There were a record number of attendees (22,835) at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Annual International Conference and Expo (a.k.a., Greenbuild) Nov. 6 -9, 2007 in Chicago. And at least 850 exhibitors showcased their products and services. Despite long registration lines, homebuilders had much to benefit from attending this year's event. If you missed it, here’s a collection of news you can use.
Among former President Bill Clinton’s announcements during the plenary session: a Clinton Climate Initiative-GE Real Estate partnership that will choose and implement green retrofit projects from the GE Real Estate portfolio.
- Those checking out Autodesk’s booth or listening to the plenary session saw a demo of a very unique, yet-unavailable take on CAD software. Architects and designers looking to score LEED points saw a system that allows users to manipulate building elements like never before. On display were high-definition, 3-D renderings of a building and tables of metrics such as energy use and daylighting. Autodesk Vice President Phillip Bernstein says the software has a tactile, iPhone-like feel. “A dashboard like this would facilitate sustainable design and LEED certification by enabling architects and designers to set goals and always see how they're doing. They could continually calculate such factors as energy use and carbon footprint.”
Greenbuild 2007 showcased some exciting new technologies and techniques to help make homes cleaner, greener and more efficient. Some highlights:
Ciralight's sun-tracking daylight system.
HMX system from Delphi
Although only found in commercial applications so far, Ciralight’s sun-tracking daylight system provides light for up to 12 hours a day. Unlike passive daylights, mirrors inside the Ciralight track the sun even in winter months. Technology like this can slow the meter down in our homes and help take some of the burden off our already overtaxed national power grid.
- The HMX system from Delphi represents a unique idea in the HVAC arena. The key component in this cooling system uses an electric fan to pull in hot air through the water-cooled system without adding humidity. Cool air in, warm air out. The company claims the system uses only a fraction of the electricity of a traditional cooling system without the use of refrigerants.
- Following up on their BioCel product for commercial applications, the EnviroCel from Universal Textile Technologies provides both an adhesive backing as well as cushioning for carpets. The material, which is made primarily from “green” sources, comes in a variety of forms for most traffic situations and provides excellent sound absorption.
- Kohler's waterless urinal system might be targeted for universities, office buildings and other commercial purposes, but the company can also see it going near media rooms in custom homes — particularly decked-out bachelor pads — potentially saving thousands of gallons a year.
- The U.S. Green Building Council launched Greenbuild365 , a sustainable living education site for everyone from homebuilders and developers to students and homeowners.
- Homebuilders — and even homeowners — looking for a way to visualize design concepts can tap the technology behind Google SketchUp to create mock-ups of design ideas. The models allow users to present drawings in three dimensions and choose appliances and colors, too.