The Buildup to Greenbuild
Penny Bonda -- Interior Design, 10/1/2005 12:00:00 AM
When Greenbuild, the annual conference and expo of the U.S. Green Building Council, hits Atlanta on November 9 to 11, the city will know it's been invaded. Leading the charge of the nation's greenest people, Natural Capitalism author Paul Hawken, environmental entrepreneur Ray Anderson, and bio-mimicry guru Janine Benyus—three environmental heroes—will deliver their collective wisdom in a thought-provoking keynote panel the first morning of the show. The 10,000 expected attendees, suitably inspired, will then move on to more than 100 workshops and presentations on topics such as daylighting, green materials, and cost benefits. The sessions are designed to appeal to all green-building disciplines: interior designers, architects, facility managers, and manufacturers. Here are four events not to be missed.
Growing Up: LEED From Birth to Today
It's fitting that the man who gave birth to the LEED green-building rating system will tell its story at Greenbuild. Rob Watson, now a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, was already on staff at the organization a decade ago, when he collaborated with some founding members of the USGBC on the document that has driven one of the most important market transformations in the design and construction of buildings. The saga began with "blissful ignorance," he says. "Here was a band of naive people who thought that all we had to do was put a few criteria down, and that would be it." Watson will candidly discuss the lessons learned and mistakes made since then—as well as the bumps and bruises that no doubt await us as LEED moves into different markets and deeper layers of complexity.
Untapped Opportunities: Green Renovations & Green Interiors
The emergence and success of the green-building movement has jump-started careers, moved firms in new directions, and given meaning to professional aspirations. Associates III, a residential interiors firm in Denver, is a perfect example of changes that can occur when designers have an epiphany—"We're not doing the right thing"—and decide to reinvent themselves in a different market niche, as president Kari Foster and design director Annette Stelmack did in 1995. This session presents their story alongside the tale of Carl Seville, founder of the Atlanta design-build firm SawHorse, which specializes in green renovation.
Post-Occupancy Research and Evaluation of Green Buildings
Lucia Athens, chair of the City of Seattle's Green Building Team, will bring news of her city's courageous attempt to take on an oft neglected and potentially risky project: evaluating post-occupancy data from city-owned LEED-certified buildings. The immediate goal is to determine if the program delivers on its promise of better conservation benefits, finances, and indoor environmental quality. "Results may point to problems with the design process or LEED itself," Athens says. "A farther-reaching goal is to develop research protocols that can be shared with other organizations and municipalities, so we end up with a significant body of knowledge across the country."
Selling Your Green Products: From Basics to the Future
"Finally, a session geared toward the manufacturers, architectural and engineering firms, and associations that have supported Greenbuild from the beginning," says Crozier Company's Susan Piguet, a green-marketing consultant who's giving a presentation with Fletcher Thompson's Ross Spiegel, a specification expert, and PRB Design's Paul Bertram, also a board member of the Green Building Initiative. Not so long ago, the number of green products and the responsiveness of the marketplace were limited. All that has changed. Manufacturers' sales reps are clamoring for information on positioning their companies and merchandise. Suppliers are grappling with ways to redefine business strategies, evaluate products through their entire lifecycles, and avoid the green-wash trap. "These issues are so broad and neglected," says Spiegel. "The Q&A could go on all day."