For those of us in the HVAC industry, the Greenbuild International Conference and Exposition may not hold any special significance. Yet just a few weeks ago, more than 25,000 architects, real estate developers, and others descended on Moscone Center in San Francisco to network and see the latest products that are focused on green buildings. This is a meeting where the business and environmental communities gather to hammer out the future of green building as a human and ecological imperative that is both profitable and sustainable.
Sponsored by the U.S. Green Buildings Council, Greenbuild now boasts a very strong showing from the HVAC community – more than 70 exhibitors of products specific to the HVAC trades. The total number of exhibitors was over 1,600. The message is clear: Greenbuild represents an evolution of the building marketplace in how all building components can and should work together to make buildings environmentally friendly, energy efficient, sustainable, and profitable.
Throughout this three-day event offered full-day LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) workshps, a green building job fair, and a number of summits that included codes, legal, residential, as well as the National Affordable Green Homes and Sustainable Communities summits. There were green building tours offered throughout the show schedule. This event focused on a LEED v4-theme of material transparency. LEED v4 will launch in 2013 and is the next version of the LEED green building rating system.
Speaking of transparency, the USGBC launched an information gateway during show that is a web-based tool will deliver greater transparency and understanding of the green dimensions of the built environment, while accelerating market transformation. You can view it at bit.ly/USGBC_Gateway.
This year's location in San Francisco was ideal: With more than 700 LEED-certified projects and nearly 1,300 LEED-registered projects in the Bay Area, the location encapsulated the 2012 conference theme of bringing technology and sustainability together in the global green movement. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee took the stage first, celebrating recent San Francisco accomplishments in the sphere of green building and sustainability.
"There are eight existing, historic San Francisco buildings in the civic center district that are LEED-registered, including city hall, the symphony and the library." He added, "I want to thank Greenbuild for contributing to our success."
USGBC's President, CEO and Founding Chair, Rick Fedrizzi, rang in Greenbuild, speaking to the power of the green building movement, the importance of the forthcoming LEED v4 rating system, and the reality of climate change, brought to light recently, in his words, by Hurricane Sandy.
He said, "In LEED v4 we're turning on the light, because as leaders, we will always fight for more information, more transparency, and more accountability. If you claim to be the best, if you claim to be healthier, prove it. Do you have a great product? Prove it. Just like leadership, green building is about transparency and accountability."
A recent analysis performed by USGBC found that LEED buildings are in the top 11th percentile for energy performance in the nation.
"Our world has put real data on building performance at our fingertips so we can understand and compare green building projects," Fedrizzi continued. "It's given us new tools to help us tweak that performance on the micro level so we can deliver on the energy savings and water savings that are the currency of our future."
Next year’s event will be held in Philadelphia, PA November 20-23, 2013. You can learn more online at greenbuildexpo.org or follow them on Twitter @Greenbuild, and Facebook at facebook.com/Greenbuild.