Healthier Materials Protocol


Cover of the protocol guide and image of timeline of the regulatory progress alongside the building industry's progress

Materials selection is one of the most difficult sustainability goals to track and integrate into the design and delivery process.

Opting for healthier materials shouldn’t be a lofty goal for the well-resourced few. Architects should encourage the selection and availability of materials that are better for our human and environmental health. While case studies exemplifying healthier materials projects have been dominated by an all-or-nothing approach, the entry-point for choosing healthier products is lower than most think.  

The new AIA Healthier Materials Protocol was created to provide clear, practical methods and tools to navigate this maze and effectively translate awareness to practice. The document provides a stepwise method for setting healthier materials goal and criteria definitions, product selection, tracking, and specification, no matter the size and scope of the project. It also suggests tools and provides examples from case studies to assist with each step.

The user-friendly guide is written to meet you where you are as an architect or a firm and help you:

  • select safer materials for humans and the environment
  • design and build with healthier materials
  • understand the differences between material transparency and chemical avoidance
  • address barriers in obtaining buy-in from peers, clients, and the market
  • collectively strengthen the market signal for safer alternative products

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