It’s a far cry from a “tree huggers convention” that began in 2002 in Austin, Texas with only 4000 people in attendance. This years’ 2009 GreenBuild International Conference and Expo drew more than 27,000 architects, developers, builders & innovators, making it clear that a movement is well underway.
Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and a founder of the organization that started it, the United States Green Building Council, or USGBC, spoke to a packed house at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona last week. “GreenBuild is about the families who must weigh their power bill against their grocery bill; workers who labor in buildings that take a toll on their bodies and spirits; and it’s about kids who spend their entire childhoods in toxic classrooms,” he said. ”We have the power to make choices that will fundamentally change the environment and people’s lives for the better.”
GreenBuild’s keynote speaker this year, Vice President and climate change activist Al Gore, reiterated Fedrizzi’s sentiment and encouraged all Greenbuilders to stay on track and be proud of their efforts that will undoubtedly be felt by the next generation.
The 2009 GreenBuild event included educational seminars, product showcases and a forum for leaders in energy efficiency, sustainable technologies and climate change to network and share ideas.
The convention’s 1800 exhibitors showcased their wares that included sustainable materials such as recycled wood flooring; energy and water efficiency products including rainwater harvesting systems and vertical wind turbines, all for building greener, healthier homes, office buildings, schools and healthcare facilities.
From them, we’ve selected our Top 5 Green Building Product Picks according to the type of LEED project and its use for Homes, Schools, Commercial Buildings and Retail. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is the USGBC’s green building program by which buildings, homes and other structures are rated for their efficiency, use of natural resources and healthy indoor environments and include the designations: “certified, silver, gold or platinum certification,” depending on the features incorporated into the project.
1. New World Home. Although I’m into modern prefabs, this historically inspired “New Old Green Modular Home” or NOGM, probably fits someone’s taste. And it has all the right stuff, such as tankless hot water heaters, FSC certified lumber and cabinetry, bamboo flooring, Energy Star appliances and more. www.newworldhome.com
2. The Original Rainwater Pillow is a great way to capture rainwater from your roof without a huge investment in other systems. The average 40×40 roof collects 1000 gallons of rainwater from 1 inch of rain, so don’t let it run-off, capture it. The U.S. made Rainwater Pillow can be stored in a crawl space or under decking, and is made from durable, industrial strength fabric used by the military. www.rainwaterpillow.com
3. Pioneer Millworks reclaimed and sustainable wood floors are U.S. made and include FSC certified woods. Although initially hesitant to create an engineered flooring product, they made sure their engineered floors were thicker, U.S. sourced and made with no added formaldehyde. www.pioneermillworks.com
4. Ventless Dryers, unlike vented, are a great alternative for applications where installing a vent pipe to the exterior may not be possible. Ideal applications are small apartments that had no outdoor ventilation available, and interior spaces that typically had no outlet to the outside.
5. Rheem Heat Pump Water Heater, Tankless and Solar Water heaters. Save energy, save on water heating costs and save the environment with the Rheem family of water heaters. Check out the government incentives and state incentive available too. www.rheem.com
More from ecomii: