We’re just back from New Orleans, hanging out with some of the leaders of the industry at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. Hereare just a few of the things that left an impression:
LEED has captured the world’s attention. Countries from around the world were represented at Greenbuild, and sessions highlighted projects in Peru, Sweden, Brazil, India, China, and Turkey. About 165 countries have LEED projects in progress. More than 35 percent of new and existing buildings going for LEED are outside of the United States. The GBCI is adapting LEED credits to be a better fit internationally, also.
Existing Buildings had a turn in the spotlight. We were excited to see Greenbuild present a decent offering of Existing Building classes – a trend that we see reinforced by an increased demand for the LEED AP O+M credential. There is now more LEED EBO&M square footage in place than LEED NC.
LEED homes are on the move – literally. You can build a home to LEED Platinum standards, show off its amazing eco-features during an expo, and then move it (and donate it to a family in need). It can be officially LEED certified once the home is at its permanent location. Also, there was a great highlight about the Make It Right foundation that Brad Pitt is a part of – having recently completed over 100 LEED Platinum homes in/around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
The Hanley Wood Greenbuild Initiative
It wasn’t just about buildings. In fact, New Age guru Deepak Chopra’s session was one of the best sessions we attended. We’ll remember that the environment in which we find ourselves and our consciousness of that environment shape our mental state, our ability to learn and grow, and our total well-being – physical, emotional, spiritual, social, community, financial and ecological well-being. We still feel renewed and recharged.
New Orleans was an awesome host. A city with a true focus on resilience and eco revitalization. Past Greenbuilds have focused on pushing the boundaries of innovation, but this one, with a host city to prove it, concentrated on elements of rebuilding, improving communities, new social LEED credits, and ?Leadership Jazz? – the conference theme.
Cajun food on the field at the Superdome, a film festival, tremendous breakout sessions, leadership awards, happy hour in the hall, and great music, of course (performances by Trombone Shorty and Alabama Shakes). New Orleans, you did yourself proud. Next up, Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, D.C. See you there!