Frequently Asked Questions

Informed™ is an assessment method used for materials modeling and product screening to guide healthy product selection at all stages of design.

Informed™ is organized as a taxonomy and sorts building products into groups. The Informed™ taxonomy is hierarchical, so product groups start from the very general and branch out to more specific. This means users can move in any direction in the taxonomy, forwards and backwards, general to specific. This helps users find product information that matches where they are in the design process; early phase or as-built. At every branch of the taxonomy, Informed™ provides science-based guidance so that users are informed before navigating to the next product level.

Use Informed™ at any phase of design, from the very beginning of the product selection process to post-construction. You can even use Informed™ on existing and historical projects! We recommend using Informed™ at the early stage of a project, when there is still flexibility in the design. Ideally, this is during the charrette, discovery, or early concept design phase.

Because Informed™ organizes products by group, it is not necessary to have a list of specific manufacturers or specific products in order to get started. Project teams are encouraged to think of Informed™ as a pre-emptive, materials modeling approach that identifies whole product categories to prefer and those to steer clear of.

Informed uses a color-based system to help identify products that are preferred vs those that are not. Green represents preferred products; red is to be avoided. Color rankings appear at each level of Informed as one navigates through the product taxonomy. Color rankings are the result of HBN’s research on building products and manufacturing processes. Learn more about our methodology here.

Informed™ can reveal a host of information that can be utilized for a variety of different purposes. For example, data generated from Informed™ can be used for benchmarking and goal setting, identifying trends and hotspots, creation of baselines and helping to support submission requirements for green building programs.

Because data from Informed™ is both qualitative and quantitative, data can be visualized, and reports can be generated. These analytics help project teams see how their product choices impact people and the planet and how to leverage metrics into stories of impact. Learn more about the power of analytics here.

No. Informed™ is meant to be used by entire project teams and the larger community.

No. Informed™ is not a certification, declaration, or label. It is a holistic method and approach. Informed™ is akin to a materials modeling tool that is integrated into your design workflow.