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November 26, 2009 / or4green

GreenBuild 2009, Part III

Here are a few final impressions from GreenBuild 2009:

I talked with a number of exhibitors in the expo hall from engineering firms doing campus sustainability plans to automatic lighting control manufacturers to steel industry representatives to manufacturers of electrical systems that go in 150m(!) high wind turbines. One of the most compelling was the International Dark-Sky Association. Their mission is to combat light pollution through the use of efficient lighting that illuminates only the ground, rather than ground and sky. They reason that much current outdoor lighting wastes massive amounts of energy and can be harmful to humans and animals. It also makes it pretty hard to enjoy the night sky in most populated areas. It is a simple idea that should be promulgated. Please spread the word…

One highlight of GreenBuild 2009 for me was a gathering of Coast Guard attendees organized by Captain John Hickey (sustainability leader in the CG, mentioned earlier in this post). Coasties from Providence, Rhode Island to Juneau, Alaska, many of whom were civil engineers, came together to get acquainted and exchange ideas. There have been some great CG sustainability accomplishments (see the post referenced above), including LEED buildings, and so it was nice meet some of the folks behind them.

In all, it was quite an interesting conference. The size alone (28,000 attendees) makes a statement on how far green building has progressed. Thanks to LCDR Corinna Fleischmann and LT Brian Maggi for inviting me to join them on this trip and for the support from CG headquarters. Please note the opinions expressed here and throughout this blog are my own and are not to be construed as representing those of the US Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, or U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.

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