Material selection is a core service provided by architects, but that process is far from simple. The Materials Matter series untangles the complexities of that process in five essential courses. The key? Materials transparency. When you know everything you can about the materials you use, you’re able to make the best product decisions for projects, people, and the environment.
The courses cover different types of impacts, and best practices for reducing these impacts, from industry-best instructors. Opportunity to earn 7.5 LU|HSW AIA credits if you attend all five sessions!
All courses will be presented 8:30 - 10:00 AM.
Thursday, March 9 - Course 1: Materials Matter: The big idea | Course Facilitator: Stuart Coppedge, FAIA, Desmone
You wouldn’t buy a car without checking its gas mileage, so why wouldn’t you want to know what goes into your building? In this course, you’ll learn about the potential health and environmental impacts of the products that go into our buildings. You’ll also look at key drivers pushing transparency in the marketplace including client demand and green rating systems.
Thursday, March 30 - Course 2: Environmental Impacts: Making a Difference | Course Facilitator: Alex Co, LFA, LEED AP ID+C, WAP Sustainability
Often material impact is evaluated while a product is serving a useful purpose in a building, but that only accounts for a portion of the product’s complete life cycle. This course unpacks the entire product life cycle along with the unique environmental impacts at each phase. You’ll learn best practices for improving the environmental performance of materials through a variety of strategies, including designing for deconstruction at the end-of-life.
Thursday, April 20 - Course 3: Health Impacts: Connecting Building Materials, Human Health, and the Environment | Course Facilitator: Tiffany Broyles Yost, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Fitwel Ambassador, GBBN
Dive deeper into the relationship between building materials and human health in this eye-opening course. You’ll discover the three ways substances move from the environment into our bodies. You’ll also learn about health risks—what makes certain populations more vulnerable and why health impacts can vary from person to person. Embracing the precautionary principle is one of several actions explored in this course to help you better consider human health risks when selecting materials.
Thursday, May 11 - Course 4: Life Cycle Assessment: Tools to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Buildings | Course Facilitator: Julia Wattick, AIA, LEED AP ND, Fitwel Ambassador, Branch Pattern
Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a useful tool for understanding products and whole buildings. This course simplifies the LCA process and describes its limits and opportunities for architects. You’ll also review an extended case study that reveals how one firm embraced LCA to deliver a LEED Platinum office building.
Thursday, June 1 - Course 5: Materials & Health: Understanding the Tools
There are a number of materials selection tools on the market, all designed to help you make healthier project and product decisions. But how do you choose? This course shows you how. You’ll learn about tools in the four categories—inventory, screening, assessment, and optimization—including what you can expect to find in any tool in specific category. In the last section of the course you’ll get practical advice for using the tools to make decisions, influence stakeholders, and manage risk.
For further details on courses, see https://aiapgh.org/about/aia-committees/committee-on-the-environment/#!event-list