A Seattle K-8 public school built under state sustainability protocols had to be shut down after staff and students complained of annoying odors. When toxicology testing showed that high pH and moisture content in the concrete flooring had reacted with carpet adhesive and backing to produce methyl hexanol, a volatile organic compound, the school district had no choice but to carry out expensive repairs. Photo: Seattle Public Schools Carpet adhesive and moisture reacted. Opened in September 2009, the $37-million school struggled with complaints about the smell until closing in April 2010. The toxicology investigation confirmed the extent of the problem.
The former Soviet nation of Kazakhstan is ramping up completion of EXPO 2017—a futuristic megaproject estimated to cost between $3 and $5 billion that will showcase global energy efficiency and boost the host’s global profile
Cover photo by Neelam Mathews in Astana, Kazakhstan