Skip to content

Understanding Hazard, Exposure and Risk in the Built Environment

Learn how to appropriately weigh considerations of hazard, exposure and risk when selecting products and materials during the building design and construction process.

Do you think ingredients, hazard and risk mean the same thing when it comes to specifying the most sustainable product? Learn the difference between the two and what tools (LCA, EPD, HPD, and SDS) are available to inform your selections and ensure the full life cycle of an installed product. Gain confidence in your choices, navigate ingredient concerns through practical examples, and understand why the same product might be right for one application but not the other depending on project goals and occupant needs. 

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the difference between hazard, exposure and risk in terms of chemical ingredients and materials selection. 
  • Recognize the limitations of hazard-only thinking when selecting building materials. 
  • Assess product comparisons based on ingredients, performance, cost and life cycle impacts. 
  • Identify the tools available to evaluate the safety of building products and materials.


  • 1 IDCEC CEU | CC-113649 
  • 1 AIA LU | HSW ACC-301 


ceu image leed

LEED Pilot Credit 103: Integrative Analysis of Building Material

Evaluate products and materials using available life cycle information to identify those that have positive environmental, health and safety impacts.
ceu i9mage context

Chemistry in Context: Material Science in Building & Construction

Navigate materials selection with an overview of chemistry’s role in product and building performance.