I have been at Greenbuild 2010 this week at the McCormick Place Conference Center in Chicago. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council. There are 1,800 exhibitors and it feels like attendance at the event is up again this year. Most other construction related trade shows that I have attended this year have seen a decline in attendance but not Greenbuild. The traffic in the aisles was genuine. The attendees are not just there ‘kicking the tires’ they are engaged, want information and are asking questions. It is safe to say that the sustainability movement is on very solid ground.
At the show this year I’ve noticed that there seems to be a greater number of manufacturers offering competitive products. This should help create competition within product categories and in the end drive down the prices for certain types of green products. This will help to encourage the use of more sustainable products and processes. Examples of categories where I saw this was an increase in exhibitors who support rainwater harvesting, sustainable wood flooring, and renewable energy sources. These are positive indicators that we are not only on the right track with sustainability; we are on the right train and moving at a faster speed to improve efficiencies in commercial and residential building practices.
It was announced at the opening event that California has adopted Green Building Codes. It will be interesting to watch how this trend develops. There are some challenges with taking this step but now that one state has put a stake in the ground, others will follow.
Lucas Hamilton is Manager, Building Science Applications for CertainTeed Corporation