Many people that know me also know that I am very involved with the San Diego Green Building Council. One of the programs I allocate quite a bit of time to is our highly regarded Green Assistance Program (GAP), which gives our volunteer community an opportunity to work on improving the operations and maintenance of facilities belonging to other local nonprofits. A big part of that process includes evaluating indoor air quality and identifying the no- and low-cost upgrades that can improve health for occupants.
Few people, even in the design and construction industry, realize the impact of indoor air quality on human comfort. It is subtle, and often very subjective. However, clear objective standards do exist. Continue reading “Improving indoor air quality with a visit the local library?”
My wife and I have been lucky to have three kids that (so far) haven’t ever played with fire, or knives, or consumed dangerous cleaning supplies, or anything like that. It didn’t take burning down the house, stitches, or stomach pumping to teach each of them the danger inherent with certain things—a quick touch to a hot oven provides instantaneous feedback.
This is the primary concept of the feedback loop, explained by Wired Magazine: Continue reading “Do energy efficient building practices result in better feedback loops and better workmanship?”
As many people know, LEED v4 took a lot longer to be finalized than originally anticipated—largely due to political struggles involving key stakeholders and certain large enterprises. As many of my friends and colleagues know, I despise politics. Therefore, rather than get into all the muck, let’s dig into one of the more controversial subjects … Continue reading What is an Environmental Product Declaration and how does it impact standard of care in the built environment?
I am an outsider. Among construction defect and quality management professionals, my involvement with green building makes me stick out like a sore thumb. Among green building professionals, advocates and activists, my responses to claims that green buildings are better quality leads to some very awkward moments. Without adopting more sustainable practices, existing design and … Continue reading Repeat after me: Sustainable design and construction is no guarantee for quality
For nearly 11 years, I served as a secret weapon in the defense of the nation’s largest homebuilders against numerous construction defect claims involving thousands of building units. Most of my colleagues and clients were often surprised when I mentioned that one of the top builders in the country was a non-profit: Habitat for Humanity. … Continue reading Post-Katrina construction defects in the spotlight: Make It Right Foundation makes things right
For the week of September 9th, 2013, there are some important events that professionals in the construction and legal industries should be aware of. Zero Energy Zero Water Building Conference My colleagues and co-conspirators at the San Diego Green Building Council will be putting on a really cool mini-conference focusing on how Net Zero Energy/Water … Continue reading Lots Happening in San Diego This Week For Construction and Legal Professionals
Geedra is a secure, cloud-based, photo-driven database for collecting, sorting, managing and sharing pictures taken in the field. It is incredibly user-friendly and has been designed from the ground up for documenting construction conditions. Using any modern web browser, you can tag, sort and filter photos by location, trade, CSI division, etc. As a construction … Continue reading Geedra: Photo Data Management for the A/E/C Industry
The iPad is an ideal tool for construction inspections, replacing a clipboard full of paperwork, and expanding the opportunities for improving the inspection process. The picture accompanying this article is a self-portrait from a recent visual inspection as part of a construction defect investigation. For obvious reasons, I cannot elaborate on any details pertaining to … Continue reading Using an iPad for construction defect investigations
Construction attorney Christopher Hill (no relation) has invited me back for another “Guest Post Friday” at his blog, Construction Law Musings. The post is now up and is entitled, True Sustainability – Trust, But Verify. Please check it out, and feel free to leave comments at Chris’ site. I’d like to extend a sincere Thank … Continue reading Some Thoughts on True Sustainability
A core concept in high performance building is to create a strong thermal barrier between the inside and outside of a home. Building materials at exterior walls therefore need to include products that offer thermal resistance – in other words, insulati… Continue reading Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation Poses Significant Fire Risk