Healthy People

Session 2, Healthy People: Materials Science + Human Health, delves into the science behind materials and human health to understand how material substances reach people and lead to health consequences. It provides guidance on the complex landscape of health tools by introducing the different types of tools available to make educated decisions about products and what to consider when selecting and using these tools.

  • Participants will be able to summarize the key human health drivers for sourcing healthy, sustainable materials.
  • Participants will be able to describe how substances in materials reach people, the potential effects on human health, and how some people are more at risk than others
  • 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.

Series page »



Tim Conway, Shaw Industries – Manufacturers Viewpoint and Humanizing the Issues
Catherine Bobenhausen, Colden Corporation – An Industrial Hygienist’s View
Sara Tepfer, ARUP – What are the Tools and the Protocol?
Chris Hellstern, The Miller Hull Partnership – Bringing it into Practice
Max Richter, PERKINS+WILL – Where are we on the Path to Healthy Materials, Buildings, and People?

About the Presenters

Tim Conway, Vice President of Sustainable Development, Shaw Industries
As a flooring industry expert, Tim Conway is focused on the positive affects that sustainable flooring products have on our buildings, and more importantly, the people that occupy and live in the spaces we design.

Tim has worked closely with Bill McDonough and the internal team at Shaw for the past twelve years developing and maintaining Shaw’s Cradle to Cradle certifications, HPDs and EPDs. His unique role at Shaw enables him to drive the communication between clients’ requirements and the product development team at Shaw. He has presented at GreenBuild, Living Future, and Design Future Council and has been an integral part in the development of healthy carpet specifications for clients all over the world.

Tim is passionate about collaborating with clients to develop flooring specifications that are safe throughout a product’s entire supply chain, from raw material chemical building blocks to end of life replication. He has a unique ability to translate complex systems like Cradle to Cradle and HPDs into simple stories that empower change and deliver buildings that have positive intent for the future of our people and our planet.

Catherine Bobenhausen, MS, CIH, CSP, AIHA Fellow, LEED BD+C, Senior Consultant, Colden Corporation
Catherine Bobenhausen is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and Senior Consultant with Colden Corporation, a firm of 60 professionals with focused expertise in industrial hygiene. She is an AIHA Fellow, an Authorized GreenScreen Practitioner® for chemical hazard assessment, a Certified Safety Professional, and a LEED BD+C Accredited Professional. At Colden, Catherine is engaged in a variety of environmental health and safety and sustainable design/material health consulting services, working with architects, sustainability consultants and manufacturers. She assists with sustainability criteria and specifications for new buildings, interprets emissions and transparency data, and conducts pre-and post-occupancy indoor air quality testing. She contributed to the American Institute of Architects’ White Paper, Materials Transparency and Risk for Architects, has served on the Chemical Hazard Data Commons Advisory Committee, and is on the AIA Materials Knowledge Working Group.

Sara Tepfer, Chemistry and Materials Sustainability Consultant, ARUP
Sara Tepfer is a Chemistry and Materials Sustainability consultant in Arup’s San Francisco office. Sara took a unique, cross-disciplinary path that included research, fellowships, and internships in the fields of building science, chemistry, and architecture, while earning her Master of Science in Architecture from UC Berkeley and her BS in Chemistry from the University of Oregon. Her interests lie in how to use information about the human and environmental health impacts of building materials to inform architectural decision making. She is Co-Chair of the HPDC Hazards Technical Sub Group and active on the mindful Materials Outreach Working Group.

Chris Hellstern, AIA, LFA, LEED AP BD+C, CDT, Living Building Challenge Services Director, The Miller Hull Partnership
Chris is the Living Building Challenge Services Director, architect and author with The Miller Hull Partnership in Seattle with a variety of project experience including two certified Living Buildings and several more currently in construction. His recent book, Living Building Education, chronicles the story behind the Bertschi School Living Building. He served as a Cascadia Branch member and Living Building Ambassador for ILFI. He founded the Seattle 2030 Roundtable and co-founded the Healthy Materials Collaborative. A Living Future Accredited professional and a Living Building Challenge Hero, Chris is a university guest lecturer and speaker at numerous conferences across the country. He publishes articles and volunteers with local school groups mentoring students about sustainable practices and advocacy. Chris also served as Committee Chair and speaker for the AIA Seattle Materials Matter series.

Max Richter, AP-BDC, AP-Homes, Architect, PERKINS+WILL
Max is a Senior Architect and Associate in the Vancouver office of Perkins+Will. Since joining the firm in 2010, he has worked on a number of the firm’s most innovative projects, including the LEED-NC Platinum Certified projects the Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at the University of British Columbia and the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, which was named “Most Sustainable Building of the Year” by World Architecture News and was the first building in Vancouver to earn Living Building Challenge Petal Certification. For both of these projects, Max helped the project teams navigate the Living Building Challenge and better understand the health impacts of building materials.
Max is currently working on a progressive mixed-use student housing project at Ryerson University that includes 332 beds alongside a variety of academic spaces, and a significant food services program–all designed to enhance campus connectivity, foster a vibrant public realm, and demonstrate the university’s leadership in sustainable performance and design excellence.
Max regularly speaks and writes about sustainable design and healthy materials, and he recently co-authored an article on integrating academic research into the architectural design process. He is also committee member for the Technical Committee of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative.