Building Healthy Homes and Communities, without Formaldehyde

March 19, 2015

Constructing internally “healthy” and environmentally sound buildings and communities, has been the hallmark of Healthy Buildings for 33 years, ( and is the reason for the creation of Thriving Communities two years ago (

CBS News “60 Minutes”, in a recent story by Anderson Cooper about the dangerously high levels of formaldehyde used in Chinese manufactured laminate flooring, has dramatically driven home the urgent need to build homes and communities with the healthiest, most environmentally sustainable materials.

Healthy Buildings, the sister-company constructing the unique Thriving Communities in Napa County, CA., developed a “Periodic Table of Sustainable Elements” to underscore its paramount commitment to indoor air quality and environmental purity.  Several key elements of the table of “Sustainable Elements” explicitly prohibit the use of formaldehyde in any elements of construction or interior design, such as flooring; prohibit the use of PVCs; and prohibit the usage of volatile organic compounds.

None of these extra-ordinarily high building standards—which far exceed California environmental and building standards and CARB (California Air Resources Board) designations—were accidental.  They’ve been at the core of Healthy Buildings existence, since the company was started by CEO Bob Massaro, one of the few construction executives in the United States with an MPH in Public Health, and solid public health administrative experience in a teaching hospital.  Bob came to his passion for indoor air quality professionally and personally, when his then 10-year old son developed asthma from chemicals used inside a house he purchased.  From that moment on, Bob pledged to only build homes free of any chemicals harmful to human health.  That’s what the communities at Harvest Village and Napa Creek Village in the Napa Valley are all about (see

In the “60 Minutes” story on the health-threatening levels of formaldehyde used in hundreds of millions of square feet of laminate flooring in the US, Dr. Philip Landrigan, the Dean for Global Health at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York, and a former Senior Advisor to the EPA, sounds remarkably similar to Bob Massaro. Dr. Landrigan, whose lifetime of research has focused on toxic chemicals in the environment, called the formaldehyde-tainted floors “not at a safe level”, noting that they constituted “unsafe indoor air quality:” precisely the same mantra Massaro has been repeating for decades.

At Healthy Buildings and Thriving Communities, “NO Formaldehyde” is an article a faith, and it’s at the foundation of our buildings our corporate culture.  We think you’ll agree that the mission of Healthy Buildings and Thriving Communities to “improve lives of people while protecting the environment,” is the only sensible one to apply to building a new home or community, for maximum health and safety of the residents.  If there’s another organization in the country that builds safe, healthy, sustainable homes and has the toughest standards of 44 Sustainable Elements to guide its work, we’d like to learn of it.   If not, we’d like to introduce ourselves to you, and demonstrate that we are the healthiest, most affordable, community-centric alternative out there for building homes in which the air quality is actually good for your health.  Check out our table of 44 Sustainable Elements at