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Green Building Blog

Editor’s Note: About Advertising on Green Building Advisor

A few months back, Green Building Advisor shifted administration from BuildingGreen, LLC over to Taunton Press, publisher of _Fine Homebuilding_ magazine, in order to better integrate and serve the residential design and construction market. Part of that integration involves me taking responsibility for both
and Like _Consumer Reports’_ Money Adviser, GBA will be _Fine Homebuilding’s_ Green Building Advisor. It is a natural extension that boosts value to each product.

As you may know, advertising is a significant part of _Fine Homebuilding’s_ business model, along with the circulation revenue that comes from readers. It is also seen as another source of interest to readers, and reader surveys reflect this.

As a former editor at _Fine Homebuilding_, and an author of many articles about products, materials, and tools, I can tell you unequivocally that the advertisers don’t influence the journalistic integrity of the articles in the magazine. When tool or product manufacturers do not like the reviews, they sometimes pull their ads. So be it. We will give manufacturers some space in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column in the following issue, but only if we feel they have a good point that our readers will find useful.

This wall of separation will continue as GBA opens the door to advertising. This wall of separation however, is a two-way street — editorial will not qualify the products and manufacturers who want to buy ad space in any way. We are confident that our robust community forum will dissect the green claims of products and help everyone on the site make good choices.

Ads will appear in a couple of stages; first, we will turn on Google ads which are served through an algorithm. The second phase will be actual display ads sold through FHB’s ad sales team. This will help keep our product robust and our editorial efforts at full force.

We hope you understand our decision and trust our integrity.

Daniel Morrison

Managing editor,

Senior Producer,


If you would like to advertise on the pages of, please contact Peter Badeau, Advertising Sales Director of Fine Homebuilding at [email protected], 203-304-3572.


  1. EJ Palma | | #1

    What happens to information
    What happens to information from the panel of advisers? Will they be the same people? Will we still receive information through Building Green LLC or does this mean that we have to subscribe to both. I don't mean to be critical but I stopped my subscription to FHB a long time ago because it became the "magazine of the architectural and construction stars" became very "ivory tower' oriented, and in my opinion (and that is all that it is) seemed to lose its connection to the real world and people carrying on at the grass roots level. My subscription is up for renewal on April 2, 2010 and depending on the information that I receive from you, will decide if I will renew or not. I find it interesting that we were not privy to this takeover prior to it actually happening, but then again business is business as they say. Sorry to be such a curmudgeon and skeptic about this issue, but it feels like just another "for-profit" business decision from both sides to me. I hope that the quality of the community atmosphere does not suffer from corporate politics. E. J. Palma, Branford, Connecticut

  2. user-755799 | | #2

    Edward: As long as we are all
    Edward: As long as we are all able to comment on all articles, I'm not worried. I don't think Robert Riversong can be bought.

  3. Daniel Morrison | | #3

    To Edward
    Thanks for your comments. I’ll answer your questions one at a time:

    1. The panel of advisors may or may not stay the same — it's up to them. Peter and I have discussed changing the lineup because some of them have not found the time to take part in GBA, but advertising policy had nothing to do with that conversation.

    2. A subscription to GBA has never been a subscription to the BuildingGreen Suite, or We developed the content for GBA independently from Environmental Building News and Fine Homebuilding. Yes, we borrowed some drawings and photos from Fine Homebuilding and a few articles from Environmental Building News, but a subscription to one site has never meant a free subscription to another. Subscribing to Fine Homebuilding has never meant that Fine Woodworking would show up in your mailbox. Alex Wilson will continue to blog for Green Building Advisor until he gets bored with it (which hopefully will be never).

    3. I'm not going to try to talk you in to renewing your subscription to Fine Homebuilding, but I'll say this: the editors are former builders and remodelers, the photos are real job sites, the authors are real builders, architects, and trades people. I don’t understand the ‘Ivory Tower’ comment. The photos are good because the editors care enough to learn how to take good photos and the art director understands the importance of visual information delivery and demands that the editors take good photos.

    Some FHB articles that I'm particularly proud of:

    As for the rest of your note, both Taunton Press and BuildingGreen are privately held companies. Their business decisions are private and not subject to public comment or approval. It’s wonderful that people feel so closely a part of these companies, but at the end of the day, the company’s business is the business of the families that run those companies.

    If a great company is not profitable and it goes out of business, it is no longer available to help people make choices about building better homes — so how great was it really?

    When I was a remodeler a long time ago, I learned that if I didn’t charge a lot of money, I would go out of business. Consequently, I wouldn’t be around to take care of my valued customers later on. Not only would my family starve, but my customers would have to go find another remodeler. And finding a good remodeler can be a chore.

    I sincerely hope you choose not to leave Green Building Advisor as a customer, but if you decide that you can’t trust Pete, Martin, Rob, and me, so be it.

    To John’s point, I trust that our community will continue to vigilantly keep the world safe for regular folks just looking for good information.


  4. EJ Palma | | #4

    Dan & John, thank you for
    Dan & John, thank you for responding to my comment. I understand that a subscription to GBA does not mean that it includes a subscription to EBN. I was referring to the information source. I have been extremely satisfied with GBA, and the diversified information sources and personal references that are included. My trust for all of you was not the question, it was whether corporate merger issues were going to affect the community atmosphere. Your responses have boosted my confidence and my subscription to GBA will be renewed. Upon your suggestion I will revisit FHB as it has been awhile. I apologize for the ivory tower comment as it was unfair and probably leftover from the exhaustive health care debate that we just went through prior to history being made.


    My father always told me:
    That if you're not making a profit, you're not really in business.

    Sustainability goes beyond the homes we are building. We can learn to be sustainable in the way we treat our employees and the community of craftspeople and customers who make our building projects possible.

    There is so much that we as a community can still add to make Green Building Advisor an even better resource but it will take dollars to get that info edited, checked, formatted and uploaded in a well organized and searchable way that will make it readily accessible to the users.

    I know that Dan has been really pushing the video content and I'm downloading GBA audio podcasts at I-tunes to carry on my I-pod and I'm accessing GBA on my smartphone. John Brooks and I have been talking about sending in more southeast and southwest details, I've been working on an on-line companion to the Home-Owners Manual classes I've been teaching at IBS, Custom Builder Symposium and the National Green Building Conference.

    Several of us are talking about going beyond a triple bottom line way of thinking to add a fourth bottom line beyond doing no harm to actively using our business practices in a healing and socially restorative way.

    We also can go beyond the listings of green products to look at the differentiations between conventional products and their green alternatives (i'm thinking especially about basement systems here but wall systems, structural alternatives, whole wall ratings of different insulation systems, ventilation strategies etc.) All of these conventional building alternatives that need to be analyzed to give us benchmarks from which to compare green alternatives from both performance and cost.

    Bringing in additional sources of revenue will strengthen the GBA business model,make it more sustainable, give the GBA community the resources to make a good thing better and more useful and seems like a natural part of the evolution here.

    And I assure you that Riversong is not the only one here who cannot be "bought."

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