16-0728 v3.0/Isocyanate, Red List and Proprietary Ingredients


As you may know, the Delos HQ project is pursuing not only Living Building Challenge Petal Certification, but also LEED and WELL. We believe that this will be a case study project that helps to align especially the materials industry, but with that comes some discrepancies between the standards.

While we have been able to find products that meet all three standards thus far, we have run into an issue with isocyanate, which I believe may continue to be an issue throughout the rest of our materials selection. Isocyanate is not allowed in any interior finishes per Feature 25 Part 4 of the WELL Building Standard and is the only chemical that WELL treats as hazardous in products that is not also on the LBC Red List. Per research by IWBI, isocyanate is a chemical that is hazardous to human and environmental health.
While we have been able to get around the issue of isocyanate with carpet and other ancillary furniture, we have run into a problem with ESD flooring for our IDF/MDF rooms. Because of the anti-static requirement, our choices are somewhat limited. We have vetted at least five products and while we can avoid PVC in the product, we are forced to choose between a product that has a polyurethane, and therefore isocyanate, and one that is Red List and isocyanate free but won't disclose most of their ingredients. The product that will not disclose also has an EPD to demonstrate their environmental commitment. 
For this specific case, we are hoping to be able to use a proprietary ingredients exception to use the product that is Red List and isocyanate free, but not fully disclosed. This would be instead of a product that is Red List free and fully disclosed, but has isocyanate. We will advocate to both parties as required with a proprietary exception. We feel that this still supports the intent of the Materials Petal, if not strengthening the Red List with human and environmental health in mind.
More broadly, we are wondering if we could get approval to treat isocyanate as an addition to the Red List for anything that is considered an interior finish to the extent that we prioritize something that is Red List and isocyanate free over something not fully disclosed.


The team may choose to exclude ingredients from the project in addition to those on the Red List, but may not include materials that are known to contain, or may potentially contain, Red List ingredients. In this case, the exclusion of isocyanate is treated as a materials performance requirement. The team may use I10-E4 Proprietary Ingredients in order to avoid isocyanate in the product mentioned above if the manufacturer confirms, in writing, that the product is Red List compliant and the percentage of ingredients being withheld. The team must also send a letter to the manufacturer advocating for disclosure of all ingredients in the product.

Post ID 5803

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