Materials Matter Session 3: Tools of the Trade: Assessment + Implementation

January 12, 2018
8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Center / Architecture + Design
1218 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Registration is required
Event Cost: 

Members: $75/session
Non-Members: $150/session
Students: $35/session

Session 3, Tools of the Trade: Assessment + Implementation builds on the knowledge gained during the first two sessions by diving into tools used to communicate environmental and human health impacts of materials. It includes demonstrations of key tools and context for determining the right tool to use in practice. The first half focuses on applying life-cycle assessment to evaluate environmental impacts, and the second half demonstrates common tools used to report material and product ingredients that could impact human health, and provides a forum for participants to compare tools and ask questions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will be able to explain Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) guidelines and how LCA can be used to shape building design to reduce environmental impact.
  • Participants will be able to draw upon resources and tools used to implement LCA in order to make evidence-based decisions on building materials.
  • Participants will be able to explain the differences among tools, including databases, labels, certifications and others, used for screening products, assessing their impact, and disclosing their ingredients.
  • Participants will be able to identify the appropriate health tool to use on a project and the key information needed to select healthy sustainable materials.


  • Cara Watson Vought, LCACP, Sustainable Solutions
    Cara has been working at Sustainable Solutions Corporation for over six years and is currently the Director of Operations. She also is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Jefferson University, teaching a life cycle course to graduate student architects and designers. She has experience in conducting Life Cycle Assessments and Sustainable Operations Assessments, supporting Sustainable Product Innovation programs, and material ingredient reports. Cara has also been supporting various green building projects pursuing LEED Certification and incentive programs, and increasing building performance and operations.  Cara graduated from the University of Delaware having studied Chemical Engineering. She minored in sustainable energy technology and environmental engineering.
  • Bill Walsh, Healthy Building Network
    Bill Walsh is the Founder and President of the Board of the Healthy Building Network (HBN). Since 2000 HBN has been defining the leading edge of healthy building practices that increase transparency in the building products industry, reduce human exposures to chemicals in building materials, and create market incentives for healthier innovations in manufacturing.  A sought after national speaker on these issues, Bill’s recent presentations include Greenbuild and the AIA National Convention.  He has been Visiting Professor at Parsons The New School for Design, is a founding Board Member of the Health Product Declaration (HPD) Collaborative and  currently serves on the HPD Collaborative board, and the Advisory Board of the Healthy Babies Bright Futures initiative. Bill is a recipient of  the US Green Building Council’s Leadership In Advocacy Award,  the Healthy Schools Hero award from the Healthy Schools Network and is a Fellow of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts. Previously he served as a national campaign director at Greenpeace USA, and held staff attorney positions with the US Public Interest Research Group and the Institute for Public Representation at Georgetown University Law Center.  He holds a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and LLM in Public Interest Advocacy from Georgetown University.
  • Efrie Escott, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Environmental Researcher at KieranTimberlake
    As a researcher and architect at KieranTimberlake, Efrie Escott helps bridge the gap between data and design. She works on a range of architectural and software projects, including the Tally® Life Cycle Assessment tool. She steers the firm’s Building Information Modeling group, founded Philadelphia’s Dynamo User Group, and teaches at Temple University.
  • Dennis Wilson, Saint-Gobain
    Dennis is the Director of CSR, Product Stewardship & Sustainability for Saint-Gobain in North America, the parent company of CertainTeed.  Dennis joined CertainTeed/Saint-Gobain in 2007 and has since worked in a variety of operational EHS, product stewardship and sustainability roles.  Dennis’ team leads Saint-Gobain North America’s process & product sustainability efforts including waste, water, energy, & greenhouse gas reduction as well as product life cycle assessments. Dennis holds a BS in Applied Environmental Health & Safety Sciences (Safety Sciences) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Environmental Protection & Safety Management from St. Joseph’s University, an MBA from LaSalle University, and a certificate in Sustainable Engineering from Villanova University.  Prior to his time at CertainTeed/Saint-Gobain, Dennis held a variety of operations, quality, and regulatory positions in the pharmaceutical, and paper and plastics industries. Dennis was recently appointed to the USGBC LEED Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group (MR TAG) for 2018.



For more information, please contact:
AIA Philadelphia
Julianne Foley
215-569-3186, ext. 101