I've got my passport, my schedule, and a map of the expo floor. Just need to grab my coffee mug and my running shoes.
Peter Yost, residential program manager (read: building science genius) at BuildingGreen, will be moderating the Affordable Housing Summit at Greenbuild. If you're not going to that, you might just catch a rare sighting in our booth!
It's hard to believe, but less than two weeks from now, I'll be picking up my badge at Greenbuild Toronto and heading off to cram as much green building information into my head as I possibly can in 50 hours. It almost feels like I've signed up for a reality TV show. This will be my first Greenbuild, and even from this distance I'm very excited--and a little intimidated--by its massive size and scope.
I'll be showing up eager to learn, but most people on the BuildingGreen staff will be attending Greenbuild in more of a teaching role.
Top-10 Products and Top LEEDuser Tips
There will be eleven of us altogether: even our fearless leader, Alex Wilson, will be taking a recess from his sabbatical for the occasion. He'll be at our booth (#434 North--make a note of that!) fielding questions about the latest trends and topics in the green building community and helping users try out GreenSpec and LEEDuser so they can get hands-on experience with these incredible resources.
You'll also find Alex unveiling the much-anticipated BuildingGreen Top-10 Products on Thursday at 2:30 (session SU04)--but only if you've already signed up! (When I checked on that session to give you the link, it was already full.)
If you can't make it to Alex's talk, you might want to see our other fearless leader, Nadav Malin, in the same time slot (session #SU05) giving a presentation on Top LEED Tips from LEEDuser Experts and Forums--alongside some of those very experts: Mara Baum from HOK, Jenny Carney from YRG, and Marcus Sheffer from 7group. They'll be highlighting some of the hottest topics and helping members of the audience with whatever LEED questions are on their minds that day. Hey, maybe this would make a good reality TV show....
At the booth
If you're LEEDuser-curious but haven't tried it yet, I encourage you to head over to our booth (#434N) and get some hands-on experience with this amazing tool, a project certification roadmap that offers not only expert guidance (see above) but also checklists, documentation toolkits, and those amazing forums where you get real-time answers to questions from peers who've struggled with some of the same sticky problems. Several BuildingGreen staff members who work with LEEDuser every day will be on hand to answer questions too--whether you're just starting your first LEED project or you're in the thick of your tenth one and want to ask about a specific credit.
Whether you already use GreenSpec or not, you'll definitely want to stop by and check out the exciting changes the GreenSpec team has been rolling out over the past few months--including a brand new look and enhanced search, forum, and portfolio features that make it that much easier to find the top green products for any project you might be working on right now. Product experts will be on hand from our own staff as well as from Healthy Building Network, creator of Pharos, which shows you what's really in building products and which alternatives are healthiest. Watch this space--and our Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter feeds--for more on exciting upgrades to both GreenSpec and Pharos soon.
Are there any sustainable materials?
Speaking of product experts, our research director Jennifer Atlee (also my wonderful office mate, which for some reason doesn't show up on her resumé) will be co-presenting on Thursday at 4:00 on the topic "Are There Any Sustainable Materials?" (session #PL01). Jennifer has been tight-lipped on the answer to that question, but I have overheard a few conversations with her co-presenters, and they seem to be having way too much fun for the answer to be "no." I wish I could go!
There are a lot of other sessions I'm looking forward to. I'm attending at least two about LEED 2012 and another I'm really excited about on active design guidelines. A couple others focus on one of my pet topics: how to ensure energy goals are met after we mere mortals actually start using a building.
I'm also really excited to learn more about USGBC's Project Haiti, which will apparently be a big focus this year. I just spoke to Roger Limoges at USGBC, and he said HOK would be unveiling the plans for the new orphange, and would have a whole booth dedicated to it. This is a really moving project that we'll be following closely over the next two years.
Meanwhile, we'll be filling out the details of our Greenbuild preview in the next few days and also keeping you up to the minute with blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates while we're there.
I hope you'll be able to stop by our booth and visit in person, though. Our folks really know their stuff, and are so warm and welcoming too. While we will be sharing our resources with you, it's very low-key and--perhaps more importantly--it's all about you and your needs. It can provide a very nice respite from the rest of the expo floor.
We'll be answering lots of questions and being as helpful as we can, but we'll also be listening carefully when you come by, trying to make sure we know what your needs and struggles are, what topics interest you most right now, and how we can provide you the resources you need to continue doing all your good work after Greenbuild is all over.
Until then, watch here for more updates. You might also want to keep tabs on the official Countdown to Greenbuild blog. And don't forget to check out Lloyd Alter's Picks for Greenbuild in handy map form! Also check out his helpful, poignant, and just plain fun Buildup to Greenbuild series over on Treehugger.
See you in Toronto!