Cradle to Cradle Institute is betting $250K that you can innovate healthier products for the home | U.S. Green Building Council
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Posted in Industry
A Make it Right family in a Make it Right home. Photo credit: Kimberly Cadena.

More people worry about chemicals of concern in our environment than ever before, and it’s starting to change how manufacturers are thinking about building materials and products that enter our homes.

A significant portion of this pollution comes from the materials that make up our indoor environment: wall coverings, floor covering, adhesives, finishes, and a whole host of obvious and non-obvious culprits. The number of chemicals of concern contained in these products is almost beyond count- which also means they prompt serious health concerns, such as asthma. Healthy Environments: A Compilation of Substances Linked to Asthma, a report from leading global design firm Perkins + Will, identifies 374 substances commonly found in the built environment that are known or suspected to contribute to asthma. Asthma is the leading cause of hospitalization in children, the most prevalent chronic disease in childhood, and the most common cause of school absenteeism. Asthma currently affects an estimated 7.1 million children under the ages of 18 years old and it is increasing, especially in young children, both in the number of people affected and in severity.

While building materials are primary targets for change, change has been slow. But now, the industry is getting a call to action.

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute and Make it Right are issuing a Product Innovation Challenge with $250,000 in cash prizes. The Challenge encourages manufacturers to design goods for the affordable housing market that are safe for human and environmental health and designed for re-use. 

The Product Challenge will have immediate impact by identifying products that can be used in the near term to improve green buildings. Submissions are due June 30, 2013.

Judges include executives from Make It Right, U.S. Green Building Council, Google, First Community Housing, Delta Development Group in the Netherlands, and GIGA in China.

In addition to the $250,000 prize money, contest winners will benefit from a Dwell media partnership and special announcement at Greenbuild 2013. Up to 20 runners-up will receive distinction at the event and benefit from a marketing/PR campaign supporting their work.

All contest details and official rules can be found at  

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