Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, or what us green building consultants refer to as “the super bowl of green building convention”, was held in Los Angeles, California this year. As you can imagine, reducing water consumption was a big learning topic of the conference held in a state that knows all too much about drought. Other great learning experiences came from dozens of talks ranging from the future of green building, the exciting shift to awareness and involvement in “wellness real estate”, and studies on how effective green buildings are at improving your cognitive function in high-performing buildings. Did you know that workers in green buildings perform their mental tasks 26% better than those in conventional buildings?
Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) was fortunate to send six team members to participate and learn from this great conference, and below are their top takeaways from Greenbuild 2016:
Charlie Cichetti, CEO & Co-Founder
- The WELL Building Standard is gaining traction. It truly is the next phase of the green building movement.
- LEED v4 is upon us and we’ll be ok.
- There is a changing of the guards with USGBC – Rick Fedrizzi, CEO after 20 years is moving on and Mahesh Ramanujam is stepping in to grow LEED and the USGBC globally.
Asa Posner, Senior Sustainability Consultant
- Learned about a new Neoperl faucet aerator that’s not on the market yet – it’s 0.35gpm, but the water comes out in a spiral and supposedly feels like A LOT more water than 0.35gpm. Asa got a sample one, so he is excited to try it out.
- Last year, Asa attended a talk about the CogFX study and was able to attend version 2 of the CogFX study this year: Harvard School of Public Health researchers basically took their lab-based study and tried it out on 10 real-world buildings (2 buildings – 1 LEED, one not – in 5 different cities) and found that the LEED buildings have a 26% cognitive function improvement over non-LEED buildings. Fascinating research.
- Asa enjoyed a great opening plenary speech by author/filmmaker Sebastian Junger about human survival.
- The celebration this year was awesome – they took over LA Live and closed down Figueroa St. in between the Microsoft Theater and the Staples Center. Good food and great performances by X Ambassadors and Aloe Blacc.
- Phenomenal closing plenary talk from Bjarke Ingels (founder of architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group, or “BIG”) on some of the projects he’s working on all over the world, including a power plant designed with a ski slope in Copenhagen, the “Dry Line”, which is a series of pedestrian-oriented parks and berms surrounding lower Manhattan to prevent another Hurricane Sandy-like scenario, and “Urban Rigger”, a floating affordable student housing complex made out of shipping containers.
- Asa felt the overall the quality of the sessions were higher quality this year than at some of the past Greenbuilds.
Brett Rockman, VP of Business Development
- This was Brett’s first Greenbuild, and he was impressed with the enormous amount of positive and focused energy in the air.
- Brett attended a session on LEED Dynamic Plaque and learned there will soon be changes including an overhaul of their pricing.
- He also attended a session on Green Leases that went over best practices and also talked about WELL. He learned that multi-tenant buildings are not a great fit for the new WELL building standard, but LEED is still going strong in this arena.
Other SIG team members including:
Jeff Stewart, Mechanical Engineer
Tim Peterson, Sustainability Consultant
Nick Kassanis, Senior Energy Consultant
Were able to attend this outstanding conference this year. Other topics of interest that they found most interesting and thought were their top takeaways from Greenbuild included how LEED Dynamic Plaque (LDP) was very functional across multiple building types, the effects of biophilic design, changes from LEED v3 to LEED v4, product innovation, how to increase water efficiency and what to do with waste water, and much more.
Learn a few more Greenbuild takeaways from SIG’s education partner, GBES.
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