EwingCole Director of Sustainable Design Appointed to the American Institute of Architects Materials Pledge Working Group

EwingCole Director of Sustainable Design Appointed to the American Institute of Architects Materials Pledge Working Group


EwingCole’s Director of Sustainable Design, Maria Papiez, AIA, NCARB, was appointed to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Architecture + Design (A+D) Materials Pledge Working Group.

The A+D Materials Pledge was initiated to transform practice towards the widespread selection of holistic, healthy, and sustainable materials to meet five goals: human health, climate health, ecosystem health, societal health, and circular economy. More than 170 firms have joined the program since 2018. As a working group member, Maria will provide strategic direction for the program and may advise on tactical program implementation.

“I’m passionate about materials and the tremendous potential for good that scope of our work holds.  With my background in environmental chemistry and biology, I love digging into materials optimization for ingredient disclosure and lifecycle impacts.  I am fortunate to have been able to work alongside some outstanding experts on the Content Advisory Board for the Mindful Materials Common Materials Framework last year, and I look forward to collaborating in the strategic direction and implementation of the Materials Pledge,” said Papiez. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve the design community through this important work.”

The materials used throughout the built environment can impact the health and safety of building inhabitants. The A + D Materials Pledge “was developed to inspire a shift in how we evaluate the products and finishes that we specify on a daily basis,” according to the AIA. “Participants commit to five overarching statements that will lead to more intentional product specification across their portfolios over time.”

Participating firms pledge to:

  • Support human health by preferring products that support and foster life throughout their life cycles and seek to eliminate the use of hazardous substances.
  • Support social health & equity by preferring products from manufacturers that secure human rights in their operations and their supply chains, positively impacting their workers and the communities where they operate.
  • Support ecosystem health by preferring products that support and regenerate the natural air, water, and biological life cycles through thoughtful supply chain management and restorative company practices.
  • Support climate health by preferring products that reduce carbon emissions and sequester more carbon than emitted.
  • Support a circular economy by reusing and improving buildings and designing for resiliency, adaptability, disassembly, and reuse, aspiring to a zero-waste goal for global construction activities.

“Our work together creates a more equitable and inclusive profession and society. With every discussion and decision, we are stepping toward a more sustainable and resilient built environment,” said AIA President Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA.

EwingCole signed on to the pledge in 2021 as a part of a broader commitment to lead the industry on sustainable design.