Developing Tools for a Sustainability Strategy: Build for Impact

This week on Build for Impact, Daniel Huard was joined by Amy Costello, P.E., of Armstrong Flooring to talk about her mission as an engineer to support the four pillars of impact; Sustainability, Resiliency, Efficiency, and Wellness.

Prior to working with Armstrong, Amy managed the Air, Noise and Energy Section of the Virginia Department of Transportation, where she found strategies for minimizing impact on air quality through roadway design. Amy talked about how that experience with outdoor environmental sustainability informed her view of building sustainability, and how it can’t just be thought of in terms of the structure. “When you build a building, people have to get to the building,” she said while talking about bridging the gap between the building environment and the transportation sector.

According to Amy, Armstrong Flooring is particularly dedicated to resiliency. Their flooring is made to have a long lifespan, which is in contrast, she said, to modern society’s focus on the short term impact of things. “We shouldn’t be a throw-away society,” Amy said. Daniel then talked about new Canadian legislation that will mandate building teams to articulate long-term durability in structures when submitting design documents.

Amy talked about how Armstrong Flooring is taking big steps to increase effiency, including a pledge to reduce manufacturing energy, water, and waste by 25% over the 2014 baseline by 2024. “The commercial market always wants to focus on the certifications and that type of thing, but to me it’s so important what’s actually occurring in your manufacturing plants,” said Amy. 

On the topic of wellness, Amy and Daniel spoke about how greater transparency from manufacturers is leading to greater understanding amongst the public and moving things in a positive direction. “It’s hard to argue with wellness,” said Amy.

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