Who We Are
The Carbon Leadership Forum accelerates the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce the embodied carbon in building materials and construction through collective action.
We pioneer research, create resources, foster cross-collaboration, and incubate member-led initiatives to bring embodied carbon emissions of buildings down to zero.
We are architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, building owners, and policymakers who care about the future and are taking bold steps to decarbonize the built environment, with a keen focus on eliminating embodied carbon from buildings and infrastructure.
We envision a transformed, decarbonized building industry – better buildings for a better planet.
Our mission is to eliminate embodied carbon in buildings and infrastructure by inspiring innovation and spurring change through collective action.
Determination – We are steadfast in our efforts to eliminate embodied carbon in building materials and construction.
Inclusion and Collective Action – We welcome architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, building owners, policymakers and associations and foster cross-collaboration to enable a more informed community and spur accelerated outcomes.
Empowerment – We encourage, foster and support members to become champions and move forward their ideas.
Integrity – We ground our work in science and data to understand the full complexity of issues and develop practical solutions.
Transparency – We foster a culture of openness and honesty. We freely share knowledge and resources to advance the field.
How We Do It
Recognizing that buildings account for nearly half of global CO2 emissions, the Carbon Leadership Forum, a non-profit organization at the University of Washington, is dedicated to accelerating the transformation of the building sector to radically reduce the embodied carbon in building materials and construction through collective action.
The Carbon Leadership Forum propels knowledge through its embodied carbon research and resources, collaboration through its robust network of architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, building owners, policymakers and associations, and action by supporting and empowering its members to advance new ideas and approaches through impactful initiatives.
We investigate the pathways for maximizing carbon reductions and lead collaborative research with material experts, NGOs, industry partners and policymakers.
We accelerate learning by crowdsourcing and disseminating knowledge that empowers our members.
We bring together architects, engineers, contractors, material suppliers, building owners, policymakers and associations, through environments designed to connect inspired advocates and spark unprecedented collaboration.
Meet Our Team
University of Washington Staff
Executive Director, CLF
Office: Architecture Hall 130K
Phone: (206) 685-7282
Kathrina Simonen (Kate), AIA, SE is the executive director of the Carbon Leadership Forum and Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Washington. Connecting significant professional experience in high performance building design and technical expertise in environmental life cycle assessment she works to spur collective action to bring net embodied carbon to zero through cutting-edge research, cross-sector collaboration, and the incubation of new approaches.
Kate directs the research of the Carbon Leadership Forum and convenes collaborative initiatives such as the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (the EC3 tool) and the Structural Engineers 2050 Challenge.
Director of Collective Impact
Andrew Himes is director of collective impact at the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington, leading industry-wide initiatives to reduce embodied carbon emissions from built environments. In the late 80s, Himes was the founding editor of MacTech, still the leading Apple technology journal, then co-founded the Microsoft Developer Network, led the first web development project at Microsoft, and led company-wide efforts throughout the 1990s to meet new Internet-based opportunities. In the 2000s, Himes was founding director for the Charter for Compassion International, and then was a partner in Carbon Innovations LLC, a social impact consultancy focused on business-based solutions to climate change. In 2018, he was coordinator of Carbon Smart Building Day, a conference affiliated with the Global Climate Action Summit focused on transforming the global building industry to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. He was executive producer for the acclaimed documentary Voices in Wartime, and authored the best-selling history, The Sword of the Lord: The Roots of Fundamentalism in an American Family.
Anthony Hickling joins CLF with experience in environmental and social sustainability as well as nonprofit management and fundraising. His foundations in sustainable building are informed by experience at Presidio Graduate School where he received an MBA in Sustainable Solutions, as well as his work on the sustainability team at Webcor Builders in San Francisco. Through academic and professional experience he has learned to navigate the priorities of traditional business stakeholders while incorporating social and environmental externalities. From executing successful marketing plans to determining research priorities, Anthony believes that wide impact considerations and diversity of thought should be embedded into all decision-making.
Meghan Lewis is a Senior Researcher at the Carbon Leadership Forum, where she leads research on procurement of low carbon materials and how public and private embodied carbon policy can support the rapid decarbonization of building materials and construction. Previous to joining the CLF, Meghan was the Head of Global Energy & Sustainability at WeWork, where she also launched the Supply Chain Sustainability program in 2018. Meghan gained her architecture license while practicing at Mithun, where she worked on a range of project types and spearheaded internal efforts to integrate LCA and low carbon material selection into the design process.
