Greening Interior Surfaces

July/August 2007
A version of this article appears in the July/August 2007 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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July 01, 2007
When we home energy folks decided to identify “building performance” as a description for our work, little did we know what a Pandora’s box we opened. This identification now requires us to look at everything that affects a structure’s total performance.  And yes, that includes the interior surface materials we use in those structures. Performance related to energy efficiency and comfort has now expanded into the kinds of stuff we use to finish the structure. Even if your particular work is focused on energy matters, it requires you to have a clear sense of what is going on in the rest of the structure, because inevitably there will be a connection between them. Early on, our energy work generated questions about moisture control, and that led to mold, which was an indoor air quality issue. Then we discovered that our heat ducts could be the transport mechanism for much of the mold found in our basements and crawlspaces. That leads to the focus of this article. (The presence of basement mold was the most critical finding in the Healthy House program we developed here in Cleveland after the death of infants suffering from ...

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