Flame retardants (FRs) are a group of additives that include toxic chemicals shown to be harmful to human and environmental health in many ways. With the enactment of California’s TB117-2013 for furniture fire safety and The Chicago Tribune’s scathing investigative report about FR manufacturers’ misleading marketing efforts, we learned that toxic chemicals are not the only way to support... Read more »
Sustaining a reasonable level of safety and quality in our day-to-day lives now requires that we collectively respond to weather extremes, economic disruptions, and resource depletions that are becoming commonplace globally, regionally, and locally. Resilience involves interactive social, economic, and environmental elements that respond to both acute short-term and systemic long-term topics related to the... Read more »
Paper presented at this year’s TechConnect in Washington, D.C. Now published via TechConnect Briefs.
This article presents a study of a Pitt River Middle School (built in 2013) and, analyzes how close the project comes to achieving the International Passive House standard and what changes would need to be made to achieve the standard. The article reviews the target metrics associated with the Passive House Standard and processes involved... Read more »
This article explores how a responsive, acuity adaptable emergency room design can actively contribute to patient well-being along the continuum of care without sacrificing operational efficiencies. Increasing medical knowledge, prevalence, and social awareness of behavioral health issues have made it imperative to design therapeutic spaces that respond to the whole person, in addition to medical... Read more »
This is a practice-based research investigation, not a scientific enquiry, intended to consider how wellness can be first and foremost in the design of our healthcare environments. In this investigation, designing with wellness means going beyond hospitality design meant to soften institutional care, aiming instead on designs that acknowledge illness with the intent of uncovering the support... Read more »
Building in harmony with nature allows for the comfort and well-being of inhabitants of a home, building, neighborhood, or even a district. In this research, we studied the ways in which harmony is achieved in nature, and the ways in which it is achieved in existing building science. We propose a novel bridge between active and passive mechanical... Read more »
The demand for non-toxic building products is encouraging manufacturers to replace “worst offender” chemicals with safer alternatives. This presents an opportunity for manufacturers to innovate with greener chemistry. Transparency (ingredient disclosure) in the building industry has been growing, pressuring manufacturers to disclose more about the composition of products than ever before. The public’s alarm about... Read more »
Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Antimicrobials A companion piece to P+W’s recently published Healthy Environments: Understanding Antimicrobial Ingredients in Building Materials. Think those doorknobs, countertops, or floor tiles treated with antimicrobial ingredients are going to keep germs at bay and protect your health? You may want to reconsider. A new white paper... Read more »
Antimicrobial building products marketed as "healthy" contain ingredients that may have adverse environmental or human health impacts, and alternative products should be considered whenever possible, according to a new white paper by Perkins+Will and the Healthy Building Network (HBN). The paper exposes the lack of scientific evidence supporting claims that so-called antimicrobial products help ward off communicable diseases. Perkins+Will is placing "Products Marketed as Antimicrobial" on its Precautionary List, urging designers to consider alternatives before specifying them.
Robin Guenther kicks of the Living Product Expo with a compelling talk about the building materials economy and the ease with which it is possible to ignore the cascading negative human and planetary health consequences.