To Breathe or Not To Breathe

by George Swanson, BBEI

One of the foremost impacts (and one of the few positive outcomes) from the dreaded “Covid” era has been the near global uptick in awareness of the impacts of our built environment on our personal health. By the CDC’s own admission 93% of Covid deaths were accompanied by “weaken respiratory and immune systems”.

During this same period conventional building material costs doubled, tripled and in some cases even quadrupled throughout the USA. And now the cost “gap” between practical non and ultra-low toxic construction is now rapidly closing. Nationwide there has been a near doubling in the sales of these preferred non-toxic materials on all levels–ushering in a larger selection and availably of these once difficult to source “clean” (non-petroleum), Non-Toxic “Breathing” materials.

When the term “Breathing” is used in Building Biology it is referring to the ability of a material to facilitate the conversion of “moisture to vapor” *and allow it to pass through all the layering of a typical wall assembly. The inability to do this function properly is the hallmark of nearly all petrol-based materials. Note that ~85% of the materials sold at Home Depot utilized the often poorly purified waste products of the production of petroleum. These are used in place of time-honored plant and mineral means to produce products like paints, glues (used in PW & OSB), cleaning products and engineered flooring (to name just a few).

Added to the moisture trapping / toxic contribution of petroleum bonded products in modern construction is the past 85+years practice of “forced growing” lumber. Modern lumber is now typically missing several key minerals that facilitate the conversion of moisture to vapor.

Over the past 28+years our Austin based company has provided the consulting & materials sourcing to restore these essential minerals during the critical framing phase for wood frame projects worldwide as a moisture mitigation / mold prevention intervention.

There has never been a better time for building or rebuilding for a far, far less toxic future!

George Swanson, BBEI is a certified Professional Building Biologist whose Austin-based company has for more than 28 years provided consulting and alternative materials sourcing for restoring essential minerals to wood-frame projects worldwide, resulting in improved moisture mitigation and mold prevention intervention. To learn more about George click here to read more.