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Green economy alive, well: 2010 Greenbuild focuses on the business of Green.

CHICAGO -- The U.S. green building market is expected to reach $135 billion by 2015, according to a recent McGraw-Hill report. The ninth edition of Greenbuild reflected this growing trend.

"Take a look at the exhibit hall that shows the green economy is alive and well," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of U.S. Green Building Council.

Greenbuild, held here Nov. 17 to 19, had more than 1,000 exhibitors that showcased innovative green technologies. The number of exhibitors has nearly doubled since the last expo in Chicago in 2007. The conference and show also doubled the amount of space used at McCormick Place.

On the show floor interest was high in energy-saving technologies such as energy management systems, VRF, chilled beams, wind turbines, and LED lighting. Matt Pemberton of SEMCO says business is good for chilled beams.


"Everyone now understands that the energy efficiency of the systems is the real benefit to going with chilled beams."

Companies from different market sectors have found a niche in green building. First-time exhibitor shoemaker Nike brought its Nike Grind flooring made from recycled sneakers.

Another trend at this year's show is scalability, which is a big issue for smaller buildings that require affordable solutions. A number of companies offered lighting control systems that also serve as energy management systems that can scale to different building sizes.

"It's amazing how many different products are here. Years ago Greenbuild was skewed toward architects, but now it's more technical," said Dennis Stanke, Fellow ASHRAE.

An architect agrees. "It's important that Greenbuild is opening up to industry professionals other than designers. They are doing a better job of incorporating technical people into the conference," said Lindsey Evans of Goshow Architects in New York.

At the educational sessions technical topics included energy modeling, ground source heat pumps, technologies for existing buildings, envelope performance, minimizing plug loads through building design and more.


Other educational sessions addressed current issues. At the packed World Green Building Campaign specialty update, speakers talked about the challenges involved in creating a common carbon metric to align all rating systems to the same way of measuring carbon emissions.

"This is important because a common carbon metric can be used in forming policy," said Hope Lobkowicz of the USGBC.

Another focus of the conference was market sector opportunities. Sustainability efforts by the U.S. government were highlighted.

Keynote speaker Gen.-Ret. Colin L. Powell addressed an audience of 10,000 at the plenary. He discussed his commitment to building green.


"As Secretary of State, I had a budget of $1 billion to update embassies. And one goal was to make them green."

At a well-attended session on "Greening the Military," Katherine Hammack, Member ASHRAE, assistant secretary of the army for installations and environment, discussed the Army's efforts to improve high-performance green building standards. Recently, the Army decided to incorporate the guidance as detailed in ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1.

The ninth edition of Greenbuild shows how the conference has matured.

"The sessions have been at a higher technical level than in the past. Greenbuild has gone from rah-rah to the nuts and bolts of building sustainably," said Pete Jefferson, Associate Member ASHRAE, of the M.E. Group in Denver.

The next Greenbuild will be held Oct. 5- 7, 2011, in Toronto.

Show Stats

Attendance 28,000

Exhibitors 1,017

Countries Represented 114

Local Community Projects Funded by Greenbuild 6

Overheard At Greenbuild

Attendee looking at the list of speakers at an educational session on net zero schools: "I'd feel better if they weren't all from California. You can do anything in California."

"A building that has been touting itself as energy efficient might not seem so with the transparency that's now required."--Jeff Brodsky at "Super-sized Efficiency: Tackling the Existing Building Sector in New York City."

Answering a question about how he justified NZEB to a client: "I don't know. I guess it was just my charm."--John Diffenderfer at "Bringing the Art of Net Zero Energy building to Public Schools."

"Commissioning is arguably the single most cost-effective strategy for reducing energy, costs and emissions in buildings today."--Speaker at "Teaching Old Buildings New Tricks."
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Title Annotation:INDUSTRY NEWS
Publication:ASHRAE Journal
Article Type:Conference notes
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2011
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