Health care organizations are driving changes in architectural finish standards, but so are businesses in general - concerned for their employee well being and happiness.  Swessions at NeoCOn 2016 in Chicago next week will take a look at the trends and identify solutions in materials and techniques. Here are some of the planned sessions:
 
[M112] - THE FREE RANGE WORKPLACE
 
Monday, June 13 • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Only one in four U.S. workers are in optimal workplace environments, and less than half of them work in a place they feel proud, purposeful, and engaged. End users know what makes a great workplace, yet more often than not, their pleas for spaces that align with the work they do fall on deaf ears. Come explore the idea of quality of work and quality of life—per square foot! Let’s examine the responsibility we have to pursue and defend user-centered design. Discuss why we have reached a tipping point, leading to significant changes in the workplace. Hear the ten key design factors that make a real difference, and enumerate ten “experience factors” that make a difference. Learn how you can humanize the cost of real estate to create leverage for good workplace design. Don’t miss this chance to connect with experts on this critical issue of designing space for the people who use it. [INTERMEDIATE][OF]
 
 
    Dean Strombom, AIA, LEED B+C, principal, Gensler, Houston, TX
    Sven Govaars, SLCR, regional director of consulting, Gensler, Houston, TX
 
[M125] - VIRTUAL REALITY IN CONTRACT FURNITURE
 
Monday, June 13 • 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
 
3-D and CGI renderings changed the face of office furniture sales in the early 2000s and now virtual reality (VR) is poised to do it again. As various next-generation headsets are about to reach the consumer market, only a handful of uses have been realized. We’ll see that VR lends itself perfectly to contract furniture sales and design. Renderings give customers and designers the ability to review photo-realistic representations of typicals with an incredible level of realism. You can walk your clients through their potential spaces in a first-person view that is both thrilling for them and informative for you and the project. See for yourself as we share a demonstration of a VR rendering. We’ll go over terms, techniques, software, and pricing. Learn about timelines and the process for engaging in this exciting tool. Educate yourself about this burgeoning technology—you’ll see the positive impact on design and sales processes. [INTERMEDIATE][DS]
 
 
    Brian Knapp, chief creative officer, Externa CGI, Grand Rapids, MI
 
 
[M126] - JOURNEY TO WORKPLACE HEALTH AND WELLNESS THROUGH DESIGN
 
Monday, June 13 • 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
 
We spend 93% of our time indoors. It is no surprise our physical surroundings have a significant impact on our behaviors, decisions, and overall health and wellness. Physical and mental health challenges can be positively influenced by the choices we make when we design spaces. Use real data to evaluate organizational behavior, and then apply LEED and WELL building design standards to create a healthy work environment and follow the protocols that support a culture of wellness. Using the case study of ASID’s new office, see the ideas and practices in action. Consider our responsibilities and options in regard to occupant wellbeing. See the power you have to influence health and affect change. [INTERMEDIATE][ENV][HSW][PD]
 
 
    Susan Chung, ASID, research analyst, American Society of Interior Designers, Washington, DC
    Randy Fiser, ASID, CEO, American Society of Interior Designers, Washington, DC
    David Cordell, senior technical coordinator, Perkins+Will, Washington, DC
 
 
[M127] - WOOD FLOOR MANUFACTURING PROCESS AND ITS EFFECTS ON YOUR DESIGN DECISIONS
 
Monday, June 13 • 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
 
Give your wood flooring intelligence a boost, so you can provide the expertise your clients expect, and support your design vision. Discuss the specific manufacturing processes involved in making a wide plank floor, and see how each can impact the look, performance, and sustainability of your project. From timber selection through pre-finishing, there are many factors that you should understand as they impact your vision for the space you are creating. Learn the best ways to evaluate potential suppliers—they’re not all the same. Find out how to ask the most productive questions, so you can determine who best can meet your design and project requirements. Define some technical terms like rift sawn, quarter sawn, and plain sawn, and discern the characteristics and look of each. You clients want high-quality wood flooring, and they need you to be the expert who can guide them to it. [INTERMEDIATE][RES]
 
 
    Mike Harde, IAWFP, director of technical services, Carlisle Wide Plank Floors, Stoddard, NH
 
