I am a certified Building Biologist Practitioner available for consulting to help you select, build, or renovate a non-toxic home.
I have six years of experience working with people with sensitivities, including those extremely sensitive to chemicals or mold. I also work with healthy folks who wish to prevent health problems.
Email consults: 15 min, 30 min, or 1 hour
Phone Consults: 30 min, 1 hour
Areas I can assist you with:
1. Safe Material Selection
We will go over your specific sensitivities, needs, and level of toxin avoidance, and you will come away with a list of products to use in your build or renovation.
This may involve self-testing materials for your own reactions. If you don’t have reactions (or obvious reactions), I will use your level of desired toxin avoidance to recommend products.
You will come away with pros and cons of the materials.
I will take into consideration the house as a system so that your moisture management system is intact. I will point out areas that could be mold-prone.
If it’s a new build, you will come away with the steps to choose an architect, builder, and job site supervisor. I can work with your team from start to finish if desired.
My expertise lies in materials available in the US and Canada.
How do I Look at Materials
I’m not just analyzing the SDS and what the manufacturer is telling us about what’s in a product. I’m also using industry papers, patents, and scientific studies to suggest what additives are typically used and could be undisclosed.
I also use my experience and that of thousands of chemically sensitive folks on which products are best tolerated by the most sensitive.
2. Remediating Chemical Offgassing
If you have an odor or chemical offgassing we will troubleshoot what the cause is and what can be done about it.
You will come away with strategies to implement. These might be removing materials, sealing surfaces, cleaning with special cleaners, using ozone, choosing the right air purifier, putting in air exchange, using positive pressure, and “baking out” a house.
If we are having trouble figuring out the source of the problem, I will recommend a number of low tech and high tech ways to figure it out.
3. Choosing a Healthy Rental or Purchase
We will look over photos (or video) of a home you are considering renting or purchasing.
You will come away with the pros and cons of the homes you are looking at – which materials are likely to still be offgassing and which areas have basic building defects that lead to water damage.
Once you move in we can look at which materials should be removed and replaced (or sealed), selecting the best air purifier for your needs, choosing a water filtration system, and choosing furnishings.
This can be done in the southern Vancouver Island area. In-home inspections are a unique experience.
I use my senses since I’m unmasked to chemicals and mold.
I also use knowledge about problematic building materials (which ones offgas), and knowledge of building defects (that lead to water damage) to assess problem areas in your home. This can be done to remediate your current home or to help you find a new home.
This is not home testing with instruments, testing, or a Building Biologist inspection.
This is a visual analysis of building defects, building products, and an olfactory assessment based on my senses. I have found this is more accurate than VOC or mold testing which is why I don’t use laboratory tests.
4. Buying or Building an RV, Trailer, or Tiny House
If you want to buy, build, or renovate anything on wheels we will look at which ones are best for your chemical sensitivities and which ones are more mold resistant.
If you are buying, you will come away with pros and cons of different brands as well as different strategies (buy one that holds up and let it offgas, or buy one and trade it in when it goes moldy).
If you are building or gutting a trailer we will look at typical problem areas that are done wrong and are prone to mold, and I will refer you to a building science expert if there is something I can see will likely go moldy.
You will also come away with healthier materials that will be best for that type of housing/trailer.
If building a tiny home on wheels I will walk you through the process of finding an architect, builder, choosing materials, and supervising it.
Before approaching a tiny home builder, I recommend that we create a full materials list to present to them. This will reduce the chance of getting turned down due to special needs around sensitivities.
5. Camping & Simple Shelters
Whether you need to camp out of necessity or purposefully in order to unmask and bring down sensitivities, I can help you with your camping set up.
We will go through which types of tent material to consider as well as camping mats, sleeping bags, tarps, etc.
You will come away with the confidence to camp even with severe sensitivities and limitations.
If you cannot tolerate any ready-made tents we will look at custom making a tent or shelter out of almost any material you can think of – hemp, cotton, safer plastics (both hard plastic and flexible rolls), metal, foam, and wood.
6. Mold Avoidance Consulting
In mold avoidance coaching we will create a strategy together to help you heal from mold.
Mold avoidance is a process of choosing a good location, dealing with contamination, and making a housing plan.
