Materials Matter is a five-session series delivering comprehensive, high-level knowledge and strategies for assessing and selecting healthy, sustainable materials.

Sessions will delve into the impact of materials on the environment and human health, the tools and data available for assessing and prioritizing materials, and strategies for integrating informed decision-making into projects and practice. Speakers will reveal the perspectives of project team members and other partners connected with materials and share the learnings and approaches of successful projects. This series offers guidance on navigating the complex landscape of disclosures and transparency in order to assess and reduce the environmental and health impacts of products. Sessions will include presentations, panels, case studies, and activities. Participants will walk away from each session with action items for integrating the curriculum into their work.

Series Dates

All sessions: Tuesday’s, 1:00 pm – 5:30pm

February 6, 2018 – Healthy Planet: Materials + the Environment
March 6, 2018 – Healthy People: Materials Science + Human Health
April 3, 2018 – Tools of the Trade: Assessment + Implementation
May 8, 2018 – Just Do It: Strategies for Projects
June 5, 2018 – Beyond Transparency: Materials Disclosure + Practice

Session 5 - Beyond Transparency: Materials Disclosure + Practice

Session 5, Beyond Transparency: Materials Disclosure + Practice, unpacks how to integrate healthy materials selection into firm culture and practice. It clarifies the risks of material transparency for firms and shares strategies for managing risk while encouraging transparency. It investigates how firms balance making better material choices while considering client and firm values, and how firm-based decisions ultimately impact the ‘bigger picture’ – human and environmental health. Local manufacturers will also engage in a lively moderated discussion to share their perspective on the challenges and opportunities of healthy, sustainable materials. The session ends with immediate actions participants can take to apply their new knowledge and skills.

Bill Walsh, Founder and President of the Board of Directors, has provided the long-term vision for the Healthy Building Network since February 2000. Previously he coordinated the Energy, Forest and Toxic Campaigns of Greenpeace USA and held staff attorney positions with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the Institute for Public Representation of Georgetown University Law Center. He holds a JD from Northeastern University School of Law and LLM in Public Interest Advocacy from Georgetown University.

Randy Fiser is Chief Executive Officer at the American Society of Interior Designers.  His mission is to inspire change, play a key role in advancing the interior design profession and the organization. As CEO, he has invested heavily in research, enhanced ASID’s reach through new partnerships with organizations like the Clinton Global Initiative, Delos, and the International WELL Building Institute, secured crucial practice rights victories in Massachusetts, and moved ASID headquarters into an award-winning “living laboratory” studying the impact of design in the workplace. He demonstrates that hiring an interior designer is not only a good return on investment but a decision that transforms lives.  He holds a MBA in International Business from Georgetown University, a Master of Education focused on Counseling and Human Development from the University of Georgia and BS in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University.

Nancy Hulsey is a biologist who landed in the world of architecture.  During her tenure at HKS, Inc. (2006 - 2017) her roles included green operations, sustainability education, the repurposing of 50 tons of materials and paper during the headquarters’ relocation, and the creation of mindful MATERIALS (mM).  Since 2014, mM has grown from an internal firm initiative for labeling product binders with environmental certifications and declarations to a volunteer-led, industry-wide program, featuring the mM Library, a growing searchable database of product transparency information.  Nancy believes transparent disclosure, education and advocacy are necessary to transform the built environment at all levels.  She is currently a sustainable materials consultant.

Mary is a Senior Associate, Regional Sustainable Design Leader, Co-Director of the Materials Performance Lab and a member of the firm's Sustainable Design Council at Perkins+Will.  She graduated from Auburn University with a BS in Interior Design.