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The 2030 Challenge: Healthy Building with Low Carbon Products

Bill Walsh | February 14, 2011 | Policies

Today, Architecture 2030 is issuing the 2030 Challenge for Products, a plan to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from the manufacturing and transportation of building products. The Healthy Building Network and BuildingGreen will support the initiative, helping the A&D community play an active role in this ambitious pr...


New LEED Pilot Credits Advance While Chemical Data Gap Looms

Bill Walsh | January 14, 2011 | Policies

Last year the USGBC introduced two new Pilot Credits[1] that reward precautionary action, the avoidance of certain classes of chemicals in the face of mounting evidence that they present significant threats to human health.[2] Industry trade groups fought these measures as they fight all chemical regulation, with the argument restrictions or disinc...


Ten Years, Ten Minutes: 2010

Bill Walsh | December 21, 2010 | Announcements

The end of 2010 also marks the close of the Healthy Building Network's 10th year. It seems fitting that our first decade concludes with both an ending and a beginning - the culmination of an effort we began in our first year, and the launch of a new program that I believe will define our next decade. As you read on, if you share our enthusiasm...


New LEED Materials Credits Target Phthalates, Flame Retardants

Bill Walsh | October 28, 2010 | Policies

Today the US Green Building Council (USGBC) expanded the LEED Pilot Credit Library with a new LEED materials credit for "Chemical Avoidance In Building Materials." This credit along with an earlier credit for "PBT Source Reduction: Dioxins and Halogenated Organic Compounds" marks the beginning of a three step approach the USGBC is developing to address "chemicals of concern" in building materials. LEED project teams will play a critical role in the success of this process, which is likely to be aggressively resisted by the chemicals and plastics industries, and some product manufacturers.


New Study Ranks PVC "At Bottom" in Green Design, Life Cycle Assessment

Bill Walsh | October 13, 2010 | Materials

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh evaluated the environmental impacts of 12 different polymers, both petroleum and biomass based, using green design principles such as the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and the 12 Principles of Green Engineering, as well as conventional life cycle assessment (LCA) tools. Three of the polymers evaluated...


Heinz Awards Honor Scientists Opposed by Chemical Industry

Bill Walsh | September 30, 2010 | Policies

The assault by the petro-chemical industry on scientific integrity -- and scientists with integrity -- has been well documented.[1] This year, three winners of the 16th Annual Heinz Awards are scientists who are distinguished "by their courageous willingness to communicate the implications of their work, often in the face of determined opposit...


Heinz Awards Honor Scientists Opposed By Chemical Industry

Bill Walsh | September 29, 2010 | Policies

The assault by the petro-chemical industry on scientific integrity – and scientists with integrity – has been well documented.[1] This year, three winners of the 16th Annual Heinz Awards are scientists who are distinguished "by their courageous willingness to communicate the implications of their work, often in the face of determin...


Fly Ash in Building Products: Proceed with Precaution

Bill Walsh | September 15, 2010 | Materials

On September 1, 2010, Environmental Building News (EBN) announced it would "no longer consider the use of fly ash in products or materials to be an environmental attribute when doing so does not offset greenhouse gas emissions." EBN continues to support the use fly ash as a substitute for portland cement in concrete. In his editorial expl...