Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Michael J. Dyrenfurth

Committee Chair

Michael J. Dyrenfurth

Committee Member 1

Michael J. Gulich

Committee Member 2

Kathryne A. Newton

Committee Member 3

Gareth O'Donnell


Flawed U.S. federal regulation of chemicals has resulted in a materials market that undervalues human and environmental health in favor of the more traditional attributes of price, performance and aesthetics. In the building products industry, global, dynamic supply chains and proprietary information concerns further complicate the task of assessing the material health of products.

Voluntary material health programs in the green building industry are intended to incentivize the manufacture and selection of safer products by getting companies to gather and assess ingredient, hazard and risk information from their supply chain. Building product manufacturers considered early adopters of the main material health programs of interest were interviewed and surveyed in order to identify the barriers they face to further program adoption and disclosure of product content and hazard information.

The research reinforced findings that data collection requirements should be further aligned between different material health programs in order to streamline the process for manufacturers. Release of appropriate levels of information for consumers is also crucial to incentivizing informed decision-making. Supplier engagement and consumer education were identified as pathways to accelerating the demand and release of better information. Addressing these barriers is important to progress, as voluntary measures are likely to remain the most efficient pathway to a healthier materials market.