Take an inside look into emerging markets and trends. Gain valuable new perspectives from HBN experts and our partners. Be inspired to know better.

The Label Game

Bill Walsh | June 29, 2006 | Policies

It's not just the timber industry pressuring the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to award a new LEED credit for its greenwash self-certification scheme, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) label. Manufacturers of resilient flooring are seeking LEED recognition for their trade association's new certification system, FloorScore. [1] W...

That's LEEDership: California Targets Zero Formaldehyde

Tom Lent | June 14, 2006 | Policies

Since the release of LEED® 2.0, the US Green Building Council's LEED [1] rating system has offered an indoor environmental quality credit (EQc4.4) for the use of building materials with no added urea-formaldehyde. This has sent a clear signal to the building materials market, which has responded with an increasing array of cost competitive...

As USGBC Tackles Wood Issue, Are Any Forests Out of Bounds For Green Buildings?

Bill Walsh | May 31, 2006 | Policies

A May 23, 2006 US Green Building Council press release announced "USGBC Board Tackles [the] Wood Issue." [1] The Board has taken the unusual step of sending proposed new credit language, and a supporting whitepaper, to the LEED Steering Committee who will decide how the membership will consider and vote on the proposals. [2] The USGBC Boa...

Architect of the Environmental Justice Movement

Bill Walsh | May 17, 2006 | Policies

My life flows on in endless song Above earth's lamentation. I hear the real, though far off hymn That hails a new creation Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear the music ringing; It sounds an echo in my soul How can I keep from Singing?

Damu worked for nearly a decade in places that are rarely featured in environmental calendars and c...

The Great Debate Over Certified Wood: FSC, SFI, Green Globes and the USGBC

Bill Walsh | April 27, 2006 | Policies

In the March 24 issue [1] of Healthy Building News we discussed wood product certification standards [2] with Daniel Hall of the advocacy group Forest Ethics, which is not a member of any certifying organization. Representatives of the American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) [3] -- provider of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) [4]...

PVC Critic Publishes Groundbreaking Study On Molecular Evolution

Bill Walsh | April 11, 2006 | Materials

The New York Times [1] reported on April 7, 2006 that Science magazine has published pioneering new research by Dr. Joe Thornton, who also happens to be HBN's science advisor. The new study "for the first time demonstrated the step-by-step progression of how evolution created a new piece of molecular machinery by reusing and modifying exis...

Scotchgard™ and Stainmaster™: A Precautionary Tale for the Green Building Movement

Bill Walsh | February 24, 2006 | Materials

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital drew blood from the umbilical cords of 300 newborns and reported this month that ninety-nine percent of the babies were born with trace levels of perfluorooctanoic acid, usually called PFOA or C-8. [1] This industrial chemical was, until very recently, a critical component in the manufacture of certain fabric a...

PVC Softeners Used In Building Products Cited As Health Concern In Autos

Margie Kelly | February 07, 2006 | Materials

A new report finds that the "new car smell" contains dangerous levels of volatile organic compounds, including phthalates, which are used to soften plastics, particularly PVC. According to a new report issued by the Michigan-based Ecology Center, Toxic at Any Speed: Chemicals in Cars & the Need for Safe Alternatives, [1] cars expose p...