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Perkins+Will, WM Launch Building Material Database, Recycling Tracker

Design firm Perkins+Will has launched a free, universally accessible database aimed at educating people on building materials that are, or are suspected of being, hazardous to human and environmental health.

The database is based on the “precautionary principle,” the idea that in the absence of scientific consensus, an action merits precautionary treatment if it has a suspected risk of causing harm to humans or to the environment.

Included in the site is a list of substances which are known or suspected to be common asthma triggers, sourced from governmental lists, and a list of flame retardants, featuring original research by the Green Research Policy Institute. The list details the content of asthma triggers and flame retardants by cataloging these substances and their known or suspected health and environmental impacts.

In other green building news, refuse firm Waste Management has formally launched DART, a diversion and recycling tracking tool to help project planners, contractors, architects and building owners measure their green performance during construction, renovation, and demolition projects.

The service, which is available across the U.S. and Canada, operates online and is accessible 24 hours a day, and can monitor recycling rates and provide documentation to support LEED certification.

The tool has been on a soft launch since the middle of the year and is already in use by Balfour Beatty subsidiary SpawMaxwell.

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