LEED, Cradle to Cradle, EPDs, and HPDs. The list of sustainability initiatives, design tools, and rating systems—as well as acronyms—continues to grow.

Just last month, the International Well Building Institute added to the list by releasing its Building Standard Version 1.0, focused on enhancing health and well-being through the built environment.

While all of these initiatives are aimed at elevating design and establishing a correlation between indoor, environmental, and human health, the growing complexity can leave some designers, architects, and owners struggling with what they stand for and how they all relate.

“When you make a decision, what does it do to your EPD rating versus your LEED rating versus your Cradle to Cradle rating?” says Randy Fiser, CEO of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID; Washington D.C.). “There’s something we need to do to help designers understand this complexity in a more easily digestible way that doesn’t ask them to be a doctor, environmentalist, and a chemist all at once.”

ASID presented its answer this fall, announcing a commitment with the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) and 11 partner organizations to develop the ASID Protocols for Health and Wellness in Design.

Fiser says the goal is to create an online tool that will help design professionals understand existing green guidelines and how they work together. But he’s quick to clarify that the effort will not result in a new standard. “We want this to be a living, breathing tool that’s not an addition but a simplification of the broader initiatives that are out there,” he says.

Many of the concepts are still under development, including how and where training will be provided and whether a certification will be involved. But the initiative has outlined some goals, such as creating a protocol framework by the first quarter of 2015, releasing a beta product by the end of 2015, and conducting training in 2016.

For healthcare designers, Fiser says the protocols could be used to help determine the impact of furniture specification or understand the chemical complexity of a product and its impact on health. “It’s really helping a designer break through clutter,” he says.

For more information, visit www.asid.org.