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List of Ten Things We
Would Have Done

(If We Knew Then What We Know Now:)*

*The unofficial opinion of two ecology house residents

10. Cure building for six months to a year before occupancy.

9. Paint or seal wall plaster with no V.O.C.* paint or safest possible sealer to avoid dust and reduce off-gassing.

8. Monitor attic fans' operation frequently.

7. Install non-radioactive smoke detectors.

6. Double check factory-baked enamel cabinets and doors for any paint smell BEFORE installation and be prepared to return and substitute or to cure.

5. Review in-house electrical wiring re EMF levels during construction and again before occupancy.

4. Assure that vapor shield is the kind that is re-enforced against puncture breakage.

3. Design detached units rather than apartments.

2. Locate the site out of direct proximity to high tension wires, traffic, and high density urban/suburban development.


The single most important thing we would have done differently (if we knew then what we know now) is to be prepared for vigilant supervision of construction processes and materials.

Planning and budgeting resources in advance for this critical and unaccustomed effort is necessary in order to truly compel compliance with environmentally safer construction and material specifications. In critical instances, a safer item or process was specified and promised and something else was executed or installed without timely notification of the change. We cannot overstate how much effort it could well take to assure compliance with what are currently nonstandard building practices and less toxic material specifications.

* V.O.C.'s --(volatile organic compounds) are components in paint highly intolerable to people with MCS--and without pesticides became commercially available since the time of design and occupancy

For more information about Ecology House, please write eh@ecologyhouse.net
Last updated 8/16/99