In a few short weeks, approximately 30,000 people from all over the world will descend upon the historic city of Philadelphia for the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, which features three days of extensive educational programming, workshops and showcases of the latest green products and services. Presented by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and owned and produced by Hanley Wood, Greenbuild, which takes place from Nov. 20-22, 2013, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, is the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.
“Philadelphia is the perfect city for Greenbuild — with its rich history and its forward thinking vision, much like Greenbuild itself,” said Kimberly Lewis, senior vice president, community advancement and conferences and events, USGBC. “As USGBC celebrates its 20th anniversary, we are reflecting on how far the building industry has come and the work we still have ahead of us. Greenbuild gives us the chance to share our knowledge and raise the bar on green building.”
Every year, Greenbuild hosts world leaders in business, environment and politics. This year is no exception, with Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivering the keynote address and Nate Silver, statistician and author of The Signal and the Noise, closing out the conference. The 2013 Master Series of speakers will cover topics from engineering, human health and architecture to community gardens, financing and resiliency. Master speakers include recognized architect, author, researcher and educator Edward Mazria, founder of Architecture 2030; Scot Horst, senior vice president of LEED, USGBC; community leader Ron Finley; best-selling author, business executive and lecturer Sheryl WuDunn, the first Asian-American reporter to win a Pulitzer Prize; Joe Van Belleghem, group head of sustainability for Lend Lease; and civil engineer Avery Bang with Bridges to Prosperity.
There are more than 100 education sessions, events, and tours scheduled and more than 700 exhibitors on display. The conference will also feature a performance from iconic rock band Bon Jovi.
Greenbuild 2013 also marks the launch of the newest version of the LEED green building rating system, LEED v4. LEED v4 builds on the fundamentals of earlier versions of LEED and helps prepare LEED projects to perform at a higher level. LEED v4 also provides a suite of new time-saving support tools designed to help streamline the certification process.
“This new version of LEED is a critical step in the evolution of green building,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president of LEED, USGBC. “LEED v4 is focused on performance and entering new markets. We’ve already seen its potential in more than 100 beta projects internationally.”
Greenbuild is a carbon-neutral event, and every year USGBC introduces new goals and programs to ensure that it stays at the cutting edge of sustainability. This is the first time composting will be introduced to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, and there is a goal to increase the waste diversion rate to an impressive 75 percent from 9.5 percent. To encourage the use of recyclable materials, USGBC is eliminating the creation of any vinyl materials for the conference.
Each year USGBC also reaches out to the local community through its Legacy Project to ensure that Greenbuild has a lasting impact on its host city. This year the Greenbuild Legacy Project will support the Smith Memorial Playground and Public Workshop, where students have already begun designing an obstacle course to help children connect to the natural environment.