Google, Healthy Building Network Release Web App
Google teamed up with the Healthy Building Network to deliver a web app for materials analysis. The goal is to provide a nutrition-label-like list of materials in building products.
Google has collaborated with the Healthy Building Network (HBN) to release a web application designed to help organizations make better decisions about the materials they use in building construction projects. The app, called Portico, will give architects, contractors and manufactures scientific information on the human and environmental impacts of their building material choices. It would also let them search for and compare building materials for certification and environmental hazard screening information. Portico will provide a listing of all the ingredients of every product in a particular environment, from chairs to the paint used in specific rooms, said Priya Premchandran, team design and construction lead with Google's real estate workplace services group. "[It's] just like the nutrition labels on the food you buy at your neighborhood grocery store," she said in a blog post. Google has been testing Portico on internal construction and design projects since at least 2015. So far, the company has used the tool to evaluate and score products used in more than 195 projects spanning 20 countries and some 5,000 manufacturers, Premchandran said. The company has compiled a list of some 2,500 products that meet Google's requirements for healthy materials. Each product has been assessed against a total of more than 40,000 chemical hazards, the Healthy Building Network said in a separate release on its website.
"Unlike other product databases, Portico is designed to integrate with a typical design and construction delivery process," HBN said in the release.