BackPage Primers

Building Products and Health: A Look at Risk vs. Hazard

Use of “hazard avoidance” versus “risk assessment” for understanding toxicity of building materials is hotly debated. Why, and is there a common-sense answer?
Environmental Building News—April 1, 2014

Biophilic Design: Indulging Our Love of Life

New biophilia metrics pin down what it means to engage the love of nature through design.
Environmental Building News—March 1, 2014

How Air-Source Heat Pumps Work

Heating with cold air? Cooling off with hot air? Heat pumps performing these feats (especially mini-splits and VRF systems) have taken off, but how do they work?
Environmental Building News—February 1, 2014

Imperfect Consensus in Green Building Standards

Business rivals find common ground through ANSI, ISO, and other frameworks—but the process isn’t perfect.
Environmental Building News—January 1, 2014

Buffering Humidity with Interior Finishes

The relative humidity of indoor air often fluctuates. Interior finishes can help moderate those changes, improving comfort and IAQ as well as saving energy.
Environmental Building News—December 2, 2013

Impact of Concrete Extends to Sand and Gravel Production

Portland cement takes a lot of heat for concrete’s carbon emissions, but water quality, land use, and transportation count too, especially because of aggregate.
Environmental Building News—November 1, 2013

Choosing Between an ERV and an HRV

Don’t get fooled into buying a more expensive and complex system if what you really need is a dehumidifier.
Environmental Building News—October 1, 2013

How Active Dehumidification Works

Whether you choose a refrigerant-based or a desiccant-based system, dehumidifiers use energy and produce waste heat.
Environmental Building News—September 3, 2013

Beyond Accessible: Universal Design for Green Buildings

By planning ahead for all ages and abilities, designers reduce the need for renovations and may extend building service life.
Environmental Building News—August 1, 2013

Building Acoustics: The Basics of Managing Sound and Noise

Acoustic performance is crucial to occupant well-being. And smart design, not added cost, can make the difference.
Environmental Building News—July 1, 2013
Join the Discussion!

Researchers Find Holes in Climate Argument for Natural Gas

Paula Melton says, “Methane releases from drilling activities have been grossly underestimated by EPA, according to new research. See McClatchy coverage of forthcoming...” More...

Building Products and Health: A Look at Risk vs. Hazard

Stacy Glass says, “Thank you for the great article. We believe that there is a common sense answer to this debate, and that...” More...

Energy Reporting: It’s the Law

Nora Rizzo says, “All commercial building owners in every city should be required to provide energy and water use data for public use.” More...

Selkowitz Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Tristan Roberts says, “Here's another honor for Steve, from ENR. The video of FLEXLAB is really cool!” More...

How to Build Green At No Added Cost

Eric Johnson says, “A common theme to arriving at the same, or lower cost, seems to be looking at the project with "fresh...” More...