Healthy Planet

Session 3, Healthy Planet: Materials + the Environment,  focuses on understanding the concepts of and applying life-cycle assessment to evaluate environmental impacts.  It provides guidance on current best practices for integrating the use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Whole Building LCA modeling into building project processes.  

  • Participants will be able to define Life-Cycle Assessments (LCA), Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) including which key impact categories are covered by these tools and how they can be used to lower embodied carbon and other environmental impacts of building products and projects.
  • Participants will be able to explain how manufacturers create EPDs by following material-specific Product Category Rules (PCRs) and utilizing product-level LCA modeling and how EPDs can help them select and use lower-impact products.
  • Participants will be able to explain how Whole Building LCA modeling and the use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) can be used to shape building design to reduce environmental impacts.  
  • Participants will understand approaches to achieve the LEED v4 Whole Building Life Cycle Assessment credit.
  • Participants will gain a greater understanding of the climate impacts of buildings and strategies for reducing the carbon impacts of building.

Series page »


Jordan Palmeri, Oregon DEQ: Why Does Understanding Environmental, Especially Carbon, Impacts Matter?
Efrie Escott, KieranTimberlake: Design Product Process – Using Tally to Influence Decisions
Dave Walsh, Sellen Construction: Case Study: Measuring and Reducing Embodied Carbon

About the Presenters

Lona Rerick, an architect and specifier at ZGF, is a passionate advocate for connecting today’s design and construction decisions to our shared legacy. With more than 20 years of experience, she guides clients, design teams and contractors in sustainable design strategies with a focus on the impact of material selection on ecosystems and health. Currently, Lona serves on the Health Product Declaration Collaborative’s Technical Committee; as chair of AIA National’s Materials Knowledge Working Group; and as a founding co-Chair of the Portland Materials Transparency Collaborative.

Jeff Frost is a Project Manager at Brightworks Sustainability, a sustainability consulting firm that helps clients in over 25 industries establish and implement sustainability programs. He is co-chair of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative’s (HPDC) Content Inventory Technical Subgroup and Member of the HPDC’s User Advisor Panel; co-chair of the mindful MATERIALS Admin Working Group; and an invited member of the American Institute of Architect’s Material Knowledge Working Group; and elected member of the USGBC’s MR TAG. He is an invited speaker on a range of topics and resides in Portland, OR with his wife and three sons.

Jordan Palmeri is a Senior Policy Analyst in the Materials Management Program at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, where he coordinates projects around the built environment, life cycle assessments, and purchasing. He’s worked on building and zoning codes, rating systems, and served as a technical and policy expert for small housing initiatives. He recently finished a 2-year term on the US Green Building Council’s Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group and is now leading a program to help Oregon concrete producers develop Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Jordan holds a MS in Environmental Science from Tulane University.

Jane Abernethy, LEED AP | Chief Sustainability Officer
As Humanscale’s Sustainability Officer, Jane guides the strategic vision and ambitious goal of having a Net Positive impact. Jane implements this vision by guiding the product development effort to create the most sustainable products possible; and by working with the manufacturing facilities to instill sustainability as fundamental way of operating. Humanscale has been recognized as the first manufacturer to achieve the entire Living Product Challenge, is a founding member of the Net Positive Project, and a founding member of the NextWave initiative. Jane is on the board of directors for the HPD Collaborative, and Vice Chair of BIFMA’s Sustainability Committee.

Efrie Escott, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Environmental Researcher, KieranTimberlake
Efrie Escott investigates topics related to materials, digital technologies, and the environment as a member of the Research Group at KieranTimberlake. She works with designers to translate data-driven research into architectural design and integrates novel digital practices into architectural processes as a leader of the firm’s BIM Practices group. She is a core member of the award-winning development team for Tally, a life cycle analysis software for Revit, and is the founder of Philadelphia’s Dynamo User Group. Efrie earned a Master of Environmental Management at Yale, a Master of Architecture at University of Michigan, and a Bachelor degree from Yale with a focus on architecture and theoretical physics. Efrie lectures internationally about research and architectural design workflows including at the AIA National Convention, Autodesk University, and Greenbuild. She has taught visual scripting (including Dynamo) for Philadelphia’s Dynamo User Group, at a variety of academic institutions, and as a member of Autodesk’s Team4Tech in 2017.

Dave Walsh is a Registered Architect and the Director of Sustainability and Design Integration at Sellen Construction where he leads sustainability efforts on deep green projects including the new State of Washington Helen Sommers Office Building, Federal Center South and a new corporate headquarters for a Seattle technology company. Informed by his dual experience in architecture and construction, Dave collaborates with architects, engineers, manufacturers and owners to find materials that move projects beyond business-as-usual. Specifically, he has worked to reduce the embodied energy and greenhouse gas emissions in new concrete mixes. Dave chaired the AIA Seattle Public Policy Board and was a Board Member of both AIA Seattle and the Seattle 2030 District. He is currently on the leadership team for Washington Businesses for Climate Action (WBCA) and chairs the Materials Focus Group for the Embodied Carbon Network, an initiative of the University of Washington’s Carbon Leadership Forum. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kansas, completed post-graduate architectural studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and holds a certificate in Green Chemistry and Chemical Stewardship from the University of Washington.

Stacy H. Smedley LEED BD+C, Living Future Accredited
Director of Sustainability, Skanska USA Building
Stacy’s s resume includes the first LEED for Homes Platinum certified project in Washington and first project in the world certified under Living Building Version 2.0, the Bertschi School Living Science Building. At Skanska, Stacy is Director of Sustainability, leading sustainable initiatives and progressing sustainable construction methods. Stacy is committed to engaging her community in sustainable design and has served as advisory board member for the Carbon Leadership Forum, Construction Taskforce Chair for the Embodied Carbon Network, founding member and Chair of Washington Businesses for Climate Action, member of the AIA National Materials Knowledge Working Group, Membership Chair for Cascadia Green Building Council, Regional Emerging Professionals Recruitment Chair for USGBC, Sustainable Curriculum Consultant, and 2013 Scholar in Residence for the National Association of Independent Schools. Stacy is a 2012 Living Building Hero.