USGBC's Austin Conference a Great Success

Likely to be remembered as a watershed in the sustainable building movement, the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) first annual International Conference & Exposition, held in Austin, Texas in November 2002, was a resounding success. while the Council hoped for about 2000 attendees, the final tally, including exhibitors, was 4189 registrants.The conference was preceded by a “member day” in which about 500 Council members learned about new initiatives and met in committees to work on LEED and other programs.The two-and-a-half day conference featured 80 breakout sessions. Two concurrent conferences added to the excitement: UPEx’02 (Photovoltaic Experience Conference) and Texas Renewables ’02. The sold-out expo – 220 booths and tabletop displays – included product manufacturers, industry trade groups, design and engineering firms, building contractors, commissioning agents, environmental organizations and government agencies. Despite the expo’s short duration, exhibitors were ecstatic at the level of interest in their products. A remarkable 92% renewed for the 2003 conference!DuPont Textiles & Interiors (DTI), manufacturer of Antron carpet fibers, donated the conference greenhouse gas emission credits to the Leonardo Academy’s Cleaner and Greener program on behalf of the USGBC. The credits, earned through the voluntary installation of emission abatement equipment at DTI’s Sabine River Works facility […]

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High Performance Buildings On Your Desktop


Wish we’d done it ourselves! It’s been on the list, but we haven’t gotten to it yet. Now the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has given us a platform to catalog and learn about high-performance building projects around the world. The High Performance Buildings Database has been seeded with about 25 projects – most of them well known – and you can add your own. You can enter a project of any size, from any country, from a campus to a home. You can search by building type, location, size, keyword, and many other parameters. There is lots of flexibility in the depth of information you enter and in the project itself: it can simply have several notable green features or be a certified LEED project. A convenient menu on the left enables you to quickly look through the project’s features: finance, land use, site and water, energy, materials, indoor environment, images, ratings and awards. One of the profiles, Stadium Australia, served as the main arena for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. The design team employed the most comprehensive energy modeling to date for a stadium project. The building systems and materials chosen optimized energy use – passive ventilation and natural […]

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Greenpeace USA's New Offices are a Green Builder's Delight


In constructing its new offices, Greenpeace USA is modeling the best of green design, creating a productive work environment for its employees, and giving its architect and contractor a new specialty niche. Greenpeace chose to renovate a building close to mass transit in downtown Washington D.C. They joined together five buildings for a total of 15,000 square feet. The developer allowed Greenpeace to write into the lease that the entire building would be PVC-free (except for electrical wiring for which there is no substitute). The open work station layout resulted in numerous savings in addition to fostering communication among employees. For example, they used 45 percent less drywall and 61 percent less wood by not breaking up the space and needing fewer doors. And many fewer lighting fixtures were needed.The extensive list of leading environmental products includes: ** All woods are FSC-certified. Knoll even used certified wood in the chairs it custom-manufactured for this project. ** PVC-free products used throughout ** Pantry countertops made from recycled yogurt containers and rubber flooring from recycled tires. ** Recycled-content carpet, installed with low- VOC adhesives. ** Bathroom tiles made from recycled glass; doors and desks constructed from certified wheatboard and particleboard respectively. ** […]

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