—€˜Greening—€™ the future

November 2010 » Features » EVENTS
Civil engineers enhance their knowledge of sustainable practices at Greenbuild 2010.
Stephanie Hildebrandt
The Greenbuild 2009 exhibit hall.
More than 27,000 people from 66 countries attended Greenbuild in Phoenix, Ariz., last year.

A few years back, green was simply a color. Today, it has a whole new meaning. Whether that’s in the packaging, farming, or civil engineering industry, it’s not hard to see that “green” isn’t going away. Hence the success of Greenbuild, an international conference and expo dedicated to green building.

Held Nov. 17-19, 2010, Greenbuild will be returning to Chicago after two years at other locations. Occupying twice as much space as the 2007 event, this year’s conference will take up the entire McCormick Place West building to accommodate the increase in attendees.

Chicago was one of the first cities to adopt LEED for public buildings and hosts more LEED-certified buildings than any other city in the United States, according to the Greenbuild website. And with a conference and city focused on sustainability, Greenbuild’s exhibitors had to be, too. To encourage less waste, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) rewards exhibitors that act sustainably with three awards: leadership, advocate, and partner. Last year, there was a 67 percent increase in applicants for the award, with 160 companies applying, four achieving leadership level, 71 earning mid-level advocate status, and 75 emerging as introductory-level partners.

Workshops, educational sessions, and CEUs
Greenbuild 2010 kicks off with a half or full day of pre-conference workshops taught by highly qualified LEED faculty and Education Provider industry experts. All USGBC LEED education programs meet GBCI eligibility requirements for the LEED Green Associate as well as credential maintenance requirements for the Green Associate and all LEED AP credentials. Two workshops of interest to civil engineers are offered on Nov. 15 and 16 and focus on neighborhood development. The first, ND 251: Understanding the LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System, is held on Nov. 15 or 16 from 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. The second, ND 301: Implementing the LEED for Neighborhood Development Rating System, is held on Nov. 16 from 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

The conference also offers nearly 100 educational sessions. Select sessions of interest to civil engineers include:

  • Rebuilding Sustainable Communities After Disasters — This session will highlight design-related efforts, such as infrastructure development and energy and water distribution, to respond in environmentally sustainable ways to natural disasters.
  • Unplugging the Fountain: Removing Embodied Carbon from Water Supply — This discussion will address the critical state of the water-energy nexus worldwide and introduce the technical applications that can solve the problem at the single building and community scale.
  • New Directions in Stormwater Management: LEED and Beyond — Current and former members of the USGBC’s Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group will discuss new directions for rainwater management and LEED.
  • LEED: A Model for Creating Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure — This panel will focus on how LEED can be utilized for transportation facilities and importantly how it can be used as a model, adapted to further the design of sustainable transportation infrastructure.
  • Reinventing Water Re-Use: Ecological Wastewater Treatment Provides the Centerpiece for New Commercial Designs in Portland — This session will cover how two new buildings in Portland, Ore., are reinventing how water is used and reused.
  • Quantifying sustainable infrastructure interventions for a green future along the Allegheny Riverfront — This session discusses how engineers can create cities that meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act consent decrees; provide substantive changes to air quality, heat-island effect, and open space; and deliver exceptional quality of life to residents all through understanding the hydrologic cycle.
  • Integrated Project Delivery and BIM: Essential Tools for Earning LEED Certification — This presentation will explore existing trends, future technologies, and specific projects with diverse perspectives from a designer, contractor, consultant, and construction lawyer.
  • Connecting Water and Land Use — This session will explore methods and principles for using water-based considerations as a core principle informing land use decision-making and will articulate how water security for the world’s cities and the design of cities could be re-engineered to optimize the use and management of this natural resource.

All educational sessions and select LEED workshops, offsite education sessions, tours, and post-conference seminars are eligible for continuing education units (CEUs). Session attendees will be recorded through a name badge scanning system (the sign-in period begins 30 minutes before each session and ends 30 minutes after each session). Approximately three weeks after the conference, the certificates of completion will be available for download.

Offsite education sessions enable attendees to step outside the convention center and get first-hand examples of the topics they’re learning about in Chicago. Some of the relevant offsite education sessions for civil engineers include: Creating LEED-ND Neighborhoods in Chicago; Risk Management, Liability, and Insurance on Sustainable Construction; and Green Infrastructure and the Chicago Wilderness.

On Nov. 16, Greenbuild will hold an International Forum, featuring internationally focused educational sessions, interactive breakout sessions, networking breaks, and opportunities to earn CEU credits.

The conference also features numerous events, such as Greenbuild Salons, Greenbuild’s version of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” bringing together industry experts to discuss critical issues and challenges in the green building industry; Happy Hour in the Expo Hall; Chicago Jazz Crawl, where attendees can visit the House of Blues, Andy’s Jazz Club, Blue Chicago, and Buddy Guy’s Legends; and the Leadership Awards Celebration, held at the renowned Chicago Merchandise Mart. The USGBC Leadership Awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations committed to advancing green building design, construction, and operations.

Plus, Greenbuild’s exhibit hall will showcase many of the up and coming sustainable innovations in the industry.

For USGBC members registering at the show (on or before Nov. 17), the registration fee is $600. This includes access to opening and closing plenary sessions, the exhibit hall, opening reception, Residential Summit, education sessions (including offsite sessions), Leadership Awards Celebration, lunch (Wednesday and Thursday), conference bag, and show program. Onsite registration for non-members is $775. Registration for full-time students and young professionals ages 25 and younger is $225. Additional fees apply for the International Forum, Affordable Housing Summit, Green Jobs Summit, green building tours, USGBC or Education Provider workshops, and outdoor experience events.

For more information, visit www.greenbuildexpo.org .

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