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I'm not sure if it was the topic or the all-star panel that drew a crowd to a session entitled "Beyond the Red List" at the recent Living Future conference in Vancouver. Along with other great panelists, Tom Lent of the Healthy Building Network teamed up with Robin Guenther from Perkins+Will to share a strong call to action on toxicity in building materials.
Tom and Robin had brainstormed a list of "Materials Rules" in the manner of Michael Pollan's Food Rules. The rules were posted on the wall, where they enriched the conversation that I facilitated after the presentations (with help from design consultant Mary Davidge and International Living Future Institute VP Eden Brukman). With about 130 people in the room, it was helpful that people could contribute to the conversation in multiple ways. In one mode, people speaking got into an animated debate about whether transparency and better information will be enough to bring about a sea-change in the toxicity of our building materials.
While that conversation was unfolding, people were writing on note cards and passing them forward, where we posted them on the "Rule" that they relate to. That second mode created a way for lots of people to sound off simultaneously, and have their thoughts captured. This multilayered conversation generated great annotations on the Materials Rules from people in the room. You can see what they looked like on the wall. Here are the Rules, with a few of my favorite annotations:
We installed these in our new house and they work great. Excellent product.
With a little patience you can find the material information embedded in their pdfs. But it looks to me like some of the...
I so hope you are right in these posts. However , it doesn't matter if LEED is better and the military and others prefer LEED, the senators and..." More...
For higher performance from a mini-split system the outside temperature regime is important to consider. Heat pumps designed for operation in very..." More...
Kevin Gardner says, "
I was looking at the same two models (I live in NH). I ended up going with what my selected contractor preferred (which happened to be Mitsubishi..." More...
Ben Wiechman says, "
We're looking at basically the same situation located in central Minnesota.
I've been looking primarily at the Fujitsu and Mitsubishi split..." More...
A building is created, built, run, impacted, used and abused by dozens, hundreds, and even tens of thousands of the least..." More...
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