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Material Health Innovators: Highlights from the Open Innovation Symposium IV

Welcome to the hub of the Material Health Open Innovation Symposium. The fourth annual event was held on November 14, 2023, demonstrating another year of solid progress on the leading edge of material health innovation. We brought together a diverse group of thought leaders, innovators, and practitioners from around the globe to share their insights, research, and breakthroughs in material health.

What We Explored:

  • Cutting-edge Innovations: Discover the latest advancements in material health that are shaping the future of green building and design.
  • Collaborative Insights: Learn from the combined wisdom of researchers, educators, manufacturers, architects, and designers as they delve into current challenges and future opportunities in material health.
  • Practical Applications: Gain insights into real-world applications of these innovations, providing you with actionable knowledge to implement in your own projects.

Why This Matters:

The Symposium isn’t just about sharing knowledge – it’s a catalyst for change in the industry. By bringing together the brightest minds in material health, we aim to foster collaboration, inspire innovation, and drive the industry towards more sustainable and healthier practices.

Whether you’re a professional in the field or simply passionate about sustainable building, the sessions from the Material Health Open Innovation Symposium IV offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. Dive into the sessions now and be a part of this transformative movement.

Watch the Symposium Sessions

Session 1 – Welcome & Keynote

Kickstart the symposium with a warm welcome from our esteemed hosts, followed by a stimulating keynote. Wendy and Wes from the USGBC, alongside Laurel Christensen from mindful MATERIALS, will set the stage for a day of insightful exchanges. Then, prepare to dive deep into the world of material health with Dr. Greg Norris, who will offer an illuminating perspective on Net Positive sustainability and its transformative potential in our industries and communities.

Keynote Presentation: “The Net Positive Pathway: Towards a Regenerative Future”

Dr. Norris will explore how businesses can go beyond minimizing harm to actively contributing positive impacts on both the environment and society. Expect a thought-provoking dialogue that challenges conventional approaches and offers a roadmap to a future where every building contributes to a healthier, more sustainable world.

Session 2 – All-Star Case Studies

In this dynamic and insightful session, we spotlight groundbreaking innovations at the forefront of material health. Our presenters, chosen for their pioneering work and impactful contributions, will share their experiences and findings, igniting discussions that promise to reshape the landscape of sustainable building materials.

  1. Parsons Healthy Materials Lab: HempLime in Affordable Housing: Dive into the world of sustainable construction with Parsons Healthy Materials Lab’s project on HempLime. Discover how this remarkable material is revolutionizing affordable housing, offering eco-friendly and efficient solutions.
  2. Crypton LLC: Revolutionizing Fabric Coatings: Explore the future of fabric coatings with Crypton LLC’s presentation on PFAS-free solutions. Learn about the challenges, triumphs, and significant impacts of developing environmentally friendly fabric coatings.
  3. Copper Development Association and WAP Sustainability: A Model for Trade Associations: Join the Copper Development Association and WAP Sustainability as they share their collaborative journey in developing a model for trade associations. Gain insights into their innovative approach to sustainability and material health.
  4. CaraGreen: The Future of Manufactured Stone: CaraGreen takes the stage to discuss their latest innovation in manufactured stone, focusing on the elimination of crystalline silica. Learn about the challenges, processes, and significant strides made in creating safer, sustainable materials.

In this dynamic and insightful session, we spotlight groundbreaking innovations at the forefront of material health. Our presenters, chosen for their pioneering work and impactful contributions, will share their experiences and findings, igniting discussions that promise to reshape the landscape of sustainable building materials.


Session 3 – Ecosystem Presentations

This segment of the symposium addresses the imperative of social equity and the intricacies of material health methods. Joel Todd brings to the forefront the conversation on the LEED Social Equity Pilot credit, potentially outlining how inclusive sustainability can be operationalized in building projects. Tristan Roberts follows with a forward-thinking discussion on data trusts and public policy, presenting a model for data governance that could revolutionize how we manage and utilize information for the public good.


Gioia Montana Connell – “Social Equity within the Supply Chain LEED credit”

Gioia will provide insights and innovative approaches to integrating social equity into supply chain practices

Tristan Roberts – “Data Trusts: A New Paradigm for Public Policy and Personal Data”

Roberts will argue for a transformative approach to personal data, suggesting how data trusts could benefit sectors like automotive and health, while positioning Vermont as a leader in this innovative field.

Ecosystem Presentations – Part 2: Material Health Methods

Sustainability pioneers, Stacy Glass and Terry Swack, will discuss the latest advancements in material health methods. Learn how ChemForward is creating access to critical chemical hazard data and how Sustainable Minds is transforming product selection with transparent, reliable reporting.


Stacy Glass – “The Path to Safer Alternatives: ChemForward’s Role in Material Health”

Glass’s presentation is anticipated to provide a roadmap for the built environment, using data sharing as a catalyst for optimization and safer material selection.

Terry Swack – “Operationalizing Transparency: Sustainable Minds’ Revolution in Product Selection”

Swack is set to discuss how Sustainable Minds’ digital tools and services are closing gaps in the product selection workflow, enabling a new era of transparency and sustainability in the building industry.

Session 4 – Ecosystem Programs

The focus shifts to the programs making strides in material health. Laurel Christensen, Rodolfo Perez, and Wes Sullens will share their insights on the latest initiatives from Mindful Materials, WELL, and USGBC, respectively. This session will highlight the interconnectedness of sustainability, wellness, and green building standards, and the role these programs play in shaping the future of the industry.


Laurel Christensen – “mindful MATERIALS: Driving the Change Through Collaboration”

Christensen will elaborate on how mindful MATERIALS leverages global collaboration to promote sustainable product choices in the industry.

Rodolfo Perez – “The state of Materials Health in WELL: Highlights and lessons for the future”

Perez will update us on WELL’s latest endeavors to advance materials health, emphasizing the importance of equity and alignment in their approach.

Wes Sullens – “Materials Strategy in LEED v5: Pioneering Sustainable Building for the Next Decade”

Sullens will provide insight into USGBC’s upcoming strategies embedded within LEED v5, focusing on construction waste, material transparency, and the circular economy.

Ecosystem Panel Discussion

Concluding the ecosystem discussions, a panel of experts will come together to reflect on the day’s presentations and discuss the way forward. This interactive session will facilitate a rich exchange of ideas, exploring synergies between the various programs and envisioning the collaborative efforts needed to elevate material health in the built environment.