For three days last November, more than 28,000 green-building professionals gathered in Boston to share new ideas and technologies and learn about upcoming trends in the industry. The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, sponsored by the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council, featured new initiatives and innovations as excitement continues to grow within this burgeoning industry. To green the show, Columbia, Md.-based Enterprise Community Partners’ Green Communities Offset Fund offset all the emissions of climate-change pollution generated by the meeting. Attendee travel and convention-center energy was estimated to generate more than 15,000 tons (13608 metric tons) of greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the Madison, Wis.-based Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greener Program.
Enterprise Community Partners funded carbon-emission reductions through energy efficiency and renewable-energy features in up to 15 green affordablehousing developments serving about 750 low-income families participating in its Green Communities Initiative. The initiative will build more than 8,500 efficient homes for low-income people and assist in making sustainable development mainstream in the affordable-housing industry. Recipients of USGBC’s 2008 Leadership Awards were announced during a luncheon held in conjunction with the conference. The awards recognize companies and individuals who signify vision, leadership and commitment to the evolution of green design and construction. Awards were presented in six categories—community, education, LEED, organizational excellence, research and advocacy—in addition to a special president’s award to acknowledge a distinguished career and exceptional contributions to the green-building movement. Visit www.usgbc.org for a list of winners. Among the highlights of the trade show was San Francisco-based design firm Project FROG’s working classroom that demonstrated greenbuilding systems, products and technologies. Several exhibitors walked the talk of sustainability by minimizing their booths. For example, Atlanta-based INVISTA created its booth with locally sourced and reclaimed materials. Forbo Flooring Systems, Hazleton, Pa., reduced its booth's environmental footprint by using a minimalist design, including flooring materials sourced through a local distributor that were donated after the show and selecting two local representatives to man the booth. USGBC’s inaugural Green Homebuilder’s Day featured a panel session that addressed the changing housing market and what will need to change throughout the next 50 years to ensure homes are healthy and sustainable for occupants. An education track targeted at the residential market also was available. Greenbuild 2009 will be held in Phoenix Nov. 11-13. For more information, visit www.greenbuildexpo.org.