2021 BGA and BGAF Annual Report
BGAF’s Building Clean initiative works to promote a Buy Local, Buy Healthy approach to purchasing building products that focuses on supporting jobs in the local or regional economy and lessening exposure to hazardous substances in the home through a better understanding of a product’s ingredient content and how it might impact the health of residents and installers.
In 2021, efforts to increase the use of U.S. made, healthier buildings products in the creation of energy efficient affordable housing continued to be at the forefront our priorities. This includes the release of our report Manufacturing Efficiency: How Buy America Policy Can Boost Jobs Manufacturing Energy-Efficient Products, which shows the job creation potential of investments in deep energy retrofits that are coupled with a commitment to purchasing U.S. made building products. We also grew our relationships with developers of energy efficient, affordable housing, which has created opportunities to recommend building materials for projects in Richmond, VA and a Zero Net Energy home in Duluth, MN.
Building Clean expanded communications with contractors, contractor organizations, and construction trades unions over the past year to better understand their knowledge of and level of interest in learning more about hazardous chemicals in building materials and healthier alternatives. Through this effort we’re helping educate these audiences and others in the affordable housing space not only on the importance of specifying less hazardous building materials, but why health inequities in the indoor environment are so prevalent among historically disadvantaged groups who live in low-cost housing.
In early September, BGAF participated in and helped coordinate a policy discussion on healthy buildings with the NAACP’s Centering Equity in the Sustainable Building Sector (CESBS). Other participants included the International Living Future Institute and the New Buildings Institute. This was part of ongoing collaborative efforts to emphasize how healthier building materials can assist in reducing racial disparities.