At the end of 2016, the mM Admin Team expanded and collectively continues to increase Manufacturer participation and develop relevant tools and resources for A+D specifiers. Working groups (Admin, Outreach, and Content) have been established to further the development and support of the mM Program. To get involved, contact, mMworkingGroup@gmail.com
GIGA is committed and excited to support the growth of the mM Program. The beta will launch on February 27th, 2017 featuring a curated mM Library will be available using cloud-technology provided by GIGA’s material data hub, Origin. All members who have joined the mM Program (free) will have access to search and view all of the products which have been submitted by Manufacturers and approved by the mM Content Working Group. The fundamental goal of the initial launch is to provide easy access to the data, and better enable design professionals to search the available content. The launch marks a start - additional tools will be built to improve the search-ability and data and to enable interactivity. Tool development will be guided by mM Members. To become a Member (free), sign-up at www.mindfulmaterials.com
Join us for the first of many launch event presentations. The premier launch presentation and reception will be graciously hosted by the AIA Washington DC Chapter at the District Architectural Center (421 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004). The free event will be held on Monday, February 27th, 2017. Doors open at 5:30pm and the launch will run from 6:00-8:00pm. To attend the launch event, please sign-up at: http://www.aiadc.com/event/national-launch-mindful-materials-library
The mM Program is led by volunteers from leading design firms. To volunteer and help shape the future of the mM Program, email: mMworkingGroup@gmail.com
For more information about the mM Program, please visit www.mindfulmaterials.com
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