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Green Building Blog

Jim Newman

Jim Newman's passion is helping us move toward a healthier and more secure future – for people and the planet.
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Breathe Deeply, or Don’t: Why IAQ Matters Today

Thu, Mar 19, 2020 @ 01:28 / by Jim Newman posted in IAQ, Green Design, sick building syndrome, Building Energy Management Systems, indoor air qulity, BEMIS, Internet of Things

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When giving a talk on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in 1991, I was discussing one of the consequences of poor IAQ – Sick Building Syndrome. A woman raised her hand and said, “I have that.” The room went silent. She continued, “I was teaching at school and they started painting. By the time I left that first day I had tingling in my fingers. The second day I had tingling all the way up to my elbows. On the third day I went home very sick. I went to several doctors in the area who weren’t able to diagnose it – they all said it was in my head. I finally found a holistic doctor who diagnosed it as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).”

With the proper diagnosis, she could finally start treatment. To this day she is still hyper-sensitive to the VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) such as the odors from fresh paint, carpet and glue found in many buildings.   

VOCs. Viruses. Stale air. Mold

sick and smelly

They spread through the air and can lead to Sick Building Syndrome. Left unchecked, they can cause serious health issues.

Sometimes the underlying source is easily seen, detected and mitigated. Sometimes exposure causes long-term health issues for those exposed.

Most often, especially in flu season or as a result of adverse events such as flooding or an epidemic like COVID 19, it pays to monitor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

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5 Ways to Kill Your PACE Project in 2020

Thu, Jan 23, 2020 @ 02:03 / by Jim Newman posted in solar, PACE, energy efficiency, Energy Savings, energy efficient lighting, energy conservation

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Updated from “5 Ways to Kill Your PACE Project,” January 2017

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The Times They Are a Changin’, or Are They?

Mon, Jan 13, 2020 @ 02:16 / by Jim Newman posted in HVAC, Building Energy Management Systems, High Performance Buildings, BEMIS, energy conservation, Internet of Things

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It’s 2020 and we are in for BIG changes in this decade!  Or are we?

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Is PACE For Me? 3 Things You Need to Know About PACE – Now!

Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 01:34 / by Jim Newman posted in Green Building, PACE, Energy Audit, energy conservation

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If you haven’t heard about it yet, PACE, or Property Assessed Clean Energy - is the unique financial tool that allows building owners to fully finance energy conservation measures with no money down. Because PACE projects must be “cash-flow positive,” this long-term loan is generally paid back out of the savings realized from the upgrades!

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Resilience in the Spotlight

Thu, Jul 25, 2019 @ 03:29 / by Jim Newman posted in energy efficiency, Sustainable Design, resiliency

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With the increasing number of catastrophic weather events over the past few years, the concept of Resilience should be top-of-mind for anyone involved in the building industry.

First it was rebuilding. Now it’s resilience. We need to be thinking about, and acting upon, what we can do now to prevent having to start over from scratch after the next 100-year flood that happens only a few years after the last one.

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