Stephanie’s work investigates the interaction between the natural and constructed environment, including embodied carbon, life cycle assessment (LCA), urban ecology, landscape performance and supply chains and toxicity of building materials. Combining a background in environmental science and architectural design, she builds bridges between research and practice, bringing data-driven analysis and topical research to complex design problems. This experience is applied towards improving the EC3 tool as well as other carbon data initiatives at the Carbon Leadership Forum. She most recently was a Principal at KieranTimberlake Architects where she was an environmental researcher in the firm’s interdisciplinary research group. She is also a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Stuart Weitzman School of Design and a Co-Editor-In-Chief of Scenario Journal.
Brad Benke, AIA, is a Research Scientist at the Carbon Leadership Forum focused on creating and improving LCA data, tools, and policies to rapidly scale and advance carbon drawdown strategies for the built environment. With experience in regenerative design consulting and deep-green architecture, he builds resources and agency for designers, builders, and organizations to take immediate action on climate change issues. Brad is a former Senior Architect at McLennan Design, where he led diverse teams and stakeholders towards achieving carbon neutrality goals for buildings and organizations across the country. Brad is also a LEED accredited professional and a former Co-chair of AIA Seattle’s Committee on the Environment.
It started with teaching high school math (how can we follow the numbers?) and environmental studies (what is our human relationship to the earth’s material and energy flows?), and a fascination with making new useful stuff from old landfill-bound stuff. Next were architecture school and practice, and lifecycle assessment (LCA) research of high performance buildings and construction materials. Now Brook supports the CLF’s mission through research and analysis of building materials — their manufacture and use, their environmental impacts, and the methodologies behind measuring and communicating those impacts.
Positions soon to open.
Keep an eye on this space. We’ll provide official job postings when they become available.
Monica Huang is a research engineer for the Carbon Leadership Forum at the University of Washington. Her background is in civil and structural engineering and currently works on research on environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). Research expertise includes the environmental impacts of earthquake damage, LCAs of office tenant improvements, and LCAs of mass timber buildings. She was the lead author on the CLF’s LCA Practice Guide and coordinated the CLF’s Wood Carbon Seminars.
Past research experience includes diverse topics such as astronomy, electronic waste, and sea level rise. As a graduate student, she developed the Port of Seattle’s first study on the impacts of sea level rise on seaport structures.
Board (click on image for bio)
Courtney is a Market Strategy Director at McKinstry, a built environment company that is leading the way in innovating waste out of buildings, and the Founder of Yield Positive, a platform for retail investors to learn more about sustainable investing. www.yieldpositive.com. Courtney is a Board Member of OikoCredit US, a Crisis Textline Counselor, and an avid rock climber and hiker. She is a motivated and passionate entrepreneur who works in sustainable investing, clean energy, microgrids, and energy efficiency. She is adept at rapid learning, strategy development, implementation, leading cross-cultural teams, and problem solving. Visit her website.
Scott Henson is a people, change management, and product leader with the urgent need to address climate change. I have held many product leadership roles from incubation and product design, to running and optimizing businesses at scale. He has also led many strategic partnership teams focused on building healthy, thriving, and innovative application ecosystems. This work was on large-scale, commercially successful platforms including Windows, Xbox, and Fire TV.
Recently, after a great deal of research and learning, Scott re-oriented his life and professional focus to address the social, environmental, and business challenges posed by the climate crisis. What do consumer products and the climate crisis have in common? Both are powered by people – our attitudes, behaviors, motivations, and values. Through this insight, he believes we can tap into the unlimited potential of humans to address these huge challenges with a sense of possibility, creating a better world for every person and every life on our planet.
He is currently focused on promoting and accelerating scientifically proven solutions to reversing the climate crisis with the goal of achieving a net negative “Drawdown” of greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and equitably as possible. Specialties include business opportunity and financial analysis, change-management, international leadership, people, partner, and relationship management, platform and product vision and development, product strategy, incubation, hardware and software design, and user experience.
Christie Gamble is Director of Sustainability at CarbonCure Technologies. CarbonCure is leading a movement to reduce the carbon footprint of the concrete industry, and thereby help reduce embodied carbon in the built environment. Christie acts as a liaison between the sustainable design community and the concrete industry in order to promote the manufacturing and subsequent usage of lower carbon concrete. Christie lives in Saskatchewan with her husband and 2 young children and loves to compete in the quintessentially Canadian sport of curling in her spare time.
