This course deals with the full process of creating healthier buildings, covering challenges encountered throughout design, construction, maintenance, and operation. The course is framed as a collection of lessons learned through professional experience to help professionals become better informed so that they can make decisions with an overall awareness of the protocols for healthier design.
What You Will Learn
- Create a project framework that gets the whole team committed to material health
- Have an informed understanding, from industry professionals, of what the process entails, and be able to set reasonable goals
- Be able to design and manage the project efficiently, with holistic and comprehensive considerations for health impacts.
- Anticipate construction and maintenance practices that will affect long term health conditions in the building
- 5 AIA CEU HSW Credits
Senior Architect & Material Specialist, Henning Larsen Architects
Martha Lewis is a senior architect at Henning Larsen Architects, where she established an office-wide material database with the firm’s sustainability department and implemented material strategies for projects with a focus on healthy, ethically viable, and environmentally tenable materials. With two decades of professional experience in Copenhagen and Berlin, Martha is currently involved in establishing a Danish material declaration, and is a member of the Buildings as Material Banks shareholders network, which works to establish an EU material passport to provide transparency and optimize value recovery from materials. In 2016, she participated in the advisory group for the Danish Environmental protection Agency’s“Undesirable Substances in Sustainable Buildings”, and she has been involved in the Danish Green Building Council’s adoption of the German building certification system since 2011. Martha holds a MArch from Washington University and a BA from Vassar College.
Principal, LTL Architects
David Lewis is a founding principal of LTL Architects, a design-intensive architecture firm realizing inventive solutions that turn the very constraints of each project into the design trajectory, exploring opportunistic overlaps between space, program, form, budget, and materials. The principals are co-authors of the monographs Intensities, Opportunistic Architecture, and Situation Normal....Pamphlet Architecture #21, as well as the only book on the architectural section, Manual of Section. LTL Architects’ work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. David Lewis holds academic positions as Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design and Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the University of Limerick, Ireland, and is a member of the Advisory Council of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University. He received his Master of Architecture from Princeton University, a Master of Arts in the History of Architecture and Urbanism from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton College.
Vice President of Products and Strategic Growth, International Living Futures Institute
A GreenBiz 30 under 30 sustainable business leader, James Connelly provides strategic leadership for the ILFI’s corporate and manufacturing initiatives, including the Living Product Hub, Living Product Challenge, Just, Declare, and the Handprint Label. James leads the Institute’s strategic consulting for corporations and conducts technical consulting for high profile Living Building Challenge projects both in the US and internationally.
Prior to joining the Institute in 2012, James received a Fulbright fellowship to conduct research on green building rating systems in China. James is a frequent national and international speaker on regenerative design, sustainable business, ecological manufacturing, and affordable housing. He is an avid writer, and his research and commentaries have been featured in news outlets such as China Dialogue, Trim Tab, BuildingGreen, GreenBiz, and Engineering News Record.
CEO, International Living Futures Institute
FAIA, LEED Fellow
Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA is the CEO of the International Living Future Institute, an organization that focuses on realizing a world that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. She is the author of Creating Biophilic Buildings, the founder and driving force behind ILFI’s Biophilic Design Initiative, and a sought-after expert on biophilic design around the world. In her 15-year career as an award-winning architect, Amanda sought to harmonize the relationship between people and nature. In 2013 she was elected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in recognition of her extensive advocacy and volunteer service to the green building movement, of which she has been a visionary leader. In 2015 she was named one of the top ten most powerful women in sustainability and received the Women in Sustainability Leadership Award.
Pollution Prevention Director, Center for Environmental Health
Judy Levin is the Pollution Prevention Director at the Center for Environmental Health, where she partners with and provides technical assistance to large purchasers including government, higher education, health care organizations, and corporations on how to identify and prioritize environmentally preferable products. She received the 2015 International Interior Design Association Leadership Award of Excellence for her work reducing the use of harmful flame retardant chemicals. Judy has worked in the non-profit arena for 25 years, and before joining the Center for Environmental Health, she co-founded Family Support Services of the Bay Area. Judy received her Bachelors in Social Work from the University of California at Berkeley and her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan.
Associate, ZGF Architects LLP
Melissa Balestri is a Specifier and Associate at ZGF Architects in Seattle. She is the Vice President and Education Chair of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, and is on the 2018-2019 ballot as President-Elect. She is also one of three co-founders of the Healthy Materials Collaborative, and was a member of AIA Seattle’s Materials Matter Advisory Committee. Melissa is a Licensed Architect, Certified Construction Specifier and Construction Documents Technologist, and holds two Bachelor’s degrees and a Master of Architecture. She has presented to the Opal Group SpArc Conference, AIA Seattle’s Materials Matter series, Women in Design Leadership (WilDLife), the Cascadia East Side Collaborative, the Cascadia Seattle Collaborative, the Healthy Materials Collaborative, and the Puget Sound Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute.