 
[T213] - CHEMICAL EXPOSURE FROM UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE AND OTHER CONSUMER PRODUCTS
 
Tuesday, June 14 • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Chemicals used in furniture and consumer products like TVs, laptops, car seats, and other goods are intended to increase safety. However, there are unintended consequences that are now showing up in research on human health. Get the full story of chemicals in furniture and other common consumer products, including the environmental and human health impacts. Discuss the new research and developing technology that may help limit exposure to harmful chemicals. Learn about specific chemical types and their role in furniture and consumer products. Understand how chemicals become accessible and identify the routes of exposure. We’ll review known health effects and their causes. Our discussion will include the roles of manufacturers, consumer advocacy groups, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders. Get all the information you can, so you can provide the best guidance and service to your clients. [INTERMEDIATE][HSW][HOSP][RES]
 
 
    Marilyn Black, LEED AP, vice president and senior technical advisor, UL, Atlanta, GA
    Debra Harris, AAHID, CEO, RAD Consultants, Austin, TX
 
 
T214] - REDEFINING ACOUSTICAL PRIVACY: A GAME OF JENGA
 
Tuesday, June 14 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
 
According to Gensler's 2013 U.S. Workplace Survey, workers are struggling to work effectively - the ability to focus at work has been compromised in pursuit of collaboration. In many open offices, one of the issues that workers face when trying to focus is a lack of acoustical/sound privacy. This session will discuss how, in today's world, do we develop practical design solutions that address a subjective concern like sound privacy? Attendees of this session wiII identify the four different modes of work- focus, learning, collaboration, and socialization - as well as worker expectations around privacy. Speakers will discuss the available solutions that address different levels of privacy and how designers are now addressing these concerns. [INTERMEDIATE][HSW][OF]
 
 
    Jennifer Nye, IIDA, LEED AP, senior interior designer, Gensler, Philadelphia, PA
    Victoria Cerami, chief executive officer, Cerami & Associates, Inc., New York, NY
 
 
[T215] - FINISH STANDARDS WITHOUT THE PANIC
 
Tuesday, June 14 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
 
Many health care organizations request creation of and/or adherence to finish standards. Let’s examine their goals and desired outcomes in order to reimagine the definition these standards and their application. Let’s recognize the place of standards within the design process, and use them as a great tool, and not as an obstacle. Identify strategies for managing expectations. Explore case studies that emphasize strong design concepts and stories steeped in culture, brand, and place. See how those examples instruct us on the use of finish standards. We’ll discuss how finish standards interact with quality, flexibility, competitive bidding, brand, maintenance, durability, and user safety. Learn to use finish standards to support your design, improve your outcome, and strengthen your results. [INTERMEDIATE][HC][HSW]
 
 
    Candace Small, AIA, LEED AP BD+C EDAC, NCARB, project architect - healthcare, VOA Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL
    Lauren Andrysiak, NCIDQ, IIDA, lead interior designer- healthcare, VOA Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL
 
 
T221] - WEATHERING THE STORM: MENTAL HEALTH ASPECTS OF RESILIENT INTERIOR DESIGN
 
Tuesday, June 14 • 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
 
The mental health of individuals can be affected by crisis events, causing anxiety-related responses that could evolve into chronic or severe disorders. With 6 months of grant-based research, this session aims to establish criteria that predict the potential for different resilient design strategies to positively impact the mental health of its occupants by addressing several categories of stresses and stressors before, during and after crisis events. Attendees will gather new tools for assessing the types of stresses a resilient strategy can address and how to incorporate them into overall designs. More specifically, participants will hear how community-scale resilient design strategies can be scaled down to a single building or interior tenant scale, and what impacts these strategies have on design. [INTERMEDIATE][ENV][HSW][OF]
 
 
    Jon Penndorf, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, senior associate, Perkins+Will, Washington, DC
    David Cordell, IIDA, ASID, LEED AP ID+C, senior associate, Perkins+Will, Washington, DC
 