Frances Yang specializes in how environmentally preferable and healthier materials contribute to whole-life sustainability performance of our built environment. She is active on the Carbon Leadership Forum, AIA Materials Knowledge Working Group, and Health Product Declaration Technical Committee. She also recently vice-chaired the USGBC LEED Materials and Resources TAG and led authorship of two recently published texts: the SEI Whole Building LCA Guide: Reference Building Structure and Strategies, and the AIA Prescription for Healthier Building Materials: A Design and Implementation Protocol. In leading Arup’s Americas Sustainable Materials Consulting practice, Frances has brought healthy and low-carbon aims into the day-to-day consideration of materials alongside selection for their technical performance on a variety of buildings and infrastructure projects.
SF Dept. of the Environment
Eden Brukman is the Senior Green Building Coordinator at San Francisco Department of the Environment. Since 1996, Eden has focused on establishing socially and environmentally responsible solutions for human habitat: she coauthored Living Building Challenge and directed its evolution and global deployment from 2007-2012; served as the first Technical Director of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative; and contributed to the early development of other programs such as Declare, the Pharos Project, and EcoDistricts. Also licensed architect, Eden’s advocacy efforts have led to policy reform, decentralized building and community developments, and the creation of a network of local action groups in cities all over the world.
Walter P. Moore
As Director of Sustainable Design at Walter P. Moore, Dirk Kestner provides overall guidance and resourcing to the entire firm, ensuring that all designs incorporate industry-leading expertise in sustainable strategies. His project work, teaching, and coaching throughout the firm and broad-reaching influence in the industry help maintain Walter P Moore’s status as a national leader in sustainable approaches and outcomes.
Trained and experienced as a structural engineer, Dirk applies his immense passion for environmental accountability in design to elevate the knowledge and expertise of all those around him, creating better results for clients and projects. Dirk guides each team through a client inquiry process that produces bespoke sustainability goals for each project and then leads the team to achieve those goals.
He was the founding chair of the Sustainability Committee of the ASCE’s Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) and is widely acknowledged as a national thought leader in the advancement of sustainable structural solutions. Dirk publishes and lectures frequently on topics that range from durability and deconstructability to salvaged structural steel and life cycle analysis. As a member of the LEED Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group of the US Green Building Council, he helps guide the important technical criteria of the LEED rating system.
Dirk is a professional engineer in Texas and Georgia and is a LEED Accredited Professional/Building Design + Construction. He holds a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and graduated Cum Laude from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.
Rocky Mountain Institute
Victor Olgyay, AIA is a bioclimatic architect living in Boulder, Colorado. In 1978 he designed his first passive solar house, and has since worked as an architect, writer, professor, researcher, daylighting designer, and environmental consultant. Since 2005, he has been a principal with Rocky Mountain Institute leading the Institute’s Buildings Practice to encourage widespread adoption of deeply efficient building design and comprehensive building energy retrofits.
From 1993 to 2000 Victor was an Associate Professor and Director of Research at the University of Hawaii School of Architecture. He was appointed Chairman of the AIA Honolulu Energy and Environment Committee 1995–2000, and in 1998 he was named a Dana Fellow of the Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Communities. He has served on the Board of Directors for the American Solar Energy Society, and is currently on the University of Colorado Design Review Board, and the GSA Green Building Advisory Committee.
Buildings must support human and ecological needs. Victor’s research on ecosystem services as criteria for green building assessment resulted in the “Green Footstep” building tool, demonstrating a lifecycle approach to the reduction of carbon, water, and ecological footprints. His recent work demonstrates how restorative buildings and communities (that generate more resources than they consume) can be profitable investments and act as positive assets, enhancing electrical and utility system infrastructures.
William Paddock is the founder & managing director of WAP Sustainability, a leading provider of sustainability services that include carbon accounting, lifecycle assessments, toxicological assessments, product transparency programs, and supply chain sustainability services. Paddock is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Environmental Science and holds a MBA from The Institute for Sustainable Practice at Lipscomb University where he is now an Adjunct Professor. He is a certified professional in GHG Management by the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute and EcoCanada (EP(ghg)), a trained service provider for The Sustainability Consortium and is certified in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) reporting protocol. Paddock serves as an EcoSystem Partner for the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), is vice-chair of the LEED Materials and Resource Technical Advisory Committee (MR TAG), a member of the IWBI WELL Materials Advisory Committee and supports the Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) as a member of its Technical Committee.
Building Product Ecosystems
Amanda Kaminsky is Founder and Principal of Building Product Ecosystems [BPE] LLC, collaborating with building owners and cities to optimize material resource cycles for whole system health.