Breeze Glazer is a Principal and cofounder of LEAP/STEP, an interdisciplinary high-performance design consultancy providing services to design firms and facility owners to improve the performance of buildings. Prior to founding LEAP/STEP, he held various sustainability leadership positions for 10 years at Perkins+Will. Breeze researches material health and toxicity, alternative energy systems, and climate change mitigation, often in collaboration with academic institutions and non-profit organizations. He currently teaches graduate level classes in applied design research and sustainability.
Sustainable Communities Manager, First Communities Housing
Monica Nañez has a Master of Environmental Science degree with a focus on outreach and education, a BA in Social Work, and 15 years of experience working with local nonprofits, neighborhoods, and schools on community improvement programs and projects. Monica’s work at First Community Housing involves working with property managers, residents, and the FCH asset management team on promoting and establishing programs and practices that promote sustainability across the FCH portfolio.
Sustainability Manager, GCI General Contractors
LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP
Emily is the Sustainability Manager for GCI, a San Francisco-based commercial contracting and construction management firm specializing in commercial interior, corporate facility, and building renovation projects throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. Before starting at GCI, Emily founded the Sustainability Program for the Cesar Chavez Student Center at San Francisco State University and interned with Eric Corey Freed at organicARCHITECT, where she helped perform a waste audit at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, spearheading the creation of their first internal sustainability team. She has a BA in Environmental Studies: Sustainability and Social Justice, and a BS in Interior Design.
Superintendent, Structure Tone
WELL AP, LEED AP ND, ID+C,
With over a decade of experience in urban construction management, Geoff has done extensive research on jobsite reduction initiatives for energy, water, and waste, overseeing the monthly tracking of these metrics across the region. Geoff has undergraduate degrees in Civil Engineering and Architecture from Lehigh University with a minor in Urban Studies, an M.S. in Urban Environmental Systems Management from the Pratt Institute, and a professional certificate in Real Estate Development from NYU. He also serves as a board member for Smiling Hogshead Ranch, a non-profit urban farm in the Long Island City section of Queens, NY.
Director, Toxics Use Reduction Institute’s Cleaning Lab, University of Massachusetts Lowell
In his role as the Toxics Use Reduction Institute's Laboratory Director, Jason Marshall directs the lab’s services, helping companies, communities, and citizens evaluate the performance of cleaning chemistries and equipment. Recent projects include the promotion of safer ingredients in cleaning products, which resulted in Champion Level recognition from EPA’s Safer Detergent Stewardship Initiative, the establishment of a program to evaluate Do-It-Yourself cleaning recipes, evaluation of biobased products for several janitorial applications in a hospital setting, and an effort to promote the adoption of alternatives to trichloroethylene for businesses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Dr. Marshall has a Bachelor's of Science in Chemical Engineering, a Master's of Science in Environmental Studies, and a Doctorate of Science in Occupational and Environmental Hygiene from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Director of Specifications and Sustainability, HLW
LEED AP BD+C
Susan M Kaplan is the Director of Materials Technology at HLW, where she spent many years building the sustainability practice of the firm. A Certified Construction Specifier and a LEED AP BC&D, she currently serves on the board of the HPDC, and is a working member of the GreenFormat Committee for the national CSI. Susan started her career as a specifier at the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, and she previously served on the boards of the Metropolitan New York Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute and the Urban Green Council. Her teaching positions catalyze her research on material characteristics, toxicity of materials, and life cycle assessment of products. Susan holds a Bachelor of Architecture from City College of New York CUNY.
Associate Principal, Dattner Architects
An Associate Principal at Dattner Architects, Steve Frankel views architecture as a fully collaborative, creative effort between architect, client, engineer, and builder, with the architect guiding the design process and facilitating teamwork and communication while maintaining design integrity. He joined the firm in 2003, and has worked as a designer in Basel, Switzerland and Barcelona, Spain. Steve holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Rice University, and is an active member of the American Institute of Architects.
LEED Fellow, BREEAM International Assessor
As the leader of Vidaris’ Green Services department, John Amatruda specializes in environmentally conscious design and the evaluation of “green”materials and systems. He has worked as a consultant on over 100 LEED projects nationwide and internationally, using all variations of the LEED commercial program. He has also authored a number of green building studies and publications, including the GSA LEED Cost Study for the US General Services Administration, the NYC Department of Buildings’ Energy Code Compliance Study, the Green Material Selection Guidelines for the web-based Whole Building Design Guide, and the Carbon Reduction Study for the United Nations Headquarters Renovation.
Mr. Amatruda is accredited as an International Assessor under the United Kingdom’s BREEAM green building rating system, and has been a LEED Accredited Professional since 2001. He was the first LEED AP registered in the State of Connecticut, as well as one of the first 30 faculty members hired by the USGBC, and was named a LEED Fellow in 2013.
