AWI Launches "Building Better Together"



Dr. Joseph Allen, National Building Museum, and Armstrong introduce industrywide collaboration advancing sustainable solutions to public health and climate change challenges

LANCASTER, Pa. — Armstrong World Industries recently brought together more than 200 sustainably minded influencers in the building sector to launch “Building Better Together.” The new initiative, which is being spearheaded by Armstrong, will facilitate the exchange of ideas, connections, and collaborations necessary to improve the health of indoor environments while advancing pathways for circularity and decarbonization across the industry.

Dr. Joseph Allen, associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, director of Harvard’s Healthy Buildings Program, and CEO/Founder of 9 Foundations, and the National Building Museum (NBM) joined Armstrong as co-sponsors for the event which took place at NBM in Washington, D.C., on September 26, the first night of the 2023 Greenbuild International Conference. The experience immersed attendees in the mission and vision of “Building Better Together” while offering ample networking opportunities to help put the wheels in motion for what the initiative aims to achieve.

Creating healthy, sustainable spaces and communities
“Because buildings are integral to human health and environmental sustainability, all of us in the building industry have a significant opportunity— and responsibility—to address the global challenges of climate change, public health, and equity,” said Mark Hershey, Senior Vice President, Americas, Armstrong World Industries. “Building Better Together is about harnessing our collective knowledge, resources, and unique areas of expertise and influence to create the healthiest, most sustainable spaces and communities. What started with Armstrong’s commitment to these ideals has already gained momentum with the addition of supporters like Dr. Joe Allen and the National Building Museum. Greenbuild offered a great opportunity for more friends to join the journey.”

The roots of “Building Better Together” go back more than 10 years when Armstrong began to intensify its focus on innovating ceiling and wall solutions that make a positive difference in the spaces where people live, work, learn, heal, and play. This focus, propelled by the COVID pandemic, evolved into the Armstrong healthy spaces initiative, which brings healthier, more sustainable spaces to life through improved Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). Dr. Allen and his team at 9 Foundations were instrumental in helping shape the Armstrong healthy spaces vision. They also played a key role in identifying the various roles members from across the building industry can play in the mission—bringing together academic, nonprofit, and public partners. Armstrong further interacted with architects, designers, contractors, facility managers, and building owners to identify their requirements and desires for sustainable, lower-carbon building solutions. From here, “Building Better Together” was born, defining key objectives:

  • Sustainability—driven by greater circularity and reduction of embodied carbon
  • Improved IEQ—enhancing the experience and supporting the health of all people
  • Equitable environments—to empower thriving communities

Armstrong will continue to expand “Building Better Together” collaboration and education through a series of opportunities happening in 2024. The first will be a round table discussion in February 2024 hosted by the National Building Museum. Other opportunities being planned include webinars led by Dr. Allen, and additional in-person and virtual roundtables.

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