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Removing Arsenic from Building Materials: A Success Story

Bill Walsh | March 12, 2013 | Materials

March 17th marks the 10th anniversary of the EPA order that made it illegal to use the arsenic-based pesticide CCA (chromated copper arsenate) to treat wood intended for most residential uses, including wood destined for decks, picnic tables, landscaping timbers, gazebos, residential fencing, patios, walkways and play structures. This is also a hap...


The Google Healthiness Machine

Bill Walsh | January 24, 2013 | Policies

For the fourth year in a row Fortune magazine has named Google the best company in America to work for. Slate technology columnist Fahrad Manjoo attributes this success to a relentless data-driven campaign to attract and retain the best employees in the ultra-competitive field of software engineering.[1] He calls this: The Google Happiness Machine....


Leadership in Advocacy

Bill Walsh | December 11, 2012 | Policies

Last month at the Greenbuild Conference and Expo, my colleague Tom Lent and I were honored to accept the 2012 Leadership in Advocacy Award from the US Green Building Council on behalf of the incredibly dedicated staff at the Healthy Building Network.

HBN is a non-profit organization that receives the vast majority of its income through grant...


Greenbuild 2012: Rick Fedrizzi Brings It On

Bill Walsh | November 19, 2012 | Policies

In his Greenbuild 2012 Plenary Address, USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi spoke with passion to a cheering crowd about the need for transparency in the building industry, noting that "leadership companies are embracing health product declarations and green chemistry." Speaking to the opponents of the proposed chemical disclosure and a...


Greenbuild 2012: The New Normal - Transparency and Healthier Building Products

Bill Walsh | November 09, 2012 | Policies

Health Product Declaration Open Standard 1.0 Released Today a wide-ranging collaboration of green building industry leaders released Version 1.0 of the Health Product Declaration (HPD) Open Standard Format. For the first time, manufacturers and their customers will have a standard format for the disclosure of contents and associated health informat...


Burying the LEED

Bill Walsh | October 25, 2012 | Policies

USA Today's two-part investigative report on the US Green Building Council documents the growing pains of an innovative experiment by American business, but stops short of shedding light on what is happening behind the scenes as the Council moves forward its most important innovation in a decade.

Despite cutthroat opposition from the chemica...


NY Times Op Eds Show Why LEED Chemical Credits Are Needed

Bill Walsh | August 28, 2012 | Policies

This past Sunday's New York Times Week In Review contained two important opinion editorials that underscore both the need for the proposed LEED credits on chemical disclosure and avoidance, and why these proposals have earned the US Green Building Council (USGBC) such vicious attacks from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the trade associat...


Chemical Giants Target the USGBC: Part 2

Bill Walsh | July 20, 2012 | Policies

Ramping up its assault on the US Green Building Council's initiative to offer credits for reducing toxic chemicals in LEED®-certified buildings (see Chemical Giants Target The USGBC: Part 1), the American Chemistry Council this week announced the formation of the American High Performance Buildings Coalition (AHPBC). This organization is co...


Chemical Giants Target the USGBC: Part 1

Bill Walsh | May 22, 2012 | Policies

The credibility of the US chemical industry has taken a beating in the press this month. But instead of apologizing, pledging to reform its ways, or disciplining a "few bad apples," for being caught lying red handed, the industry has doubled down and launched an all out attack on the US Green Building Council.[1] The focus of the attack -...


Slogging Through the First Season of Transparency

Bill Walsh | April 02, 2012 | Policies

Mud season has just passed in Vermont. That is the time of year when our pastoral dirt roads, frozen since last November, begin to thaw, from the top down. The frozen underlayer traps the water above, creating mud. Deep, sticky, Prius-swallowing mud. To traverse our "dirt" roads in March you need the right equipment: a four-wheel drive ve...