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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused,... Read more »
In the August 2014 issue of the ITE Journal, Jeffrey Tumlin, Eric Dumbaugh, and Wesley Marshall explore the error of assuming transportation performance measures are objective. They are not. The authors assert “we should be aware of how our performance measures relate to the values and desires of the public which we serve. If there... Read more »
BART Board member Gail Murray, Joey Goldman, Cathleen Sullivan, Bethany Whitaker, and other colleagues led a study that has been released from the Transportation Research Board. Under TCRP Project H-49, they identified and documented the motivations, benefits, and barriers to coordination and integration among multiple public transportation providers. The Transit Integration Manual (Volume I) provides... Read more »
RB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 832: State DOTs Connecting Specialized Transportation Users and Rides, Volume 2: Toolkit for State DOTs and Others assists agencies and organizations with the process of designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating linkages that connect customers of specialized transportation services and programs with rides. The stand-alone toolkit directs lead agencies and partners through the decision process for their state, region, or county, and factors in budget limitations. Design decisions and evaluation criteria tailored to each functionality level are also provided.
In an era of limited and constrained funding, transportation agencies struggle to meet the needs of travelers and the demands on the system. Agencies need creative and low-cost transportation solutions and seek to identify ways to maximize use of existing multimodal networks.