Thursday, November 23, 2006

Rocky Mountain High, Colorado

Greenbuild 2006 was a “watershed” event, not only in terms of attendance, but in the rapid acceptance of green building into the mainstream of design, construction and development practice. Yet, much needs to be done to realize the potential of the green building movement. There is no doubt that a conference whose size is growing over 30% per year is symptomatic of a broader-based movement toward planetary responsibility for the green building movement. Yet, as I wrote in an October 18th column, Educated Incapacity, archived at IGreenBuild, much needs to be done to enhance conventional architectural and engineering practice before design professionals are able to deliver 50% more energy-efficient buildings, at LEED Silver ratings or better, on conventional budgets. The U.S. Green Building Council’s partnership with Autodesk promises to introduce green building and energy efficiency into AutoCAD’s Revit platform for Building Information Modeling (BIM), a modeling tool now being used increasingly by design professionals. Another sign of the times is the growing partnership between USGBC and the Clinton Foundation’s global climate change initiative. USGBC will benefit as former President Bill Clinton uses his influence to bring the 40 largest cities in the world into line with the “carbon neutral” future most experts envision as necessary to eventually halt global climate change. In my estimation, it won’t be but 12 to 24 months before the 100 largest cities in the U.S. line up behind programs to promote “carbon neutrality” in their projects, programs, policies and regulations.

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