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Materials [clear filter]
Friday, March 8

10:00am EST

Advancing Justice for All: Expanding our Definition of Healthy Materials
Occupants are typically the most conspicuous beneficiaries of healthier building materials. Widening our perspective exposes “hidden” groups, including installers, factory workers and their communities, often facing the greatest harm with least recourse. For example, PFOA contamination from manufacturing Teflon and similar coatings, used in products from wire insulation to interior paints, raises significant social justice issues. PFOA-manufacturing communities, including Bennington, VT, Hoosick Falls, NY, and various New Hampshire locations, endure poisoned air and water.

We must likewise control greenhouses gases. Between now and 2030, almost 75% of projected building sector carbon release is embodied carbon. Along with avoiding harmful chemicals in building products, informed choices reduce materials’ carbon footprint and identify those serving as carbon sinks that remove atmospheric greenhouse gases.

This presentation identifies specific ubiquitous materials used in New England (e.g., insulation, carpeting) and offers significant, achievable strategies for incorporating healthier, more planet-friendly products. Our basic approach: start small, focus on the big stuff, secure tangible victories and gain experience in the process. We will share strategies and create clear goals for the entire team, from owner to product manufacturers.

This session equips design/construction teams and manufacturers with specific practical methods for choosing products and finding materials with better ingredients and that reduce embodied carbon emissions. Together, we can move the industry toward making buildings part of the solution--instead of simply less of the problem.

Experts in materials research and climate-friendly design, construction and product manufacturing will inform and empower participants, to ensure that their daily work contributes to creating a healthier environment for all.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Review traditional healthy materials standards, consider ways that broadening these standards expands benefits to people and planet.
  2. Develop a strategy for incorporating red-list free materials into a robust design and construction process.
  3. Articulate how construction processes can factor into the embodied carbon conversation. Describe one contractor’s journey to “green” the building process, reduce GHG emissions and fight climate change.
  4. Participants will be able to explain how climate change affects human health and strategies for choosing low carbon footprint materials.

AIA Continuing Education Credit: 2 HSW
Living Future Accreditation Credits: 2 HRS

avatar for Lisa Conway

Lisa Conway

VP Sustainability, Americas, Interface
Lisa Conway is the VP of Sustainability, Americas for Interface – the modular flooring manufacturer that is leading industry to love the world. As a member of a global team, she and her team are responsible for regional activation of the company’s mission: Climate Take Back. They’re... Read More →
avatar for Kath McCusker

Kath McCusker

Senior Sustainability Manager, Integrated Eco Strategy (IES)
Kath McCusker, LEED AP (BD+C) is a Senior Sustainability Manager at Integrated Eco Strategy (IES), a consulting and materials tracking software firm that facilitates sustainable and regenerative building design, renovation and construction. Kath is a graduate of the Green Building... Read More →
avatar for Christopher Nielson

Christopher Nielson

Architect, Bruner/Cott Architects
Christopher Nielson is an Architect with Bruner/Cott Architects. He is interested in design that builds community while addressing the impact of climate change. With a high level of expertise in construction technology, community outreach, and high performance design, Christopher... Read More →
avatar for Julia Gisewite

Julia Gisewite

Director of Sustainability, Turner
Julia Gisewite is Turner’s director of sustainability. She is responsible for establishing and implementing sustainable policies, standards and procedures for Turner’s national and international operations. Julia also oversees Turner’s national sustainability network, comprised... Read More →

Friday March 8, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm EST
Burke Auditorium Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511
  Materials, Health
  • GBCI CEU Self Report
  • LFA CEU 2 HRS - Self Report
  • Course Level Basic
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