Quartz aims to bridge the gaps between information, knowledge, and action, leading to less toxic, lower-impact building materials.
Buildings, the Environment, and Our Health
Buildings are where we spend most of our lives, yet we know little about the materials used in construction—how they impact the environment and how they might impact our long-term health. Quartz provides access to open data that promotes the transparency of building materials and products.
Many health problems have been linked to poor indoor air quality, which can be affected by building materials that emit volatile organic compounds and solvents. In addition, building-generated CO2 emissions contribute heavily to climate change. To respond to both of these pressing demands, we need building products that enhance and protect the environment and our personal health throughout a building's lifecycle.
Seeding the Effort for Better Buildings
Within the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry, it is incredibly difficult for professionals responsible for providing healthy and sustainable spaces to make informed decisions about building products. The absence of centralized information, poor data accessibility, varying standards, and closed practices makes the curation of data for even a single product a great challenge.
The Quartz Common Product Database seeds the effort to bridge a vast knowledge gap within the AEC industry. Using a consistent and transparent methodology, our database includes composition, environment, and health hazard information on 102 common building products. Information is critical for market transformation towards less toxic and lower-impact materials. With open data, we can begin to measure, demand, and design better products, buildings, and communities.
Flux’s mission is to help meet the world’s demand for durable, sustainable buildings by applying principles from software engineering, scalable computing, and open platforms. Flux led the technical implementation and project management of the Common Products database and overall project.
Since 2009, HBN has been researching the composition of building products, through our Pharos Building Materials Library. HBN’s research team created a rigorous methodology for researching the most common components, materials, and chemicals present in building products, which informed the foundation of each Common Product Profile.
thinkstep’s industry-leading software, data, and consulting services help businesses drive operational excellence, product innovation, brand value, and regulatory compliance. thinkstep contributed to Quartz’s life cycle assessment methodology, data development, as well as quality assurance of the Common Product Profiles.
Frequently Asked Questions
We are challenging AEC stakeholders to think critically about how Common Product data can help lead to better buildings and communities. Whether you’re on a project team looking to integrate sustainability data into design, a manufacturer looking to differentiate your product, or a tool provider seeking to provide valuable insights using product category benchmarks, please share your ideas with us!