Green building research gets industry input

Johanna Brickman is the sustainable built environment program manager for the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center known as Oregon BEST.

Johanna Brickman is the sustainable built environment program manager for the Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center known as Oregon BEST.

On a recent sunny fall day in San Francisco, nearly 70 sustainable design professionals from across the country gathered in an historic club on Nob Hill to have what turned out to be an animated four-hour discussion about — of all things — materials innovation and research.

In conjunction with the Greenbuild conference, Oregon BEST, together with the International Living Future Institute and the Bay Area Living Building Challenge Collaborative, organized the “Living Building Challenge Materials Forum” with the intention of collecting input from practitioners regarding their most pressing need in materials sourcing perspective with the aim of molding those needs into an agenda for research.

The Materials Forum was the second in a new series of events Oregon BEST is hosting in an effort to achieve three goals for our Sustainable Built Environment program:

  • Gain insight into industry needs.
  • Build research teams to meet those needs.
  • Secure funding in support of their collaborative research projects.


The first forum in what we're calling the Agenda Development Series, held in conjunction with our annual conference, Oregon BEST FEST, focused on deep retrofits of existing buildings. The resulting “Deep Retrofits Research Agenda,” was printed in time for release at the Greenbuild conference.

By the end of December, we plan to have the agenda for materials complete and available online as well. Each research agenda document lists the top R&D projects that, if executed, would provide a significant advantage to sustainable design and construction through new understanding or innovation in products, technologies, or approaches.

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