Tag Archives: greenbuild

Recycling Bins

Green News Roundup-Greener Building, Education & More

For those of you involved in the green/sustainability arena, you are probably still decompressing from the impressive event that was the Greenbuild 2009 Conference and Expo that was held last week. With over 27,000 attendees, the Phoenix Convention Center, Chase Field, local businesses, and the entire community were host to a remarkable event.

Produced by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), the conference aimed to bring leading minds, businesses, and the community together around the premise of green building, education, and professional networking.

During my time visiting the impressive conference, some of the following thoughts came to me:

  • The Gargantuan Expo: The expo (which was an exhausting feat to see all of it in detail) was filled with an incredible array of vendors showcasing their particular products that contribute to green buildings and lifestyles. There are – it is not a stretch to say – innumerable creative manners in which a business or individual may contribute towards a “greener” building, property, and subsequent environment.
  • Intellectual Development and Discussion: There were several intriguing presentations by industry experts, academic researchers, community members, and perspicacious interdisciplinary practitioners. The presentations that blended elements of “green” building/design with a social cohesion element had particular merit.
  • Keynote Speeches: Nobel prize laureate Al Gore gave the keynote address on Wednesday evening at Chase field. While much of Mr. Gore’s speech was information that many of the participants may have already heard via self subscription to the “green” lifestyle, he did offer a particularly compelling charge to the audience. It was a call to arms advocating that the audience move beyond discussing green tactics and immediately work to make a substantive difference, now.

Given the participation of the conference, I would challenge each individual to consider some of the following points:

  • How do we, as individuals who have a particular interest in this field (and its success), bring the tenants of green building to those who need it most? What are the ways in which we are enabling and setting up our communities – of all socioeconomic and demographic representation – for success? Are the technologies and methods we recommend commensurate with a practical application to those who need it most?
  • What are the implications of the commoditization of green building ideals? While there are too many integrated issues to list here, how could the exhibitors at the Greenbuild expo make a difference in areas of abject poverty and subsistence-level construction (i.e. the applicability and practicality of technology towards the greater good)?
  • Given the awesome level of experience and mental aptitude that accompanies these conferences, what type of demonstrable impact can they have on the community in which they are held?

I’d love your thoughts, reactions, and recommendations on what you thought of Greenbuild and how to make conferences, like this one, better in the future.

GreenBuild-featured

Greenbuild 2009

Greenbuild 2009 – What’s in store for the Arizona development community?

The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will envelop the Phoenix Convention Center during the second week of November. At this conference, the Valley will host more than 25,000 attendees from 91 countries. In only its seventh year, Greenbuild has become the world’s largest green building conference and expo. Event delegates are expected to have a $30 million direct-spending impact on the local economy.

Greenbuild attendees will participate in more than 100 educational sessions and will tour 80 sustainable, LEED buildings throughout Arizona. They will also have access to more than 1,000 booths showcasing some of the best in sustainable products, materials and technologies available.

Mark Wilhelm, principal of Green Ideas, will chair the Greenbuild 2009 Host Committee, along with vice chair Sandy Werthman and executive director Beth Vershure, for the Arizona Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Making Green Ubiquitous

The biggest challenge is to leverage this 3-day event to help anchor sustainability throughout Arizona. To accomplish this, the committee will reach out to industry, political and financial leaders with compelling messages about the importance of sustainable development; showcase green building best practices to achieve quick payback and positive ROI; and help define road maps that lead to more sustainable design, construction and operations.

The Host Committee has partnered with local leaders to focus on “Community Conversations” that will happen before, during and after Greenbuild. These events will host experts and audiences to address the following:

  • Greening municipalities
  • Sustainable manufacturing
  • Leveraging solar resources
  • Conservation of water and energy resources

Some sustainable-minded organizations have stepped forward to support the Greenbuild Host Committee efforts, furthering the message of sustainability in Arizona.

  • APS, SRP, Intel, PetSmart, General Dynamics, Arizona State University, Adolfson & Peterson Construction, Sundt Construction, the Arizona Cement Association, GeOasis and Ramsey Community Services Foundation have committed funds to help leverage Greenbuild for the benefit of Arizona.
  • The cities of Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale and Flagstaff are taking green building to the streets by extending the reach of Greenbuild beyond the Convention Center. Each city will host a “Green Streets” party one night during Greenbuild week.
  • The University of Phoenix, the Pulliam Trust and Habitat for Humanity have funded specific Greenbuild Legacy Projects that will showcase sustainable development long after Greenbuild 2009 has left Arizona.

There also will be several noteworthy events that will run concurrently with Greenbuild:

  • The World Green Building Council International Congress will be held Tuesday, Nov. 10 at the Phoenix Convention Center. International experts in sustainable development will showcase projects from both developed and developing countries.
  • Former Vice President Al Gore will address thousands of Greenbuild attendees at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, as part of the Greenbuild Opening Keynote and Celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 11. He will be followed by Sheryl Crow in concert.
  • Greenbuild 2009 Residential Summit will be held on Nov. 12 and 13 at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel. This summit will feature an opening general session with KB Home CEO Jeff Mezger, Bensonwood Homes company steward Tedd Benson and “Renovation Nation” host Steve Thomas.

For more information, visit www.greenbuildexpo.org, while there be sure to click on “Program by Market Sector” and “Commercial Sector” to see the specific educational sessions designed to appeal to corporations, building operators and developers.

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www.greenbuildexpo.org
www.usgbc.org

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AZRE Magazine November/December 2009