The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo welcomed more than 28,000 attendees in November at its show in Chicago. Attendees representing various backgrounds, professions and 114 countries filled the exhibit hall floor, educational and speaker sessions, green building tours and networking events that made up the three-day-long show. The nearly 200,000-square-foot expo hall floor featured more than 1,800 exhibit booths representing more than 1,000 exhibiting companies. Greenbuild is the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green-building movement.
“Generation Green came out in full-force in Chicago, proving that the green energy economy is alive and well,” said Kimberly Lewis, USGBC vice president of conferences and events. “This year’s show continued the tradition of providing attendees with three days of education, networking and inspiration.”
Greenbuild kicked off with an opening keynote address by retired Gen. Colin Powell, who delivered a message of leadership and optimism to a crowd of 10,000. The plenary session also included a discussion between political pundits Mary Matalin and James Carville and remarks from USGBC president, CEO and founding chair Rick Fedrizzi.
Earlier in the week, Greenbuild hosted a House Committee on Science and Technology field hearing to evaluate the topic of renewable energy integration into buildings. At the International Forum, 500 international green building leaders from 43 countries around the globe led a conversation focused on green buildings and communities as engines of economic development.
At this year’s Green Job Summit, 35 companies, including Bank of America, CB Richard Ellis, Turner Construction Co. and Underwriters Laboratories, and more than 500 job seekers came together to help advance the green economy. USGBC reports that green jobs will support or create nearly 8 million jobs between 2009 and 2013, and contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product.
The launch of two new green building rating systems and the LEED Volume Program coincided with a new report issued at Greenbuild by McGraw Hill Construction finding that the green building industry has grown by 50 percent in the past two years. LEED for Healthcare and LEED for Retail, unveiled during the show, help meet the growing green building needs of the healthcare and retail sectors, respectively, while the LEED Volume Program was designed to meet the certification needs of high-volume property developers.
USGBC is currently accepting educational session proposals for Greenbuild 2011 in Toronto, Oct. 4-7, 2011. To learn more visit http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/education/2011-Education-Sessions/Call-for-Proposals.aspx
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., USGBC’s purpose is to help create buildings and communities that regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life within a generation. USGBC leads a diverse constituency of builders and environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected officials, concerned citizens, teachers and students. For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.