The Pharos Effect-Pass It On!

Bill Walsh - December 7, 2006

Greenbuild booth 2006Last month at GreenBuild the Healthy Building Network (HBN) introduced the Pharos Project, a user-friendly materials evaluation tool that strives to be transparent, comprehensive, independent, accurate and fair. Your enthusiastic response more than met our expectations that this tool is needed and welcome in the green building market. We received an overwhelming number of ideas for collaboration-ranging from architects who want to use the Pharos Lens and Label in their materials libraries, to manufacturers who would like to use Pharos to gain more perspective on their products, to techies willing to share software codes to keep the project humming. We are calling this the Pharos Effect, a change in the conventional approach to materials evaluation and selection.

We are now pleased to announce that the first phase of the Pharos Project is up and running.

The Pharos Project is rooted in the principles of the open source technology movement, and the first phase of our project is built upon the platform of one of the great open source collaborations of our age, Wikipedia.  Using the Wikimedia platform, we have opened the Pharos Wiki, which we envision will become a free encyclopedia of green building information built collaboratively by the green building community. Soon we will make even more tools available via the Pharos Project website, including the Pharos Label tool, an exciting innovation that will allow users to create their own library of product labels.

The success of the Pharos Project depends upon the support and participation of the green building community, so the Pharos Project Team was thrilled when one enthusiastic champion gave us a challenge grant to jump start both. Thanks to this generous contribution, if you will take just a minute to forward this message on to five friends and colleagues, HBN will receive $2 for each of your contacts that join our email list. With your help HBN will meet our goal of earning an extra $2,500 in matching funds, just for spreading the word about Pharos!

We truly appreciate this gesture of support because HBN and the Pharos Project are both nonprofit ventures supported entirely by charitable contributions. Last year you too supported our work with a contribution and we are very grateful for your generosity. During this holiday season, we hope you will consider renewing your support by making a tax-deductible contribution. Once you donate you may choose from this year's updated selection of thank you gifts including, Who's Green 2007 from Ecotone Publishers and Sustainable Commercial Interiors, a step by step guide to designing environmentally friendly commercial interiors by Penny Bonda, FASID and Katie Sosnowchik.

"I've respected the work of the Healthy Building Network since it came upon the scene in 2000, and I think the new Pharos Project is a great idea," said Bonda. "I'm pleased to offer our new book as an incentive for others to support your great work."

Thanks Penny! And thanks to all who have registered with the Pharos Project so far. We'll see you on the Wiki, and watch for your contribution to the Pharos Effect. Pass it on!


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For more news and analysis from HBN's research team, visit our companion blog at the Pharos Project:

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