Confused? Find Clarity in Material Health & Sustainability

Specifying sustainable materials and products have consequences for health and the environment - some intentional, and some can be unintentional, if not fully vetted based on the built environment application and performance requirements of the end user. Each project requires prioritization of project needs including the maintenance of materials and products post occupancy. From the beginning of the programming process, prioritization of the project goals, including but not limited to aesthetics, price, durability, anticipated product service life, material health, embodied carbon, and circularity, have to be established and agreed upon by the integrated design team and client representatives.

Although designers focus on aesthetics - as that is the primary goal in creating experiential spaces, it is necessary to know the end user needs and balance the beauty of the design with the performance characteristics needed to avoid unintentional consequences, such as premature product failure, maintenance and cleaning issues, human health issues with noise, acoustics, thermal comfort, lighting comfort, etc. and the various impacts of different products being considered for floors, walls, and ceilings. Using a specification approach that responds to various programming questions, includes all stakeholder input, and evaluates required performance is the most successful way to create positive outcomes for beautifully sustainable environments! Designers have the power to maximize the sustainable impact and material health of product selections, contributing to positive outcomes for building users.

Shane Totten, AIA

Director of Sustainability

Mannington Commercial

Shane Totten, AIA, is director of sustainability at Mannington Mills, Inc. Shane focuses on formalizing and expanding Mannington's environmental, social and governance related efforts to align with the ten principles of the UN Global Compact and prepare the family-owned business for its sixth-generation of leadership. These efforts include achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, elevating its supply chain, evolving products toward increasingly greener chemistries, circularity, and career in place opportunities for Mannington Associates. Prior to joining Mannington, Shane’s career included practicing commercial architecture focusing on high performance buildings, teaching design in higher education, and guiding strategy, building codes and policy, and research at the sustainability nonprofit, Southface Institute, in Atlanta.


Founder & Principal

JSR Associates

Jane Rohde is the Founder of JSR Associates, Inc. Her passion and design work serve vulnerable populations with the goal of achieving equitable access to housing, care, and services. She sits on various healthcare and sustainability committees supporting research, advocacy, and humanistic approaches to care and community design. Jane is also the founder of Live Together, Inc., a nonprofit focusing on intergenerational care models and demonstration projects combined with workforce development opportunities to improve quality of life for residents of all ages.

Jane Rohde’s areas of expertise include person-centered care model development, architecture and design for all ages, sustainable and healthy operational approaches, and integrates evidence based design in practice. Committee work includes the Durable Coated Fabrics Task Group, which is in support of testing and relevant specification of durable coated fabrics and related materials in healthcare settings.

Jane is the first Changemaker Awardee for Environments for Aging from The Center for Health Design, received an ASID Design for Humanity Award, and is recognized as an Honorary Alumni of Clemson University’s Architecture + Health program. She is recognized as one of top ten Women in Design in healthcare and senior living design, received the Pioneer Award from the Facility Guidelines Institute, honored as a Green Globes Fellow by the Green Building Initiative, and recognized as an Impact Icon by ecomedes.

This content will not be available until 06/10/2024 at 8:00 AM (EDT)