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

Tension at the Materials and Human Health Summit?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 by
Building Materials and Human Health

Tension at the Materials and Human Health Summit? A report from Greenbuild 2013 This year 25,000 industry experts descended upon the Philadelphia Convention Center for a week of networking and education to discuss Building Materials and Human Health at Greenbuild 2013. I was fortunate enough to attend the Materials and Human Health Summit, an all-day

Is PVC Toxic?

Friday, 13 December 2013 by

Is PVC Toxic to Humans? We are often asked, “Is PVC Toxic?” Is polyvinyl chloride (PVC or “vinyl”) is toxic to humans when it is used as a building product. Or, is it only problematic during manufacturing and/or disposal? The answer is that PVC is toxic to humans throughout its life cycle. In production, carcinogens and endocrine disruptors

Nanotechnology and Coatings

Wednesday, 27 November 2013 by

In helping our clients choose healthy building materials, I tend to be weary of coatings in general, but nanocoatings are of particular concern. In building materials, manufacturers advertise nanocoatings on carpets, upholstery, photovoltaics, and even toilets. I’ve seen these coatings used as stain repellants, waterproofing coatings or as finishes that create a smooth and easily

Safe Cookware

Friday, 22 November 2013 by
safe cookware

Does Stainless Steel Leach Chemicals? There is a lot of information in the blogosphere about health and safety in cookware, but when a client asked whether stainless steel leached dangerous chemicals, I was unable to find a quick answer to her question. I decided to look into the issue of safe cookware myself. In one 2013

What is in that New Car Smell?

Friday, 15 November 2013 by

Testing a new car for VOC’s and Formaldehyde Healthy Building Science recently leased a brand new 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel for use by the inspection department.  While the car is very nice, low emissions and great mileage, it definitely has that New Car Smell.  Being the science geeks we are at HBS, I

Not All LED’s are the Same (Addendum)

Friday, 08 November 2013 by
LED Dirty Electricity

Dirty Electricity Concerns? In the recent blog of September 10th, 2013, EMI and LEDs – Not all LEDs are the same! we described dirty electricity and examined several brands of CFLs and LEDs.  This blog tests several more brands of LEDs to determine which produces the least amount of LED dirty electricity . It has

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We have until November 15th to get 250 votes! Please vote for Healthy Building Science to become eligible for a $250,000 grant!  Voting requires logging in via facebook. You can only vote via facebook. Follow this link: https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/business/detail/96146 If we win we would expand our toolkits and service area – which equates to helping thousands of more

Lead in Ceramics

Friday, 25 October 2013 by
lead in ceramics

Recently I was helping a client select ceramic tiles in her new home, and my initial instinct was to approve all the tiles as “healthy” without much research into their contents. I couldn’t imagine there would be any toxicity issues with lead in ceramics. Wasn’t Lead Banned in Ceramics Along with Paints? After reading that one

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