Greenbuild 2009 Wrap-Up
Minimal swag, great ideas, and a little age discrimination
Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix was another great event. Unlike most of the construction industry, green building appears to be thriving. Attendance was slightly lower than last year but not by much, in contrast to other industry events that have seen their numbers plummet. Considering how many businesses are struggling or have closed, and the number of unemployed building professionals, the strength of this event is encouraging. Like last year, there was a dearth of good swag, a personal disappointment but a good thing for the environment, and even more unique USB drive options in lieu of printed material from vendors. The USB drive winner this year is Bluebeam Software, whose bamboo-shrouded drive came in a bamboo sliding-cover box, perfect for storing who knows what.
The non-USB-drive winners included logo-printed walnuts from Power to Pass, a LEED AP test preparation operation, and a tote bag from Low-E made of reflective housewrap. While I have heard nothing negative about these particular companies, both test-prep services and reflective insulation have uneven reputations, so maybe it isn’t surprising that they handed out some of the more interesting goodies.
Sessions and censoring
As for the seminars, I was only able to attend a few sessions due to other commitments, but I particularly liked the one on Living Systems Design. The panel raised interesting questions about the current state of green building, challenging the audience to think differently as we move forward. My favorite quotes from this session include “Sustainability as currently practiced is a slower way to die” and “Nature doesn’t understand property lines.” The residential summit was held in a hotel a few blocks from the main conference, which made visiting the show floor during breaks a bit of a challenge, but the event seemed to hum along nicely. My biggest disappointment was when I lined up to ask a question at a session, Nate Kredich cut off at the person before me. I can only assume that it was intentional as I rarely give anyone at USGBC a break. Maybe next time.
I can't squint that hard
Saving my most petty complaint for last, it is time for the USGBC to bring on more mature employees who do not have such young eyes. The map of the show floor in the conference book had booth numbers printed in such small type that I was unable to see them even with my reading glasses. I’m thinking I might possibly have an ADA complaint. Any good lawyers want to talk to me about it?
Nov 23, 2009 5:48 AM ET
Nov 23, 2009 7:19 AM ET
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Nov 24, 2009 12:59 PM ET