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.
What kind of impacts do the materials we put into our built environments have on us? Every day, we’re discovering new answers to this question. The fact is, all across their lifecycles, the products used to build, furnish, decorate, and even clean our spaces have ripple effects on our health, wellbeing, and environmental footprint. The more informed we can be about the materials we’re using, the better—and safer—our built environments will be.
PVC is unique within the broad spectrum of plastics because it is a chlorinated plastic. Its chlorinated chemistry is responsible for a range of environmental and human health hazards.
Many flame retardants are persistent, bioaccumulative, and/or toxic, and the building products that incorporate them can be avoided in many cases.
A compilation of data on substances in the built environment that may cause or aggravate asthma, a disease of high and increasing prevalence and major economic importance. This is a valuable resource for identifying asthma triggers and asthmagens, minimizing their use in building materials and furnishings, and contributing to our larger goals of fostering healthier built environments.
There are tradeoffs to everything; there is no perfect material. Using fly ash as recycled content in concrete solves one problem (how to dispose of a hazardous industrial by-product), but is it perpetuating the justification of burning coal as a fuel source?
As I learned of the health implications and realized my role in specifying these chemicals into projects I was trying to make healthier, I searched for ways to avoid using them.
P+W researchers collaborated with Autodesk BUILDSpace to fabricate an all-wood space frame using 2x lumber and wooden dowels. Using Dynamo to create the geometry and Fusion 360 to create the executable files, the 2x members were cut using a 5-axis CNC machine. Two assembled truss prototypes were created – one is housed at P+W Vancouver... Read more »
Andrew Tsay Jacobs is a committee member of the International Code Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on Tall Wood Buildings. Code change proposal will be submitted January 8, 2017. Proposal includes provisions for buildings of fire-protected mass timber construction to be up to 18 stories and 270ft in height. Fire-protected mass timber construction with limited exposed... Read more »
Perkins+Will is built upon the idea of interdisciplinary work informed by research. How can we as designers, researchers, architects, strategists, and planners converge with epidemiologists, biologists, exposure scientists, environmentalists, and toxicologists to uncover opportunities for discovery, research, and ultimately solutions?
We recently spent a week at Boston BUILD Space building a complex curvature Nail Laminated Timber (NLT) structural panel; a proof of concept prototype for a landmark project we are designing in Vancouver, and is slated for construction in spring 2017.