As head of Sustainable Interiors for HDR Architecture, Inc. nationwide, Jean is responsible for advancing the firm’s sustainability initiatives in projects, research and internal standards development. This leadership position at HDR affords Jean with significant opportunities to increase the influence of sustainable design in the projects she touches. Jean was an early adopter of sustainable design. And now, years later, Jean has a depth and breadth of sustainable expertise and knowledge that has allowed her to make lasting contributions to the building industry’s steep learning curve towards more sustainable healing environments. Highlights of these contributions range from Jean’s development of sustainable strategies, guidelines, standards development, tools, and research for Kaiser Permanente, to her role in the development of the Green Guide for Health Care (GGHC), and then to her seven years as a Core Committee member of the LEED for Healthcare team.
A pivotal sustainable leadership role began in 2000, when Jean was hired to head sustainable design for the healthcare practice of Chong Partners Architecture (now Stantec). Along with her other interior design and medical planning responsibilities, Jean launched the firm’s practice of integrating sustainable design into project work and she also led a highly successful green building and LEED accreditation staff training program she developed across three offices.
Because of her extraordinary interest and knowledge in green design and related health issues, in the same year of 2000, Jean was asked to join Kaiser Permanente’s (KP) High Performance Building Committee (formerly called the Green Building Committee). Initially, Jean led the evaluation of the ‘new’ LEED v1.0 for New Construction for KP’s committee members. This led to the development of KP’s ‘Eco-Toolkit’ for their alliance partners to use as a sustainable design checklist and reporting tool. Her co-development of a sustainable questionnaire for manufacturers led to the market transformation of carpet, resilient flooring, paints and coatings, and wall protection.
Jean’s expertise in sustainability also led to her involvement in the development of the Green Guide for Healthcare (GGHC) and participation in the Green Hospital Working Group. Her involvement in both groups led to a growing knowledge of materials issues, including chemicals of concern and discussions of safer alternatives, which became valuable information for her future work. Jean also began research within the furniture industry to identify key sustainable and health issues. This research supported her work on the GGHC’s Material & Resources (MR) and Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) sections and led to the development of a white paper for Healthcare Without Harm, called “Furniture for the Healthcare Industry: A Journey to Sustainability”.
In 2004, she became a core member of the USGBC’s LEED for Healthcare rating system committee, a rich seven year development process culminating in the launch of the new rating system at Greenbuild in November 2010. Her LEED for Healthcare work focused on the IEQ and MR sections, with responsibility for key material and indoor environmental quality credits. Jean’s expertise in the development of the GGHC and LEED for Healthcare, as well as the furniture and fabric industry research, led to her invitation to be a joint committee member for both the development of BIFMA’s (Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association) Sustainable Furniture Standards development of ‘e3’ and ‘level’, and the ACT (American Contract Textiles Association) Sustainable Textiles Standard.
More recently, Jean conducted sustainable fabric research for KP, which has affected market transformation for the entire contract industry. The Fabric Research project for KP demanded not only environmental research into 400 + upholstery fabrics, cubicle curtains and drapery fabrics of 12 different fabric distributors, but also research into key finish and treatments since a majority of fabrics have at least one finish or treatment added to them after weaving and prior to use. The project also required Jean to provide an education program for KP’s Content Expert Panel responsible for assisting the healthcare provider with redefining its Fabric Alliance Program. This project, and a subsequent white paper for Healthy Building Network and Healthcare Without Harm entitled “The Future of Fabric: Health Care,” has significantly impacted the fabric industry and interior design profession. This research and subsequent white paper’s influence continue to bring a broader offering of more sustainable fabrics for use in the design industry every year, including key criteria identified to describe important sustainable fabric issues for the specifiers, fabric designers, and/or manufacturers in the fabric industry.
Most recently, Jean has brought her unique sustainable expertise to assist in the development of the Health Product Declaration, or HPD, with the Healthy Building Network and Building Green. The HPD is in development to offer an open, voluntary standard for chemical hazard transparency in building material specification and submittal processes for the design and manufacturing community. It is currently going into Pilot Phase with 30 manufacturers ‘piloting’ the HPD.
Ms. Hansen is currently managing sustainable design for the Master Plan, new Outpatient Clinic and Patient Pavilion (bed units) for Childrens Hospital and Research Center in Oakland, CA. She recently completed work on a project for the U.S. Army; heading up research for the interior materials and furniture with a focus on World Class Design, Evidence-based Design and Sustainability, and using a combination of LEED for Healthcare and LEED Building Design & Construction on several projects. Jean is a frequent speaker and lecturer.
October 2007 The Future of Fabric: Healthcare A bried history of fabrics; a summary of some of key chemicals of concern found in fabrics that have been developed and marketed to meet the high performance demands of key contract markets, including healthcare; an overview of standards & certification programs governing fabric; and examples of some of the innovative efforts coming to market from fabric manufacturers, nonprofit organizations & trade associations as they seek to bring healthier materials into our hospitals and other healthcare institutions.