Housing planning for mold avoiders is my unique area of expertise. I also help with other complex areas of mold avoidance decision making, and the day to day challenges like decontamination.
Mold avoidance planning is only offered in a two hour plus email summaries package.
For a detailed overview of what I offer with mold avoidance coaching, please see this post dedicated to the topic before booking.
Booking and Contact:
Urgent appointments on Weekends and (US) Holidays can be booked here.
Note: Topics I Don’t Cover
- Remediation and testing of mold, pesticides, lead, radon, and asbestos (consult with specialists in those fields).
- Pest control choices (consult with a non-toxic pest control specialist).
- Mechanical systems: HVAC, appliances, electrical system concerns, and water heaters, including the materials used in and on these systems (consult with experts in the required mechanical field).
- Building science advice (should be provided by an architect, engineer, or other building science expert).
- How long does x take to offgas. Unless it’s a simple chemical that has been studied, it’s not likely someone has the answer to this. I have sniff tested many products myself and have experience from thousands of chemically sensitive folks, but I don’t have an answer for most products.
- Materials outside of North America – Evaluation of building materials and products outside of North America.
- Recommend a builder – I don’t recommend specific builders including tiny house companies. I do have some builders, designers, and architects on my resource page and can guide you through the process of finding a builder. More on why I don’t recommend builders here.
Baubiologie en Español: Se puede hacer consultas de bioconstrucción escritas y revisar productos en español.
Neural Retraining Accommodation for those doing DNRS/Gupta, healing oriented language.
Corinne was an indispensable resource in designing, sourcing and building my chemical-free, mold-free tiny home. She saved me and my family so much worry over whether we were making the right decisions or not. This allowed us to focus on how to build a really beautiful safe home for me, rather than on our fears of what could potentially go wrong. We can’t imagine having gone through this rather complex, mysterious and foreign project without her ever-ready advice and counsel. We are so grateful that she was put into our lives!
Building a new house is very overwhelming but building a non-toxic house is “crazy” for most people, especially for contractors. Corinne is not only knowledgeable and professional but very calming and comforting. She took each of my questions very seriously and answered them quickly. Corinne always calmed me down and offered me support, options and solutions to all my concerns.
I highly recommend Corinne for any project. I worked with her for almost 2 years during the process of building my new 7500sq feet home, and I still consult with her for furniture, carpets etc. Her fees are extremely reasonable. She is very honest, her hours are always the true reflection of her work. Honestly, I do not know what I would have done without her.
Corinne is a complete asset to any non-toxic, environmentally conscious, healthy project. She is dedicated, knowledgeable, serious, and passionate. Her training in Building Biology makes her a very qualified member of any building team. She performs very thorough research. Even if you are dealing with extreme sensitivities, she is creative and unstoppable. I would highly recommend her services.
Anne M (Built a tiny house on wheels)
I just wanted to say thank you for your help through this process. Losing our home in a fire was very difficult, but the rebuild went very well and we absolutely LOVE our new and improved space. We have lived here two weeks now and I am glad to say I rarely notice any sort of offgassing smell or anything that gives me the slightest headache. I am so glad that we were able to choose safe materials for the long-term benefit of our family.
I have worked with many building biologists and other indoor environmental consultants, and have done project management work for venture capitalist clients with carte blanche license to personally select teams of building biologists from anywhere in the New World. I can recommend Corinne Segura as a building biology practitioner with high endorsement – both as regards general consulting on building construction or renovation for those with chemical and environmental sensitivities, and particularly and especially as regards the selection, overhauling, or custom construction of trailers, campers, and RVs for those needing non-toxic living environments and also mobility. Her knowledge of both safe materials selection and application as well as mold avoidance strategies can only be qualified as indispensable.
Corinne is incredibly knowledgeable, resourceful, practical and accommodating. During our New York City apartment renovation she provided valuable expertise and guidance to ensure that all products used by our contractors were non-toxic and safe. Whenever we had a question she answered promptly and thoroughly, with as much detail as we requested. Over the course of many months Corinne consistently went above and beyond to provide outstanding service, even calling companies to ensure the validity of their claims. I highly recommend her services.
Dr. Ann Cohen