BPE leads multi-disciplinary collaborations that evolve feedstocks, recycling, infrastructure, and logistics for optimal systemic health and performance of building material resources. BPE pilots improvements to product, process, standards, and infrastructure on behalf of building owners, their design and construction teams, supply chains, recycling networks, and impacted communities, engaging regional policy makers and academic research as needed. Collective pilot learnings are shared amongst collaborators for expedited industry progress. Informed by piloting and lab testing, solutions are quality-controlled and streamlined for scaled implementation via evolution of existing codes/standards, and creation of new ones.
BPE was originally founded by Amanda and The Durst Organization as a public private partnership with The New School, City University of New York, Healthy Building Network, and Vidaris. Before and during early stages of BPE, Amanda also led sustainable construction and procurement efforts at The Durst Organization, from 2005-2015. In collaboration with New York City Department of Sanitation, she managed execution of New York’s first high rise residential organics collection/compost program, and further deployed those learnings in roll-out of the first portfolio-wide commercial organics collection program in NYC. Amanda Chairs the Health Product Declaration Collaborative Board, and is a Director on the Recycling Certification Institute Board. BPE is also a Reuse Partner of Build Reuse. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from University of Virginia.
Urban Land Institute (ULI) Greenprint Center for Building Performance
Marta Schantz currently leads the Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center, a worldwide alliance of leading real estate owners, investors, and strategic partners committed to improving the environmental performance of the global real estate industry. Through measurement, benchmarking, knowledge sharing, and implementation of best practices, Greenprint and its members strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030.
Previously a Director at Waypoint Energy – a boutique consultancy on energy efficiency, utilities, and real estate – responsible for running sustainability consulting contracts, leading business development activities and proposal writing, and managing (and mentoring) teams of analysts to ensure quality program delivery. Prior to Waypoint, a Senior Consultant a Booz Allen Hamilton, performing qualitative and quantitative energy and policy analyses as a part of the federal energy, transportation, and environment (ETE) consulting team. Also previously a Program Analyst with the US Department of Energy’s Office of Cost Analysis.
Past Staff and Students
Julie Kriegh, Researcher
Barbara X. Rodriguez, Graduate Research Assistant
Tina Dilegge, Program Manager
Jim Ditto, Student Assistant
Alex Ianchenko, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Dalton Owens, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Jorge Gomez, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Lindsay Todaro, Student Assistant
Moazamah Rubab, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Chris Magwood, Researcher/Consultant
Thipok (Poom) Cholsaipant, Undergraduate Graphics Assistant
Stephanie Barrera, Student Assistant
Kristen Strobel, Student Assistant
Mariam Hovhannisyan, Student Assistant
Weston Norwood, Student Assistant
Ezekiel Jones, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Daniele Alampay, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Sofia Segebre, Student Assistant
Wil Srubar, Researcher/Consultant
Corey S. Ayers, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Claire Cyra, Undergraduate Research Assistant
Mazohra Thami, Student Assistant
Yasaman Esmaili, Graduate Research Assistant
David Fish, Student Assistant
Josslyn Shapiro, Student Assistant
Aiwen Xie, Visiting Graduate Exchange Student Assistant
Volunteer Leads and Consultants
Online Community Regional Hub Directors
CLF Global Hub Director & Western Regional Hubs (US, Asia)
Principal at Priopta
CLF Eastern Regional Hub Director (US, Europe, Africa, Middle East)
Professional program manager for the Boston Society of Architects
CLF Central and South Regional Hub Director (US, Central and South America)
Graduate Engineer at Austin Energy Green Building
Focus Group Chairs
Focus Group: Renewable Materials
Director, California Straw Building Association (CASBA)
Architect, Arkin Tilt Architects
Focus Group: Education/Research
Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum
Focus Group: LCA Data & Tools
Research Scientist, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, MIT
Executive Director, MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium
Focus Group: Buildings
Senior Researcher, Carbon Leadership Forum
Focus Group: Construction
Executive Director, Building Transparency
Focus Group: Reuse
Founding Principal, Siegel & Strain Architects
Focus Group: Materials Focus Group
Director of Sustainability and Design Integration, Sellen Construction
Focus Group: Policy
Founder, Mantle Developments
Carbon Leadership Forum Webinar Coordinator
Sustainability Consultant, Ambient Energy
Carbon Leadership Forum Education/Outreach Specialist
Lighting Designer, Pivotal Lighting Design | Affiliated Engineers, Inc.
“News You Can Use” Leads
Graduate Structural Engineer, Walter P. Moore
Content Contributor and Editor
Independent Publishing Professional
Graphic Design: Web, Print and Corporate Identity