Greenbuild conference is the largest event for sustainable building design
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/20/2012 -- The annual Greenbuild conference organized by the U.S. Green Building Council, recently held for the first time in San Francisco, has become the largest event for businesses selling, or looking to learn about and buy, technology for sustainable buildings.
The recently-concluded event filled three exhibit halls in San Francisco’s huge Moscone Center, and drew about 35,000 attendees and over 1,000 exhibitors. Like the increasing interest in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the expanding conference reflects increasing interest among building owners in making their properties more eco-friendly.
In the keynote address, the Council’s president adopted an evangelical tone. Richard Fedrizzi compared the greener-buildings movement to civil rights campaigns, and exhorted his listeners to "work for the cause, spread the message."
He also excoriated what he termed "stubborn uninformed politicians" for questioning climate change, and said the group was “ready to challenge President Obama to do even more for the green building movement in his second term."
Other speakers at the three-day event included Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, the co-anchors of MSNBC's early morning "Morning Joe" talk show, former San Francisco mayor and current California lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom, and Twitter cofounder Biz Stone.
In his remarks, Stone cast a slight damper on the green-building movement’s place in the broader global context, saying that, "People don't care about sustainability when they're starving to death," he said. Adding it would not become a central global issue “until we deal with poverty and hunger and human rights and women's issues."
That type of subdued enthusiasm was hard to find in the throngs mobbing exhibits of thousands of products proclaiming their environmental friendliness, whether to help the planet or reduce building owners’ costs.
Among the innovative products on display were porous stone pavers for driveways and parking lots. The maker noted the product was receiving a boost from local government requirements that developers use such paving to reduce storm-water runoff.
Another distributor offered around a dozen models of low-flush toilets using as little as one gallon of water per flush. He assured visitors to his company’s booth his firm would “carbon footprint every one of these products” and supply performance data to developers going through the LEED certification process.
The maker of a 700-gallon underground tank for capturing and storing rainfall noted developers who reuse water can qualify for LEED points. He also said environmentally-attuned residential users are also buying the $3,000 item. That cost is about as much again to install and hook up to downspouts and other water sources. Besides developers and homeowners concerned about the environment or potential droughts, he also pointed to one other type of customer: survivalists, who “want to be off the grid.”
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