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Monthly Highlight Archives

Link of the Month

November 2001
The State of Green Building 2000
A "benchmark" study of green building in the residential construction industry. This two-part discussion establishes a snapshot of the industry, opportunities and obstacles through a survey of Builder and Buyer knowledge and preferences. By David Johnston, Contributing Editor, Cahners Business Information

December 2001
Protecting the Environment and Ourselves: Are green building concepts still practical in an age of terrorism? (No longer on-line, formerly available through The Earth Times, Nov. 2001)
With the threat of terrorism on the rise, existing design philosophies are being re-evaluated in an effort to improve the safety and survivability of buildings and their occupants. One need not look too hard though because, in fact, technology presently exists that can increase safety and security, and it originates from an unconventional source - the green buildings movement." By David J. Freeman and Robert L. Wegman, Earth Times News Service, November 2001

January 2002
Gen-X Files
A national internet-based study shows Generation X grown up and settling down to homeownership. Who are they and what do they want? The bottom line, according to Builder Online: "Builders who can build an environmentally sensitive house for the right price in the right place, and ease the way to affordability, have real opportunities ahead". Details of the "right" stuff along with graphs and house plans are provided in this 4-page summary. By Builder Online

February 2002
Mercury In Buildings
Answer all your questions about mercury-containing devices in buildings, such as how to avoid using them, how to properly handle them to reduce spills, and what regulations apply. This web resource is primarily for construction and demolition contractors and owners and managers of buildings. Although, the site is also useful to architects and local governments. By U.S. EPA Region 5 & Purdue University

April 2002
Breaking Down the Barriers: Challenges and Solutions to Code Approval of Green Building A survey of both 'code users' and 'code officials' represents the first comprehensive effort to gather information about building regulation and green building. The survey was intended to develop a more thorough understanding of the barriers, identify the most common problems, and seek successful strategies to overcome them. The information will be used to assess and prioritize specific areas that need the most attention in order to facilitate the shift toward best sustainable building and development practices. By Development Center for Appropriate Technology

May 2002
May is American Wetlands Month
- What is the link between wetland protection and residential construction?
The EPA factsheet Wetlands and Runoff ( provides an overview of runoff, or stormwater, impacts and regulations. By U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
What can a contractor do about it? Visit the National Storm Water Best Management Practices (BMPs) Database ( or Urban Best Management Practices ( to find details on a variety of BMPs including stormwater, wastewater, and watershed protection.

June 2002
Radon Control Systems in New Construction
This overview of radon in new construction provides the builder and the homebuyer with a place to start the discussion for installation of radon control systems. It covers radon zone maps, benefits and costs of control systems, 5 techniques of radon control and where to get more information. Includes schematic and steps for the homebuyer. By Volsted Specialties Incorporated

July 2002
Solar Radiation Data Manual for Buildings
Solar resources information for common window orientations for the United States and its territories. For use by architects and engineers, this information was modeled using solar radiation and meteorological data gathered from 1961 to 1990 and will permit quick evaluations of passive solar and daylighting features for buildings. Select the atlas title for an index of the manual and a link to 30-year normals. By National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL's) Analytic Studies Division

August 2002
Watershed Construction Best Management Practices (BMPs) On most sites successful erosion and sedimentation control requires a combination of sturctural and vegetative practices. This guide provides a list of BMPs for erosion and sediment control during construction activities in development settings, divided by function and identifying the stages of the BMP system to which they apply. By WATERSHEDSS / North Carolina State University et al

Hot News

December 2001
A Growing Issue: Mold Lawsuits Affecting Builders Nationally
"A new wave of toxic mold problems has been developing this year and continues to spread, affecting houses, homeowners, builders, and insurance companies in many parts of the country, not just in moist climates. Mold is not new, but recent lawsuits against insurance companies and builders have attracted much attention from national media and local newspapers." B y NAHB Research Center Toolbase Services; Toolbase News Volume 6, Issue 3.

January 2002
Green Grow the Buildings In Atlanta (formerly available on-line through Builder Online)
Wood processing, product innovators and construction businesses in the Metro Atlanta area formed alliances that led to a resource efficient home building program. Partnerships were initially geared toward reducing the 2 million tons of construction debris going into landfills, much of which could be recycled. The result was one of the most progressive home building programs in the country, EarthCraft. This program serves as a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment through savings in energy, water, air, and on-site recycling and reuse. By Builder Online Source: Biocycle 1/11/01

February 2002 (6 - 14)
Storm Water Resource Locator
Storm water rules are changing and compliance can be confusing. Do not dispair, a new resource is here to help. The Storm Water Resource Locator is designed to help companies in the construction industry know about and comply with the storm water rules in their area. By ENVCAP

February 2002 (15 - 28)
EPA Announces Transition from Consumer Use of Treated Wood Containing Arsenic
Industry has voluntarily agreed to phase out wood treated with chromated copper arsenate, also known as CCA, for all residential uses by December 31, 2003. Find out more about this news, industry labeling requirements and methods of maintaining existing structures here. By BUILDER Magazine

March 2002
Dangerous Mold Creeps into Houses, Lungs, Skin
Through a local experience this author examines the occurrences, costs and cures for mold growth in housing. What does climate have to do with it, and why are public officials, insurers and lawyers involved? By Scott McMillion, Bozeman Daily Chronicle

April 2002
Frost-protected Foundations Offer Big Savings on Materials and Labor
Cold regions show the highest savings. Visit this brief article to learn the formula used to calculate savings. By Matthew Power, BUILDER Magazine

May 2002
Building Greener, Building Better: The Quiet Revolution
Interviews with a number of home builders striving to build green. This publication documents the variety of ways that green building methods can be applied from community planning, to site design, stormwater management and more. By The National Association of Home Builders and the NAHB Research Center

June 2002
Final Air Conditioning, Heat Pump Standards Published By The Department of Energy
DOE published a final rule that raises the minimum energy efficiency levels for most air conditioners and heat pumps by 20 percent. The rule goes into effect on August 6th. See Section V of CFR 10 Part 430 for specific efficiency standards under the new rule. By United States Department of Energy

July 2002
Specification of Energy-Efficient Installation and Maintenance Practices for Residential HVAC Systems
A tool for proper sizing, installation and maintenance that will help in achieveing the greatest energy savings. The specification is a compendium of best practices and test procedures that can significantly affect HVAC energy usage. For HVAC contractors and technicians as well as builders, designers, and general contractors. By Rick Karg, John Krigger Consortium for Energy Efficiency

August 2002
Outside the Academy: If your professor won't teach sustainability find someone who will
This article describes one institute that immerses the student in a semester long design program with a focus on a whole systems approach. The article also leads to other resources. By Kristi Cameron, August/September 2002


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