Greenbuild Conference inspires green home development

| by Gary Wollenhaupt
Greenbuild Conference inspires green home development

More than 30,000 people in the green building industry are expected to attend the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago, Nov. 17-19. Conducted by the U.S. Green Building Council, Greenbuild is the largest event of its kind in the world, according to Ashley Katz, communications manager for USGBC.

The expansion of the event throughout the past several years reflects the interest in green building techniques for environmentally responsible residential and commercial construction. “The growth shows that Greenbuild is the answer to a lot of different markets that are looking for information about green building,” Katz said.

This year’s keynote speaker is former Secretary of State and retired Gen. Colin L. Powell. He will speak about a LEED Platinum affordable housing building in his childhood neighborhood that bears his name. The General Colin L. Powell Apartments in the South Bronx, N.Y., is a cutting-edge, 50-unit multifamily project resulting from a partnership between Habitat for Humanity-New York City and Blue Sea Development. General Powell participated in the LEED certification ceremony.

In addition to the 1,800 exhibitors, the 2010 conference includes day-long summits on international green building, affordable housing, residential green building and green jobs.

For those in the residential construction industry, green building remains a driving force. Attendees will learn more about the LEED certification program, administered by the USGBC.

“As of Sept. 7, there are more than 7,300 units certified under the LEED for Homes program, nearly 30,000 more in the pipeline, and nearly 9,000 units registered just this year, which represent approximately 1 percent of new home starts,” wrote Nate Kredich, vice president, residential market development, U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED - which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design - is an internationally recognized system for providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance in areas such as energy savings, water efficiency, CO2  emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

Kredich noted the interest in residential green building residential remains strong. “Despite a relentless housing slump, we continue to see growth in the green home sector — driven largely by builders, developers, local governments, and especially by homeowners and homebuyers. A recent McGraw-Hill Construction report found that 70 percent of homebuyers are more interested in purchasing a green home than a conventional one.

“All the data clearly shows that the green homebuilding movement is gaining momentum. But even with the success of the LEED for Homes program and 1 million green homes in the Energy Star program, much work remains to be done in the residential building industry. There are 120 million homes in the U.S. that are not certified under any green banner and another half million new homes coming to market in the next year.”

Representatives from will be attending the show and reporting on the latest in green home techniques, technology and projects.

(Photo by jikatu)

Topics: Certification / LEED, Trends / Statistics

Gary Wollenhaupt

Gary Wollenhaupt is an experienced writer and editor, with a background as a daily newspaper reporter as well as corporate and agency public relations and marketing. He is constantly looking for affordable green upgrades to make to his home in eastern Kentucky.

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