Declare is a new “nutrition label” or ingredient label for building materials that will provide an answer to three main questions: First, where does this product come from?  Second, what is it made of?  Third, where does it go at the end of its life?  Seems like three hard questions to answer on one product label, but as you can see in the label attached above, Declare gets the job done.

Declare is operated by the International Living Future Institute, so there is definitely an alignment with the Living Building Challenge and particularly the Red List.

For example, products with a Declare label that are Red List Free will be noted.  Alternatively, the label may note LBC Compliant, if there’s a temporary Red List exception (with Red List ingredients indicated in red text), or none of these if Red List ingredients are noted in the text.

But on a more basic level, the Declare label can be applied to any product regardless of its makeup, provided the manufacturer pays the initial $850 or so it takes to get put into the database.  The label will indicate things like where the product was assembled, how long it may last, and whether it may be reused or trashed at the end of the useful life.

There’s a database that will grow over time to help consumers and professionals research various products. And project teams will have a new source to find materials for Living Building Challenge projects.  All things considered, this may actually facilitate a new culture of transparency and openness in materials.  I’m impressed.

[+] More about the launch of ingredients label Declare by ILFI.