Living Building Challenge Services Director, Miller Hull
LEED AP BD+C, CDT, Living Future Accreditation
Chris Hellstern is an author and the Living Building Challenge Services Director with The Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle. His recent book, Living Building Education, chronicles his work and the story behind the Bertschi School Living Building. Chris served as a Cascadia Branch member and Living Building Ambassador for ILFI, founded Seattle 2030 Roundtable, and co-founded the Healthy Materials Collaborative. A Living Future Accredited professional, Chris has been a guest speaker at numerous conferences and universities across the country, and he mentors students about sustainable practices and advocacy. He also publishes articles and volunteers with local school groups.
With over ten years if experience at Snøhetta’s New York office, Aaron Dorf has overseen many projects, including the National September 11th Museum Pavilion and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art expansion. Aaron looks after Snøhetta’s North American Powerhouse work, which is a body of projects and partnerships that follows Norway’s strictest sustainability practices for zero-emission buildings and promotes ultra-low energy use and emissions, as well as the use of healthy materials. The first North American Powerhouse project—a renovated office space and headquarters for the Center for Green Buildings and Cities—is currently under construction at Harvard.
LEED AP ND
Dennis is an architect at Snøhetta in New York City, and he has worked on educational, cultural, residential and public projects located in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. His design focus is to create places that support communities of cultural, social, and economic diversity, expressed through the innovative use of materials, systems, and geometry. Dennis holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Structural Engineering from the University of Western Ontario.
Director of Sustainability & Construction, First Community Housing
Marty Keller manages the FCH green building program, which has produced and renovated over 1,050 units of sustainable housing, including 4 LEED Platinum and 3 LEED Gold properties, since he founded it in 2002. Marty is currently managing the construction of a 135-unit LEED Platinum modular project which will be the largest permanent supportive housing program in San Jose and a model for combining housing, health care, and social service support to provide an economical and humane approach to homelessness. FCH is exploring the use of modular technology to provide shelter as quickly and economically as possible while having high sustainability and design standards, particularly in healthy materials and indoor air quality. Marty’s background includes experience as a Construction Manager, a Superintendent, and a Journeyman Carpenter, and he holds a degree in Sociology for work as a Social Worker from York College, CUNY.
Director, Donghia healthier Materials Library
Summer 2016 - present
Since graduating from Parsons Master's in Architecture program in 2016, Jack has been developing strategies that help architects incorporate material health initiatives into practice. These projects have included a collaboration with LTL Architects for a 50,000 square foot Early Childhood Center, learning tools for navigating industry certifications and resources, and materials education platforms for design students and professionals.
This work follows a longstanding commitment to addressing social and environmental challenges through design. Before joining HML and LTL, Jack has been with firms such as LOT-EK, Young Projects, and Ultra-Moderne, addressing issues ranging from the upcycling of building materials to sensory design for children with autism. His work has earned recognitions including the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for professional merit and leadership, the John L. Tishman Scholarship for sustainable design, and most recently, an invitation to the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit for transforming management education.
AIA, LEED AP
Alison Mears is the Director of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School for Design in New York. She is also co Director, with Bill Walsh, Healthy Building Network, of the Healthy Affordable Materials Project. Previously Dean of the School of Design Strategies and Director of the BFA Architectural Design and Interior Design programs in the School of Constructed Environments (SCE), Parsons, Mears teaches interdisciplinary studios at SCE and in the BS Urban Design program at SDS. Her past projects have engaged a number of U.S. urban contexts, often partnering with New School Milano Policy and Finance graduate students and Parsons students (graduate and undergraduate) with a range of non profit organizations. These studio projects have been situated in New Orleans, as part of the Chase competition; Deanwood, Washington DC, a community-based program that situated Parsons’ 2011 Solar Decathlon Competition in its Deanwood neighborhood (winner Affordability category); Skid Row, Los Angeles with the Skid Row Housing Authority; and Greensboro, North Carolina and Warren, Ohio with a range of local partners. In addition she is a founding Parsons partner of the Building Product Ecosystem project with the Durst Organization, a member of the Flame Retardant working group and teaches the Parsons Building Product Ecosystem seminar related to the project. Mears is lead architect for the design and construction of St. George’s School in Gondar, Ethiopia. She is also an advisor for Donna Karan's Urban Zen Vocational Center, DOT, for Artisans in Port au Prince, Haiti. Mears is a registered architect who previously worked in firms, including Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorpe and Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, New York. She is currently partner in her own architectural practice, Paci + Mears Architects. She holds a M Arch, Columbia University, NY, and a B Arch, Canberra University, Australia.
