As part of the LEED, Materials, and Health Initiative, the U.S. Green Building Council has engaged a team of scientific experts to conduct synthetic research and advise USGBC staff on the health-related aspects of building materials. These six Senior Materials Research Fellows are advancing the technical dialog on issues related to materials science, toxicology, green chemistry, risk assessment, and information technology through publishing and convening events.
Ashley White is USGBC’s Senior Fellow in-residence and the Materials Research Program Manager. Dr. White’s training as a materials scientist and experience as a science policy advisor at the National Science Foundation and U.S. Senate sparked her interest in topics like better understanding the materials innovation timeline and improving dialog between scientists and building practioners, so that researchers come to identify materials health as a key aspect of green building and sustainability.
Marty Mulvihill and Megan Schwarzman are based at the University of California, Berkeley Center for Green Chemistry (BCGC). Dr. Mulvihill is a chemist and nanoscientist, and along with his position as Executive Director of the BCGC he conducts research in public health and environmental engineering. His interests lie in creating safer chemicals and materials and developing a functional use approach to identify new opportunities for materials innovation.
Dr. Schwarzman is BCGC’s Associate Director of Health and Environment as well as a research scientist at the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. As a medical doctor and public health expert, her focus on materials and health lies in designing products and better understanding the health impacts – beyond VOCs – that should be considered in building materials.
From the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Ken Geiser and Joel Tickner have a strong track record in chemicals regulation and policy. Dr. Geiser, now retired from his university positions of Professor and Co-Director of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, will be focusing his fellowship work on topics like product information transparency and regulation, as well as alternatives assessment.
Dr. Tickner, Associate Professor and Director of the Chemicals Policy and Science Initiative at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, will also focus on alternatives assessment and functional use, as well as mainstreaming green chemistry and analyzing the effects of procurement practices, metrics, and regulation on providing safer products.
Charlene Bayer is an organic chemist and expert in indoor air quality, with particular interests in product emissions, contaminant source identification and control, and developing metrics to link the use of non-toxic materials to improved occupant health. Dr. Bayer has led research programs at the Georgia Tech Research Institute as well as her own company, Hygieia Sciences.
Together, this cohort of Senior Materials Research Fellows will play a pivotal role in advancing the goals of the LEED, Materials, and Health Initiative. Their publications and highlights relating to events they have convened are being featured on USGBC’s Green Building Information Gateway’s Insight platform.