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Books on Non-Toxic Building
Prescriptions for a Healthy House: A Practical Guide for Architects, Builders and Homeowners – A resource book for building a chemical-free house. This is the best book that I read when I was building. Unfortunately in this format the information about building products changes so fast that this book is best to read in the first couple years after it comes out. (There will be a new edition in 2020).
How to Build a Healthy Home – There is some good information here but I disagree with many recommendations like slab insulation and wall insulation. It’s a good idea to hear different view and recommendations on building materials. though. That way you can make the best decision for yourself. I would also be cautious with mold prevention advice other than from licensed architects or building science experts (PhD in building science) like those below in the expert section.
Courses on Mold-Safe Building
Mold Preventative Building
Building a Safe Home – This is an excellent course on mold preventative building. It covers details on building mold preventative foundations, walls systems, roofs, windows and openings. It also covers site selection and prep. It is accessible for homeowners. It can also be shared with your builders or taken by those in the industry. Cheryl is a leader in mold prevention.
I have taken other courses on mold preventative building, but none were accessible as this one for those who are not in the industry.
Other courses by Cheryl were very helpful:
Finding Defects will help those looking to purchase a home and avoid defects that lead to water damage.
Found Mold? is a great intro to basic mold containment procedures during remediation. I found it really helpful right before I had a roof leak.
I have taken Corbett’s courses on building performance which were very fundamental to understanding the basics on how to measure errors in construction, understanding the basic forces within buildings, and proper HVAC sizing and balancing.
Building Science Corp offers two courses taught by Joseph Lstiburek, known as the godfather of building science. Almost all other experts reference Lstiburek’s work.
Building Science Experts
Cheryl Ciecko – Architect who specializes in mold preventative and low VOC design. Her course Buiding a Safe Home is a fundamental base for anyone building.
Greg Weatherman – Remediation and mold testing expert.
Carl Grimes – Mold testing and remediation expert. (Not many days that he can do one-on-one consulting).
Michael Maines – Passive House Designer, Engineer, Building Science expert. Mold preventative designs for climate zones 5 & 6 (only).
Corbett Lunsford – Consultant on home performance, including HVAC sizing and balancing and testing.
Chris Briley – Architect, Building Science Expert, Passive House Design.
High-Quality Builders / Contractors
Matt Risinger is an example of a high-quality, high integrity, detail-oriented builder. I’ve seen a number of really high-quality builders through Matt’s Youtube channel The Build Show, like WKP Construction in Rhode Island and Brian Long in Texas. You get to see a site tour and hear them talk about building details which is helpful when choosing a builder.
Pelletier R J Construction – A recommended builder in Mt Shasta CA. I don’t have in-depth experience with them.
Koen Van Loo – High-end contractor with old world, old school skills in plaster, natural paint, natural floor and stone finishes.
This post goes into why I don’t recommend any specific builders other than the ones mentioned on this page.
I have a Youtube Video on why I don’t recommend “Green Builders“.
MCS and Mold Safe Accommodation
Airbnb (search for scent-free, or new rooms for rent) – Discount with that link. I help folks evaluate BnBs for ones that will suit their sensitivities.
Facebook Groups – EI Safe Housing members post safer housing rentals. Sometimes houses for sale, as well as trailers, cars, vans.
My list – I save safe looking (or reported safe) rentals/bnbs and hotels here. This is my personal list so only I know who recommended each place and when. I used this when working with clients but it’s public for anyone else that wants to make use of it. My Pinterest page also has lists of new hotels in some big cities.
Environmental Health Bulletin – a monthly email newsletter that lists safer housing for sale or rent. To sign up email [email protected]
My post on Emergency Housing provides some DIY emergency shelter ideas.
Natural Beauty and Cleaning Products
Vitacost.com – This is where I buy most of my supplements. (Free shipping with min order in the US and Canada. Low international shipping rates).
Toxic, Heal Your Body by Neil Nathan MD – Most popular current book on treating mold illness.
Full list of doctors who treat mold illness.
A Roadmap to Treating CFS – A detailed updated website on treatments for CFS.
Gupta Treatment Program – I have watched many recover from using limbic retraining or CFS, MCS and Mold Sensitivity. I recommend finding mold-safe housing first.
Books on Mold Avoidance
A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance by Lisa Petrison is the foundational book on mold avoidance. If the methods of Erik and Lisa do resonate with you, check out their other books Erik on Avoidance, and Back from the Edge.
Through the Shadowlands by Julie Rehmeyer chronicles this science writers journey to healing through mold avoidance.
Lyme Disease Supercharge by Bryan Rosner goes head on into Bryan and his family’s journey through Erik style mold avoidance which has been fundamental in his healing from Lyme.
Finding an Ecovillage or Intentional Community
I found refuge at an Ecovillge where I was able to find safe housing, park my tiny house and at another time tent camp.
You can find ecovillages through:
Wwoofing and other work-trade sites and apps are also good for finding ecovillages or farms to stay one.
If you need help finding or building safe housing, please get in touch.