Green engineering

October 2010 » Features » EVENTS
Sustainable design and building topics premier at Ecobuild America this winter.
Stephanie Hildebrandt

Two months ago, officials broke ground on the Transbay Transit Center in California — America’s first high-speed railway station. This month, engineers finished “greening” the Empire State Building by replacing all of its windows. Next year, a bridge made almost completely from recycled materials will be constructed in South Jordan, Utah.

It’s clear that sustainability is here to stay. And with the recent government mandate and stimulus funding for high-performance building, keeping up on the latest sustainable building methods and materials is more important than ever. That’s where Ecobuild America, sponsored by The National Institute of Building Sciences, comes in.

Taking place Dec. 6–10, 2010, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., Ecobuild America offers dozens of sessions for the AEC industry relating to sustainable building and technology. The conference tracks are:

  • building information modeling (BIM) & information technology;
  • building performance & energy efficiency;
  • green building & sustainable design;
  • sustainable sites & infrastructure; and
  • marketing & management.

Sessions include: “Green Building Outlook: Trends and Opportunities for Sustainable Design and Construction During Economic Recovery;” “BIM-GIS Solutions: Current and Future Direction;” “Best Practice: Using Pervious Concrete for Managing Stormwater;” “Is Brown the New Green? Sustainably Developing Brownfields;” and “IPD and Sustainability: Real World Case Studies.” These sessions will teach attendees how to reduce environmental and energy impacts throughout every phase of the project lifecycle. Plus, attendees will walk away with a strong knowledge of green technology tools to improve workflow and communication. They can put this knowledge to use at the end of select, pre-approved sessions to earn American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System Learning Units. The conference will also feature two keynotes: one from Senator Thomas R. Carper, Delaware’s senior senator; the other from Jack Dangermond, president of Esri. And the exhibit hall offers some unique stops for presenters as well.

The AEC Interoperability Center will showcase real-world examples of BIM and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) systems and how they affect the entire project lifecycle. Another BIM-related event is the interactive BIMStorm DC, where attendees can communicate about the built environment with web-based 3D design in real time. On Wednesday and Thursday of the conference, The BIM Aquarium and The Eco Aquarium (respectively) will present case studies explaining the successes and lessons learned regarding best practices of environmental systems, building performance, and information technology. Other exhibit hall education includes the BIM & Intelligent Buildings Theater, Building Performance & Energy Theater, and even an Ecobuild America bookstore.

Once conference hours are over, and for an additional fee, attendees have the opportunity to attend networking events with their peers. The first one falls on the first evening of the conference from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. The second takes place in the convention center on Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. And the last is the National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Awards Dinner, which honors individuals and organizations that have made exceptional contributions to the nation and building community.

Parallel with the conference’s focus, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center also demonstrates sustainability. According to www.aececobuild.com, it’s one of the most environmentally friendly convention centers in the country. The building reduces its carbon footprint by offering low-emission glass that controls temperature and provides natural lighting; computer-controlled HVAC systems to control waste; supplies sourced from local companies to reduce emissions from delivery vehicles; walls painted with paints containing low- to no-volatile organic compounds; a Metro station onsite; and many other features (see www.dcconvention.com for more details).

Registration for three days (Dec. 7 – Dec. 9) is $495. The price goes down to $295 for government employees or educators, and even lower to $95 for students. A general one-day pass is $245. The deadline to receive these early bird prices is Oct. 31, 2010. Visit www.aececobuild.com/register for additional registration packages and pricing. And don’t forget, because Stagnito Media is the Ecobuild Media Sponsor, CE News readers receive a 15 percent conference discount with promotion code: STAG15T, or a free keynote and exhibit pass using promo code: STAGEK.


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