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Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Sustainability in the Built Environment: Why Materials Matter

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Thursday, August 23, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET.

The built environment touches all aspects of our lives, encompassing the buildings we live in, the distribution systems that provide us with water and electricity, and the roads, bridges, and transportation systems we use to get from place to place. Creating all these spaces and systems requires enormous quantities of materials. As competition for natural resources continues to intensify due to global population and economic growth, the availability of materials will be subject to increased uncertainty. The webinar introduced the importance of using and reusing materials in the most productive and sustainable way over their entire life cycles to help address the material and resource needs in the built environment.

YouTube IconVideo: Sustainability in the Built Environment: Why Materials Matter Exit

This webinar featured presentations from the Carbon Leadership Forum, Building Materials Reuse Association, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery:

  • Carbon Leadership Forum Exitis an industry-academic collaboration hosted at the University of Washington. The Forum members are a professional community of manufacturers, designers, builders and academics focused on reducing the carbon ‘embodied’ in building materials. In 2016, the Carbon Leadership Forum convened the Embodied Carbon Network to provide a mechanism for individuals to connect and promote awareness of embodied carbon in the built environment.
  • U.S. EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program is focusing on advancing the sustainable use of materials in the construction, maintenance, and end-of-life management of the nation’s built environment (i.e., roads, buildings, and other infrastructure) both to conserve materials as well as promote community resiliency to natural and man-made disasters. The built environment is one of several priority areas in Agency’s National Sustainable Materials Management Program.
  • Building Materials Reuse Association Exit is a non-profit education and research organization dedicated to advancing and increasing opportunities for the recovery, reuse, and recycling of building materials in an environmentally sound and financially sustainable way.

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Photo of Kathrina SimonenKathrina Simonen, Carbon Leadership Forum
Kathrina Simonen (Kate) is the Director, Carbon Leadership Forum, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. Kate is also licensed as an architect and structural engineer. She joined the faculty at the University of Washington with over 15 years of professional practice experience bringing expertise in high performance building systems, seismic design and retrofitting, net-zero energy residential construction, prefabrication and collaborative practice. Her research is focused on environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), integrated practice and innovative construction materials and methods. She is founding director of the Carbon Leadership Forum, an industry-academic collaborative research effort focused on linking LCA to design and construction practice to advance low carbon construction. She authored a handbook on LCA for building industry professionals, Life Cycle Assessment, which was published in 2014.

Photo of Dr. Suzanne BoxmanDr. Suzanne Boxman, U.S. EPA
Dr. Suzanne Boxman (Suzie) is a Physical Scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) within the Office of Land and Emergency Management. Within ORCR she is on the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) team, which works to develop national policies and programs that encourage using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles. Her focus area is the built environment which encompasses buildings and infrastructure. Prior to working at the EPA, Suzie completed a post-doc at the National Center for Mariculture in Israel where she studied land-based aquaculture systems that used plants to remove nutrients from aquaculture wastewater. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.

Photo of Joe ConnellJoe Connell, Building Material Reuse Association
Joe Connell is the Interim Executive Director, Building Material Reuse Association. Prior to taking on leading the BMRA this past year, Joe completed 12 years with Habitat for Humanity overseeing the ReStores in the Greater Portland, Oregon area; as well as committee work with the City of Portland and various other organizations. In Portland his work with ReStores led to their expanded footprint from one location to four, and increased the number of employees from three to almost 70. The ReStores in the Greater Portland, Oregon area are now in the top 10% in sales and net profit nationally and continue to be a leader in the Habitat world.

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