Design as Therapy In the world of building we have control over what comes into contact with our senses. What we see, hear, smell & feel can all be addressed during the design of the building. For the most part these sensory cues are perceived subconsciously and exist in the background. But there are some

Lighting and Circadian Rhythm

IEQ  – Lighting and Circadian Rhythm Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is affected by many different factors. How light affects our health is in its nascent stages of being explored. Nevertheless, there exists enough evidence to know that artificial lighting can be a boon to one’s daily activities or can be detrimental to one’s health. Lighting and circadian


Lessons learned while working on LEED Projects   I am lucky in that I have had the opportunity to work on such a wide array of LEED projects in so many different LEED rating systems and versions. While most LEED professionals, especially those that work in architectural firms, have seen the design side of the

Sick Building Syndrome

What is the difference between Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness? Sick Building Syndrome and Building Related Illness are two distinct diagnosis. People often use the term “sick building” when referring to a property, but buildings don’t get sick – people do. I believe if there are numerous people suffering from Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) it’s okay

LEED Midrise Certification

Wednesday, 28 May 2014 by
LEED Midrise Certification

Last year, I petitioned the USGBC Technical Committee on Homes and received the green signal to pursue LEED certification for a 32 story apartment tower in San Francisco’s Transbay neighborhood. Midrise V 2010 allows certification for residential buildings of 4 to 12+ stories with exceptions made for taller buildings on a case-by-case basis. Residential projects

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Understanding LEED IAQ Testing Requirements LEED 2009 and LEEDv4 both have credits that require building flush-outs or building air quality testing prior to occupancy. The credit requires that after construction ends, the GC must install new filtration media and flush-out the building by supplying a total air volume of 14,000 cubic feet of outdoor air per square

Energy Efficient Windows - Insulated or Thermally Broken Frame

For folks building a new home, the job of selecting the Energy Efficient windows can be daunting. Based on the nature of the contract, the architect may or may not be involved in the window selection. Their contract may end with assisting the home owner with obtaining the permit. In such cases the homeowners may rely


We decided to lighten the mood at Healthy Building Science by creating a funny building science video about what we do. What started off as a standard informational video soon turned into something very different. We hope you enjoy the results of this building science video. In October 2013, we assembled a team consisting of


What is Envelope Commissioning or Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx)? Most of us have heard of Commissioning (Cx) as it deals with HVAC equipment and digital controls. But what is “Enclosure Commissioning” or “Envelope Commissioning,” and what about LEED Envelope Commissioning? Its scope is vast and skills and knowledge required are pretty intensive as well. LEED v4

The Materials and Human Health Summit provided a good explanation of the approach that LEED v4 is taking with regard to materials transparency in LEEDv4. (See my previous post, Tension at the Materials and Human Health Summit? for more on the event). In place of the controversial LEED Pilot Credit 54 that ignited some of the animosity between