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Green Building Transitions + Awards

Green building is about healthy settings with visual appeal. The goal is to create rooms for physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits. That means avoiding things like airborne allergens, chemicals, and clutter.

Yet the study of indoor air pollution can get complex. Hence, no surprise of this month’s announcement that the LEED accreditation system introduced by the U.S. Green Building Council was revamped.

The Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) will work with selected third-party certification bodies in accordance with domestic and international standards to evaluate project submissions. Officials report that the overhaul of green building rating and certification practices into a new system will increase the rigor of professional accreditation processes.

Perhaps so, but we can simply live green with common sense meanwhile. The problem I see with these complex certification systems is that they attempt to develop standards to appease the entire world when the reality is that each region has unique definitions of sustainability and natural resources to work with.

Formaldehyde is the most common VOC that pollutes homes and offices. It’s in conventional insulation, glues, binders, fabric finishes, flooring materials, vinyl, plastics, fire retardants, wood composites, and especially gloss-type paints. Every product from the green market may meet acceptable standards, but who is measuring total VOCs in a single room?

Thankfully, manufacturers are taking the certification load off of public shoulders. Education is key to consumers, but in a feasible way.

Last month the 2009 GREEN LOG Awards were announced. Recipients were suppliers and consultants with services and products that ranged from insulation, heated subflooring, to countertops and lighting solutions.

Primary nominations are posted as People’s Choice – 2009, where interior designers can fill their green dreams well. Coverings Etc., American Clay and O EcoTextiles are a few examples.

I thank GREEN LOG Home Awards™ for a program that shines a spotlight on innovative green building solutions. It really helps with the greenwash hysteria!

Advice from Kim Nadel, Leading “Green” Interior Designer

Written by Delia Montgomery

I am Delia, d/b/a Chic Eco on, and established myself as an eco fashion guru by learning "who makes what in the world of environmental fashion and design."

Enjoy reading some of my freelance writing about environmental design, fashion and art -- from both consumer and supplier perspectives. You may notice I focus most on individual eco designers, movers and shakers.

From sustainable fashion apparel to paint and flooring, discoveries are a rush. I get my kicks this way. I also offer sales representation of earth-friendly designed products for wholesale buyers. Retailers may take advantage of my services with factory-direct pricing. Spend less time sourcing and prevent green-washed purchases!

My other forte is connecting suppliers with business-to-business tools. Aspects of my business vary with consulting services while I'm proud to be the aide that embraces unique and innovative gigs.

I'm originally a Kentucky Blue Grass gal who relocated to Maui early 2006 and the tropical Puna District of Big Island, Hawaii late 2007. Walk the talk is my motto here.

Early 2009 I constructed a yurt home office in a semi-urban setting on a tiny lot. My water comes from the sky, contained in a catchment that's not likely to dry in this rain forest. The electric is designed for solar conversion. I grow about 30% of my food organically, compost, and recycle to the hilt. Permaculture with a full eco system is my gardening style.

In fact, gardening is my ultimate joy. I seek gigs like design, weeding and planting between other jobs. My love is Hawai'i which has more climate zones than any state. There are frequent earthquakes here, typically under a 3.0 magnitude, and I happen to dig the vibrations. It's a wonderful simple life in paradise. As I grow older and wiser, I become more and more grateful.

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