Dream Materials: What Do You Really Want to Build With? Video, 60 minutes

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The design and construction community has been demanding more information transparency on products… and companies are delivering. We found 1,852 Health Product Declarations (HPDs) from 698 brands in a recent search. The Declare label is ramping up quickly, and don’t forget about Cradle to Cradle, and similar trends in Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

At the same time, innovations in product manufacturing are creating new options for designers at an ever-increasing pace. But are the new products and materials what we really want? Can we trust their claims?

Rather than take a backseat, let’s drive the conversation toward what we really need for sustainable and healthy buildings.

We have a unique moment to take our newfound knowledge about the products we use and apply it to inform product development priorities in the industry.

Whether it is alternatives to the toxic flame retardants in foam insulation, concrete that sequesters (as opposed to releasing) carbon dioxide, or ecologically friendly roofing membranes that are flexible and easy to install, the wish list is compelling and actionable by manufacturers. And with initiatives like USGBC working groups and the Living Product Challenge from the International Living Future Institute, the level of engagement with companies has never been higher.

This interactive session will engage participants in clarifying their own priorities and then generating a collective message to industry so they can create and supply the materials of our dreams.

Our distinguished panelists ran this session for a packed room at the 2015 AIA Convention, and due to the extreme enthusiasm for the session, they have reinvented the interactive workshops for our on-demand webcast.

Find out where the industry is heading

Wayne Gretsky was the greatest hockey player ever. How? He famously said he didn’t go to where the puck is; he went to where it’s going to be.

This is about the future of building materials; and knowing where the industry is heading will help you design your business and your buildings for that future.

This is a chance to get out of the weeds of certifications and declarations and think big about where are going, or could be going. Frustrated with the endless details? We’ll refresh you on what the big picture is and how to drive toward it.


Paula is co-director of Perkins+Will’s firmwide Sustainable Design Initiative, where she assures that sustainable ideas are an integral part of the firm’s projects and practices. She coordinates sustainability efforts across the firm’s offices worldwide, teaches sustainable design workshops, and speaks frequently on sustainable construction, business practices and visioning.

Co-founder of Siegel & Strain Architects, Larry has a 40-year background in sustainable design. A former General Contractor, in the early 1990s he began to systematically research sustainable materials and construction methods, which led to a set of Green Guideline Specifications that was later incorporated into BuildingGreen’s product guide. His firm has won over 60 design and environmental awards for their projects including four Top Ten Project Awards from the AIA Committee on the Environment.

As a professor at CUArch, Brad’s teaching and research is focused on sustainable materials through life cycle assessment, prefabrication and modular design, design to use reclaimed materials, and productivity studies for deconstruction training. He is a former chair of the USGBC Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group, a board member of the Off-Site Construction Council of the National Institute of Building Sciences, and a member of the Sustainable Sites Initiative Materials Committee.

The webcast is moderated by Nadav Malin, president and co-founder of BuildingGreen. During LEED’s formative years Nadav was chair of the Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group, and he currently facilitates the LEED Supply Chain Optimization Group, which brings together representatives from the manufacturing, non-profit, architecture, trade and government sectors to evolve and advance LEED v4 MR Credit 4: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization—Material Ingredients.