green building

USGBC Greener Builder - a fantastic conference!

This was originally posted June 19, 2013.

Lauren Wray, our Director of Marketing, attended the USGBC’s Greener Builder Conference last week. Apparently the Greener Builder Conference is even GREENER then the Green Builder Conference that occurred in November! This conference did not disappoint. From the opening panel, pictured below, featuring Jeffrey A. Birdwell, Michael Deane, Kevin Hydes, Kirsten Ritchie and moderated by Cliff Brewis, the focus was on leading edge sustainability, and strategies to get regenerative planning and innovation into the building industry.

There were good options for every panel, but as pervious concrete sub-contractors, we went to the subcontractor panel, hosted by John Home and Jeff Swinyer of Rudolph and Sletten, pictured below.

Lauren, pictured below, was interested in the drive toward clear performance specs to allow for differentiation at the sub-contractor level. As a pervious concrete subcontractor, we differentiate ourselves with our embrace of leading edge technologies for mix design and installation. Unfortunately, many current specs don’t reflect the progress in the installation, mix designs, equipment and curing materials that has developed in the last few years. 

The next panel we attended discussed Environmental Product Disclosures (EPDs), a labeling system that discloses the resource footprint of the many materials that go into the built environment. The panel also included the next iteration, the Health Product Disclosures, which discloses the materials and chemicals that have been proven or correlated in causing health problems for humans.
Central Concrete, a sponsor of the event, has been heavily involved in the EPD project for disclosing the materials for the concrete industry. Below is a photo of the panelists from this panel.

The last panel of the day went over Net Zero Energy buildings with John Andary and Scott Shell, pictured below. It was a fascinating look at what is currently possible with technologies now: buildings that use as much energy as they make. The building case studies discussed also illustrated how livable and workable these spaces were, with thought for passive heating and cooling. Many of the designs features windows that bounced daylight far into the building envelope, as well as fresh air ventilation. It was a wonderful talk, even though their topics stayed primarily inside the building envelope.

The final speaker, Jason McLennan, pictured below, gave a wonderful talk on self limits. His talk really stood out for his candor and optimism. For a young guy, has accomplished quite a bit in the green building spaces. Currently he is pioneering the Living Building movement.

After his talk, Jason McLennan was joined by George Salah, of Google, and David Gottfried of the USGBC. They discussed everything from George’s living-building home construction project to Jason’s motivation to do the work that he does: “I give a shit.” That was wonderful.

FInally, after it was all over, we found that there was a fantastic array of beers, wine and snacks to round out the day’s networking. It was a great event, and one we will look forward to attending next year!

A BIG thank you to Charlie Nucci, who took these photos at the event. You can find more about Charlie and his work at his website here.