The Next Frontier: Material Transparency Across Disciplines

Transparency is the foundation for making informed decisions about the products we specify. The AEC industry is familiar with sustainability goals related to energy efficiency, but holistic discussions related to material goals across the entire team are still rare. Large strides have been made in interior product disclosure, but much less so for building envelope, MEP  and lighting systems. Without transparency our ability to quantitatively convey the magnitude of decisions made across the project team, and track progress as the design progresses, is limited. This panel will highlight the importance of product disclosure so a meaningful building LCA can be conducted, and the health and wellbeing impacts can be evaluated. Target areas for each discipline will be given as a way to focus discussion for goal setting and project kick-off meetings, and resources related to material transparency will be shared. 

Session Chair(s): 

Event Time: 

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm

CEU Information: 

AIA 1.5 LU/HSW
BPI 1.5 hours
GBCI LEED BD+C, ID+C, WELL 1.5 hour
Mass. CSL 1.5 hours Energy
Conference-day attendance credits available from PHIUS, RESNET, and Mass. CSL

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe material transparency as the first step toward being able to make informed decisions about the health and well being, and embodied carbon impacts of the products you are specifying.
  • Discuss the documents and standards associated with material transparency and consider the ways that standards can both push projects and the design industry forward.
  • Analyze the gains that have been made in material transparency in interior architectural products and the role that designer advocacy played in achieving these gains. Consider interior products as a case study for increased transparency in other areas such as exterior architectural products and the areas of structural, mechanical, electrical, lighting and plumbing.
  • Explain to your project team ways to progress the conversation on material transparency holistically across all disciplines.

Session ID: 

BOS21-613