 
[T229] - SURROUNDED BY SOUND: HOW NOISE AFFECTS OUR HEALTH
 
Tuesday, June 14 • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
 
Noise has a powerful impact on our ability to heal, to work, and to communicate. Discover the growing body of evidence regarding the effects of noise on productivity and health. Join us as we walk through case studies and share evidence-based design research on this crucial topic. We’ll determine the effectiveness of certain design solutions and their effects on the acoustic environment. You’ll gain or improve your ability to quickly and accurately identify noise polluters. And we’ll replenish you arsenal of tools and strategies for reducing the negative impact of sound in interior environments. Find out about the very latest innovative design solutions for acoustic improvement. Designers use many skills to evoke feeling, provide security, support health, encourage safety, create beauty, and improve efficiency for end users. Sound manipulation and noise abatement must be a part of their incredible toolbox. Get the skills and know-how to shape the sound of your spaces. [INTERMEDIATE][PS][HC][HSW][INST]
 
 
    Janet Kobylka, NCIDQ, AAHID, EDAC, LEED AP, senior interior designer, Workplace Solutions, Dallas, TX
    Deborah Fuller, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, senior interior designer, Beck Architecture, Dallas, TX
 
 
[W311] - JIM, I’M A DESIGNER, NOT A CHEMIST: NAVIGATING THE WORLD OF MATERIAL HEALTH FOR DESIGNERS
 
Wednesday, June 15 • 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Understanding material health nearly requires a PhD in chemistry. Designers navigate through increasingly daunting documents with overwhelming scientific language. At the same time, discerning material health is becoming an even more important part of what we do in selecting products. Find out exactly what you need to know, understand, and communicate to colleagues and clients about material health. We’ll break it down into manageable pieces of good information. Learn to simplify your evaluation of products. Identify the key elements you need to look for in product specification. Get up to speed on reading Material Safety and Data Sheets (MSDS), Environmental Products Declarations (EPDs), and Health Product Declarations (HPDs). Hear about resources that may be new to you. Get a handle on this tricky, yet increasingly important skill—you can remove the hassle and confusion, and use products you and your clients can feel good about. [INTERMEDIATE][ENV][HSW]
 
 
    G. Steven South, LEED AP, senior designer, senior associate, HLW International, New York, NY
 
 
 
[W316] - WHAT’S IN THIS STUFF? INGREDIENT DISCLOSURE IN THE COMMERCIAL MARKETPLACE
 
Wednesday, June 15 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
 
The Health Product Declaration (HPD) is a new tool for consistent product ingredient reporting. Learn about simplified ways to inventory ingredients and their health impacts. Discuss how the latest version of HPD creates a common language that is integrated into LEED v4, product labels, and product assessments. Gain the benefits of this tool, so you can guide discussions between manufacturers and consumers. Assess the significance of what is reported—for example, whether some disclosures are more important than others. Discover the best way to guide your own research for a deeper understanding of products and the critical nature of transparency. Get help interpreting the meaning of material ingredient reporting, so you are quicker, more precise, and more confident dealing with ingredient reporting and product selection. [INTERMEDIATE][ENV][HC][HSW]
 
 
    Kimberly Lombardozzi, LEED AP ID+C, president, KAL Sustainability Marketing, Westmont, IL
 
 
 
[T215] - FINISH STANDARDS WITHOUT THE PANIC
 
Tuesday, June 14 • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
 
Many health care organizations request creation of and/or adherence to finish standards. Let’s examine their goals and desired outcomes in order to reimagine the definition these standards and their application. Let’s recognize the place of standards within the design process, and use them as a great tool, and not as an obstacle. Identify strategies for managing expectations. Explore case studies that emphasize strong design concepts and stories steeped in culture, brand, and place. See how those examples instruct us on the use of finish standards. We’ll discuss how finish standards interact with quality, flexibility, competitive bidding, brand, maintenance, durability, and user safety. Learn to use finish standards to support your design, improve your outcome, and strengthen your results. [INTERMEDIATE][HC][HSW]
 
 
    Candace Small, AIA, LEED AP BD+C EDAC, NCARB, project architect - healthcare, VOA Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL
    Lauren Andrysiak, NCIDQ, IIDA, lead interior designer- healthcare, VOA Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL
 

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