NeoCon Green Pages: NeoCon's Green Scene
The products, seminars, and special events focusing on sustainability at NeoCon 2008
Penny Bonda -- Interior Design, 6/9/2008 12:00:00 AM
Brides marry, students graduate, and designers go to NeoCon. It must be June! There will be a lot to see and do at this year's Mart-fest, but if you're a greenie like me you'll want to zero in on what's new in sustainability - the products, seminars, and other special events.
Even fashionistas will want to don their most comfortable walking shoes before grabbing a copy of Interior Design's Show Directory and Show Daily. Look them over for the news items and road maps you'll need to successfully navigate NeoCon's green scene.
Before heading for the elevators - oh those elevators - check out The Green Spot on the first floor that celebrates not only The Mart's sustainable showrooms and products but also its certification as a LEED-EB Silver building. On Tuesday there's an insider's tour by the Mart executives and designers responsible for this terrific achievement.
But there's more, so much more. GREENlife at The Mart celebrates sustainable design by partnering with organizations and publications to help attendees find the products and resources they need to green their projects and businesses. On the 8th Floor, look for the GREENlife Energy Bar designed by TVS Interiors. Nearby you'll find exhibits by the U.S. Green Building Council, the Greenguard Environmental Institute, and the Chicago Center for Green Technology.
NeoCon is chock full of learning opportunities and because I'm participating in one, I'll mention it first. On Monday and Tuesday, Interior Design magazine will sponsor Ask Penny Live, an opportunity for you - my faithful readers and the newly curious - to ask me questions about green products, resources, certifications - whatever - and I'll do my darn best to both answer your queries and engage in good dialogues. So come on by the Market Suites, Suite 8-3130, from 11am-12pm.
As you wander the floors you'll surely visit the showrooms and booths of the usual green suspects - the furniture, carpet, and textile companies that have long been associated with environmental achievement – plus some relatively new players to discover.
I'm going to be doing my part as well by selecting the best eco-friendly products at NeoCon and honoring them with a Green Star. (See the winners at Green Stars).
It will be hard to escape green speakers at NeoCon, not that you'd want to given the quality of the program. Keynote Robert F. Kennedy Jr. always delivers inspiring insights into the environmental challenges facing our planet. Kennedy's focus, protecting our waterways, will also be addressed by spotlighted afternoon speakers Sarah Dunn and Martin Felsen of UrbanLab. Their presentation, “Growing Water In The City Of The Future,“ envisions the City of Chicago as a model of an environmentally holistic urban center.
NeoCon offers an entire environmental track of educational seminars. My choices include:
Green Is In The Details (Monday 11am-Noon) by Henning Bloech of INVISTA – good life cycle info.
Successfully Managing Your LEED-CI Projects (Monday 1-2pm) by Elaine Aye and Chessa Adsit-Morris of Green Building Services – they've been there, done that.
Biophilia (Monday 4-5pm) by Judith Heerwagon – an amazing speaker and fascinating topic!
Call It ReGreen – Green Residential Renovation Guidelines (Monday 4-5pm) by Linda Sorrento of USGBC – residential designers, this is what you've been waiting for.
Beyond Recycled Content: Getting To Sustainable Products (Tuesday 9:30–10:30am) by Kirsten Ritchie – the standards and certification expert.
Call To Action: How To Create A Sustainable Library (Tuesday 11am–Noon) by Rachelle Schoessler Lynn and David Loehr of Studio 2030 – who doesn't need to know this?
Communicating and Interpreting Challenging Climate Issues (Tuesday 1-2pm) by Lindsay James of InterfaceFLOR and Holley Henderson of H2 Eco Design – the issue of our time.
The Integration Of Tenant Improvements, Workplace Health, and Productivity (Tuesday 4-5pm) by Rachelle Schoessler Lynn and David Loehr of Studio 2030 – the dynamic duo back again with indispensible info.
Making A LEED Certified Home Healthy (Wednesday 11am-Noon) by Marilyn Black of Greenguard Environmental Institute – IAQ directly from the expert.
Green Buildings and Acoustic Design (Wednesday 1-2pm) by Ken Roy and Anita Snader of Armstrong Ceiling Systems – the forgotten green amenity.
Two association forums have also caught my attention:
The Why, What, & How Much Of Green Building (Monday 1-2pm) by Doug Widener – presented by USGBC Chicago Chapter ($45 fee)
Sustainable Lighting Design For This Green Old House (Tuesday 1-2pm) by Mark Loeffler of Atelier Ten – presented by IALD ($35 fee)
There you have it - a (very) short guide to turning a darker shade of green at NeoCon. I hope to see you there.