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New Report Helps Untangle Green Product Certifications

Posted November 30, 2010 10:11 AM by Tristan Roberts
Related Categories: Greenbuild '10, GreenSpec Insights

The number of green product certifications is large and growing--perhaps 100 so far in the U.S. alone. This month's EBN feature article provides guidance on the growing field of multi-attribute certifications. The editors of EBN and our GreenSpec Directory provide a lot more guidance like this in BuildingGreen's new special report, "Green Building Product Certifications."

This 87-page, no-nonsense guide enables designers, purchasers, and manufacturers to steer clear of irrelevant claims and focus on what is significant and relevant for each building product sector. It provides a bird's-eye view of the certification world, distinguishes the key green certifications spanning multiple building product sectors, and provides a sector-by-sector look at finding the green certifications that can help you specify green on your projects.

Architects, designers, engineers and others who need an affordable, comprehensive, flexible tool for specifying green building products will benefit from the a strategic partnership we just announced at Greenbuild. BuildingGreen will link our Web-based green products resource, GreenSpec, with the Healthy Building Network's Pharos Project to provide one trusted, authoritative, independent source for specifying green building products, information, and research.

GreenSpec provides a listing of approved products and guidance on how best to use those products in green buildings. Pharos scores products in specific categories based on what they're made of, in a highly transparent, data-rich tool. Our customers have asked to see the capabilities of GreenSpec and Pharos in one place, combining the in-depth research opportunities of Pharos with the direct advice offered by GreenSpec, and we believe this strategic partnership is the best response to their needs.

Students push sustainability ahead

Posted November 23, 2010 1:48 PM by Emily Catacchio
Related Categories: Greenbuild '10

I have gathered through sessions and conversations at Greenbuild that the educational sector is the next big sustainable design push. On the last day of Greenbuild I discovered a session about greening college campuses, with a unique panel—a student, an architecture professor, and a facilities manager, all from different universities. The panel moved swiftly through each of their presentations (almost too quickly for me to take notes!) so they could get to the moderator’s Q and A session, followed by an audience Q and A. Each represented university—Auburn, Carnegie Melon, and Emory—had a slightly different approach to sustainable design, but they all stressed the importance of integrating sustainability into the curriculum; the overarching idea being that students, not administrators, are driving this green campus movement. The more involved the students, the more pressure they place on the administration, and paraphrasing from one of the presenters, universities are not just there for students but because of students.

A Lesson

Posted November 19, 2010 10:29 AM by Emily Catacchio
Related Categories: BuildingGreen's Top Stories, Greenbuild '10

Throughout all of the educational sessions I have attended so far—all on different topics—there has been one overarching theme: community; building communities that really work is the way of the future. One large tie to this is connectivity, pun intended. I have heard many case studies from airports to infill developments about connecting neighborhoods to create communities. A major hurdle in sustainable community development is reducing the turnover rate—by creating spaces where people feel connected they more likely to remain, permanently. The more connected people feel to a place the more they value it, protect it, and care for it and the planning, architecture, and interior design can discourage or encourage this behavior. Sustainable means long lasting, just as much as it means “green” and communities can be the deciding factor, determining the longevity of built environments.

Greenbuild Sessions

Posted November 18, 2010 12:07 AM by Emily Catacchio
Related Categories: Greenbuild '10

Some of the best things about Greenbuild—and there are many—are the educational programs. Covering topics from energy labeling and building innovation to removing embodied carbon from the water supply—there really is something for everyone. The opening plenary which took place this morning, featured General Colin Powell and the closing Plenary on Friday will feature the Honorable Shaun Donovan and Paul Hawken.

A few of the other notable presenters, educators, and speakers include Arlene Blum, Founder and Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Institute (who is also on the Environmental Building NewsAdvisory Committee); Henry Cisneros former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the current Executive Chairman of Cityview; and of course our very own Peter Yost, Tristan Roberts, Alex Wilson, and Nadav Malin.

Alex Wilson, the founder of our company and our current executive editor (i.e., my boss), is being named the 2010 Hanley Award winner in a special event here at Greenbuild 2010 tomorrow. In recognition of this achievement, and to better understand how this innovative, always-curious visionary looks at the world, I recently asked him 10 questions. Here's the conversation.

Making the Most of This Chicago Visit

Posted November 16, 2010 1:00 AM by Emily Catacchio
Related Categories: Greenbuild '10

This is my first time visiting Chicago, so I wanted to take a little time, away from Greenbuild and explore a bit. On the suggestion of a friend I chose to visit the Field Museum, my friend thought I would be able to make my way through the museum in about two hours; unfortunately I only had a little over an hour. Luckily the museum—which usually runs about $25 per person—held a "free day" today. I walked up the marble stairs, pausing to admire the impressive view of downtown Chicago and the waterfront, and entered into the massive atrium, where I discovered Sue, a T. Rex skeleton named Sue. According to their website The Field Museum's purpose is the "accumulation and dissemination of knowledge, and the preservation and exhibition of objects illustrating art, archaeology, science and history"—and it certainly delivers. With innovative and interactive exhibits throughout, the museum has done an excellent job of varrieing their exhibits.

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