Director of Design
Jonsara Ruth is Design Director at Healthy Materials Lab, Founding Director of the MFA Interior Design Program, and Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design. Here she led AFTERTASTE, a symposium that brings new definition to the field of interiors. Central to her work is listening to and learning from diverse perspectives, and studying human experience, behavior, and health as principal motivations for design. Material curiosities drive her research.
Jonsara is a designer and artist and founded Salty Labs, a collaborative design studio, to improve environmental health while creating viscerally designed spaces, events, and furniture. Previous experience includes leading design of furniture for mass production with materials and manufacturing processes that eliminate risks to human health and the environment. With Q Collection Junior she designed the worlds first Greenguard Certified crib for children.
Jonsara received a Masters of Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design.
Principal, Dattner Architects
AIA, LEED AP
John Woelfling is a partner at Dattner Architects, one of New York City’s leading designers of multi-family residential architecture. John directs much of the firm’s affordable housing portfolio, and his work is driven by the belief that architecture should be meaningful to society and sensitive to the environment. John leverages his experiences working across project typologies, from education and recreation to healthcare and infrastructure, to inform his leadership on many of the firm’s mixed-use residential projects. He is the principal-in-charge for Prospect Plaza, a multi-phase development that is bringing affordable housing to a former NYCHA site, a multi-site affordable housing and wellness center in the Bronx, and he is leading 425 Grand Concourse – NYC’s largest Passive House affordable housing building. He has lectured on the subjects of affordable housing and sustainability, speaking at the Center for Architecture, AIA NYS, Urban Green and GreenBuild, Forum for Urban Design, and the Re: Imagine Conference. John holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech.
Founder, Building Product Ecosystems LLC
Amanda Kaminsky is Founder of Building Product Ecosystems—multi-disciplinary collaboratives that evolve code, infrastructure, and field logistics for optimal systemic health and performance of major building materials. Improvements to product and process are carefully piloted on projects under current development via regular convening of buyers and their manufacturers, recyclers, contractors, designers/engineers, policy makers, and academic researchers.
Before and during the early stages of BPE, Amanda led sustainable construction and procurement efforts at The Durst Organization. Amanda has collaborated extensively with project teams and supply chains on new and existing commercial and residential buildings to optimize materials and systems design, procurement, and building processes from project inception through construction and into ongoing operations. In collaboration with DSNY, she also managed New York City’s first high rise residential organics collection/compost program. Amanda Chairs the Health Product Declaration Collaborative board, and is a director on the board of Healthy Building Network.
Safety Manager, GCI
Hank Burr is a Safety Manager at GCI General Contractors, where he works to mitigate risk and liability for the company and its programs.With his daily goal of making sure all employees go home safe, Hank has successfully managed risk at over 100 GCI jobsites throughout the Bay Area. A retired Army Officer, Hank has a Master’s Degree in sports management and an associates degree in Chinese, as well as his Safety Trained Supervisor and OSHA30 training, and he is currently working on his CHST.
Director, Atelier Ten
LEED AP BD+C, PE, ASHRAE BEMP
As director of Atelier Ten, Shanta Tucker PE is recognized for her leadership in building performance simulation and sustainable consultancy on local and international projects. Her 18-year career includes consulting on net zero, carbon neutral and LEED platinum buildings. She has taught environmental systems at GSAPP, The New School, Yale, and Pratt. Her volunteer experience includes serving as a president of IBPSA-USA in 2015-16 and chairing ASHRAE’s certification committee. She holds a BS in Architectural Engineering from the University of Colorado, is a professional mechanical engineer, is an ASHRAE Member, and has published literature with ASHRAE, IBPSA and ASME.
Alejandra Arce Gomez
Sustainability Coordinator, GCI General Contractors
Alejandra Arce Gomez is the Sustainability Coordinator at Madrone Construction Resources, and she has been with the company since its inception in 2017. Alejandra graduated from The University of San Francisco in December of 2016 with a Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). She is a Zero Waste Community Associate and holds a TRUE Advisor Certificate.
As Sustainability Coordinator, Alejandra oversees the waste management plans for the demolition and construction phases of projects, and she has a crucial role in Madrone’s Furniture Donation Program, which donates materials, plumbing fixtures, furniture, and appliances to organizations in need such as non-profits and community-focused companies that work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and life-cycle impacts of manufacturing. Alejandra also shares responsibility in the day-to-day operation and management of Madrone.
Beatriz de la Torre
Managing Director, Housing, Robin Hood Foundation
Beatriz (Bea) de la Torre is the Managing Director for Housing at Robin Hood Foundation. Her main focus is finding the most impactful interventions to address the housing and homeless crisis in New York City. Before joining Robin Hood, Bea worked at the Department of Preservation and Development (HPD) in various roles, mostly focused on planning affordable housing developments on city-owned vacant land. Bea has a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Planning from M.I.T. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three children.