Articles & Books

Paula has been published extensively on the topic of healthy and ecological design. She is the primary author of Prescriptions for a Healthy House, 1st-3rd edition, New Society Publishers 1998-2008 and co-author with husband Robert Laporte, of EcoNest: Creating Sustainable Sanctuaries of Clay, Straw and Timber, published by Gibbs Smith, 2005. She is a contributing author to several other books. Her books can be purchased at the EcoNest Bookstore.

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Paula has also been a popular guest lecturer at a multitude of conferences focused on health, green building, building biology, natural building and alternative building. Her work has been featured in magazines such as Natural Home, Inspired House and Yoga Journal. To view a full list of articles about the work of Baker-Laporte & Assoc. and EcoNest Co. please visit the EcoNest website.

Paula's Articles on Healthy Home Design & Construction

Paula believes that the impetus for creating healthier and more sustainable homes lies first in educating homeowners to understand the benefit; personal and planetary. It is with this intention that she has written articles on topics such as Building Biology, clay-straw construction, EMF free homes and more, and made them available on her website to review below.

Buildings that Stand the Test of Time

In our fast-paced and ever changing culture we seldom have the luxury of making choices based on a long track record of success.  This becomes quickly apparent in choosing building products. I recently called a major manufacturer to find out what was in a new product developed to prevent mold growth on framing lumber. I wanted to avoid the use of biocides for this chemically sensitive client.

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Homing In: Exploring Your Nesting Instinct

If you are thinking of building a home and if you are interested in building a natural, healthy and ecological home, then this seminar is designed for you.

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If Doctors Made House Calls

When I was a kid and I got sick…the doctor came to me. My mom would scurry about cleaning up the house as this honored guest was on his way.

It is unfortunate on many levels that doctors can no longer offer this service. Having spent many years speaking to hundreds of people who have suffered from environmentally induced poor health I have come to wish that every doctor was trained to make at least a verbal house call as one component of a holistic case history.

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Tips for a Healthy Home

A Home Buyer’s Healthy Home Checklist

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Color in Accordance with Nature

Building Biology advises us to use color “in accordance with nature” in our built environments. I never grasped the full significance of this until I was called upon to design a healthy home for a pair of birds!

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Healthy Building

Why build a healthy home? Is there cause for concern?

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Healthy Houses

Architectural and building practices can create either sick buildings or healthy buildings.

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Building Biology and the Healthy House

Until about 25 years ago, indoor air pollution was a very limited phenomenon, but three basic things have changed in the evolution of building technology resulting in the current widespread concern about the environmental quality inside our homes.

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Nesting Instinct

Can a home with clay-straw walls replace the log cabin as the ultimate symbol of green living?

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My Story: An Introduction

The first in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide

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Biological Compatibility and Ecological Performance, or What does cooking dinner have in common with building a home?

The second in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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Are We Unwitting Guinea Pigs?

The third in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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Essential Elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire

The fourth in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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We Shape Our Buildings…

The fifth in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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The Romance of Fire

The sixth in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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Air – What the Nose Knows

The seventh in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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Ions, Winds, Waterfalls and Well-being

The eighth in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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Are Your Cows Amorous? Insights on Siting Your Home

The ninth in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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My Earthen Floors

The tenth in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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Confessions of a CFL Detractor

The eleventh in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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PERS vs HERS

The twelfth in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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Building Science on Steroids

The seventeenth in a series of columns titled Healthy Home Corner. Reprinted courtesy of Santa Fe Real Estate Guide.

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What A Workshop Means

At EcoNest we hold four Natural Building Workshop sessions each year. Students are met at their own level and then gently challenged, to cultivate and hone the innate builder within them.  Whether the entry point is “screw gun 101” or refining complex wooden joinery skills the environment is created and the tone is set for enrichment… but not just of building skills. There is something significant that happens on a soul level when we come together to build with common vision….a vision of working in balance with nature.

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Paula’s Interview with Elaine Brett

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Paula's Mother Earth News

Breathe: Creating a Healthy Indoor Climate

There is an ideal relative humidity range for our health and that is somewhere between 35% and 55%. In modern life we have introduced many new sources of moisture into our homes. Daily showers, laundry, cooking and dishwashing tend to create concentrated bursts of humidity.

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Masonry Heat: A Formula for Health, Comfort and Ecology

Radiant heat in the form of a masonry heater can create a cozy focal point in the home.

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Tips for Finding a Healthy Building Site

Building biology pays close attention to the health qualities of natural site conditions and advises us to avoid building over geopathic stress zones.

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What a Healthy Home Consultant Can Do For You

There are many reasons for hiring a Healthy Home Consultant and many different types of consultants. This article covers the four main reasons for hiring a healthy home consultant and 5 major requirements for achieving a successful healthy home construction or renovation.

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A Healthy Bed: Your Most Important Furniture Choice

When it comes to your health and well-being, your bed is the most important furniture choice you will make. This article describes why and how to choose the healthiest bed options for you and your family.

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Six Steps To Creating A Healthy Bedroom Sanctuary

Our bedroom should be a sanctuary where our body repairs as we sleep soundly but is your bedroom as healthy as it could be?

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How To Create A Healthy Yoga Studio

Learn how to create a Yoga Studio that enhances your practice and your health.

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What’s That Smell Part 2: Renovated House

A newly “refurbished home” smells bad. It has been 3 months and the smells are still overwhelming. Some helpful suggestions.

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What’s That Smell In My House?

You smell an odor in your home and suspect that it isn’t healthy. This article explains how to do some safe investigation in preparation for calling in an expert.

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Building Biology Embracing Nature’s Wisdom for Health and Ecology

This article discusses the 25 principles of Building Biology and the essential paradigmatic differences between Building Biology and Green Building as practiced in North America.

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My Journey Home From Chemical Sensitivities

The story of how Paula’s personal experience with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities led her to the study of Building Biology and how the Building Biology philosophy changed her approach to design dedicated for health and well-being.

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