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.
Email consults: 30 min (800 words)
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 healthy home build or renovation.
This may involve self-testing materials for your own reactions.
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.
My expertise lies in materials available in the US and Canada.
Building a Tiny House
Before approaching a tiny home builder, it’s necessary to create a full materials list to present to them.
This will reduce the chance of getting turned down due to special needs around environmental sensitivities.
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 which additives are typically used but are 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. 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.
3. Buying an RV or Trailer
If you want to buy an RV we will look at which ones are best for your chemical sensitivities and which ones are more mold resistant.
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, for example).
This service is only for environmentally sensitive folks.
If you are renovating an RV or trailer, I can only help you to select materials that are low in VOCs. You will need someone on your team to offer technical and engineering advice on material selection.
4. 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.
Booking and Contact:
Note: Topics I Don’t Cover
- Remediation and testing of mold, pesticides, lead, radon, and asbestos (consult with specialists in those fields).
- Mold Avoidance/Locations Effect Coaching or Planning is no longer offered.
- 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, technical, mechanical, and installation advice (should be provided by an architect, engineer, or other building science expert), and installation by the appropriate tradesperson.
- 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, homes 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.
- Sourcing materials – I am not able to source where to buy or how much materials cost locally or online.
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