Greenbuild International Expo and Conference Celebrates 15 Years with Sustainable Showfloor

October 20, 2016

Greenbuild International Expo and Conference was held Oct. 5-7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center and brought in more than 18,000 attendees and 530-plus exhibitors for its 15th year to a showfloor of approximately 139,000 square feet of exhibit space.  

Both attendees and exhibitors alike were focused on all things green at the show.

“There was such a need for a show like this when it was formed, and grew in 2007 to one of the largest 200 trade shows in the US,” said Lindsay Roberts, group director at Informa Exhibitions, which runs the show. “The show appeals to a deeper cause, and to like-minded people who live and breathe the idea and execution of a sustainable and green environment.”

To say this show is about just building in a sustainable way would be an understatement.  The show looks at every aspect of green living and applies those principals to all aspects of the show itself.

This affects many areas of the show, including sustainable choices for food, recyclable maps and badges and proper waste management. 

What is more, the conference has developed an impressive volunteer program, providing a full conference pass to those individuals who are either in school full-time or between 18 and 25 years old.

“Volunteering for the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo is a cost-effective and exciting way for young people interested in the sustainability field to be exposed to educational sessions, programing, network opportunities and exhibitors contributing to the green building movement,” said Rachel Gilbert, media and communications Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council.

She added, “Volunteers are able to partake in exciting educational opportunities about the latest trends and developments in the green building movement, as well as network with leaders in the sustainability field.”

The focus on eco-friendly details was on display in the Net Zero Zone, a new area for the Greenbuild conference.  This area was the world’s first show space powered outside the convention center electrical grid.

“We wanted to first showcase how a micro-grid and appropriate technology can be implemented, not only in a small-scale environment, but also in a large scale commercial application. Second, because we create a DC-based system, we are able to demonstrate multiple types on renewable energy on the same busway. This allows us to demonstrate a ‘community system’ of power, using a variety of sources from solar, wind, fuel cell and even utility power. Third, we took a portion of Greenbuild off the grid, and from a sustainability standpoint, this was very important for the show,” shared Eric Peterson, director, Greenbuild International Conference & Expo.

He added, “Because we are creating a temporary power source (micro-grid) inside a convention center, the biggest challenge was just organizing the various pieces of equipment that are utilized in a working demonstration on a small scale.  When we began planning for this, our biggest worry was that we would run into technical problems and possible reluctance from the convention center and their electrical teams but that has been one of the best surprises. The convention center staff gets very excited to work with us and has been what has allowed us to grow each year.”

Another area that has increased during the last two years in the show is a focus on health and wellness.  This certainly relates to the environment, when considering natural light and ventilation impacting the overall design of a home or office building. 

LEED-certified buildings have been shown to help increase production and reduce sick days, according to Roberts.

This focus on holistic living and dwelling was showcased in the Greenbuild KB Home ProjeKt, showing the future of high-performance design. This home, built right on the exhibit floor, included energy efficient appliances, incorporation of the outdoors as part of the home footprint, and using materials that are environmentally conscious.

 “We are working with a very diverse audience at this show, with 30 different demographics. And having a horizontal show can prove very challenging, but it also is one of the best assets of the show,” Roberts said. “Such different backgrounds in our attendee base provide a great conversation exchange, especially with there being a common focus on the environment and sustainability.”

Greenbuild International Expo and Conference 2017 will take place Nov. 8-10, 2017, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.

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