Credit: Flickr/J. Stephen Conn


When people asked Greensburg, Kan.–mayor Bob Dixson why his small community would rebuild in an area susceptible to natural disasters, his answer was simple: “It’s home.” His love for his town and his neighbors embody the social capital required to building and sustaining resilient communities, argued Dixson and his co-panelists on "The Rush to Resilience: Building Greener and Stronger Communities in the Face of a Changing Climate." The early-morning session was an inspiring and eye-opening way to kick off the first official day of Greenbuild.

The Rush to Resilience panelists urged the audience to become "owners," not "renters" in their communities. To convince business and political leaders to prepare for resiliency pre-disaster, they recommended presenting it as a business case: Resilient communities attract residents, which in turn attract businesses and investment, and so on. From left to right: Jon Powers, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Maj. Gen. Warren Edwards, Community and Regional Research Institute; Mayor Bob Dixson, Greensburg, Kan.; moderator Jay Carson, C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

The Rush to Resilience panelists urged the audience to become "owners," not "renters" in their communities. To convince business and political leaders to prepare for resiliency pre-disaster, they recommended presenting it as a business case: Resilient communities attract residents, which in turn attract businesses and investment, and so on. From left to right: Jon Powers, White House Council on Environmental Quality; Maj. Gen. Warren Edwards, Community and Regional Research Institute; Mayor Bob Dixson, Greensburg, Kan.; moderator Jay Carson, C-40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

Credit: Wanda Lau

 

Along with resiliency, material transparency and information exchange continue to be strong themes in this year’s show. Ed Mazria, Architecture 2030 founder and CEO, publicly launched the 2030 Palette, a free, online resource for showcasing sustainable design principles and case studies. U.S. Green Building Council senior vice president of LEED Scot Horst debuted the LEED Dynamic Plaque. To reflect the ever-changing conditions of buildings, and in particularly those that have earned LEED certification, the plaque is an electronic display of ongoing performance in five sustainability metrics: human experience, transportation, waste, water, and energy. Presented as a numerical score, the display allows owners to compare their building’s performance with that of peer buildings, and to gauge their building’s past or projected performance with its actual operation.

A walk on Greenbuild’s Expo floor revealed a number of products that demonstrate manufacturing innovation. Sustainability has come a long way from the days when a modicum of recycled content meant products could be touted as green.

The only thing more captivating than tall-timber-structures proponent and designer Nabih Tahan, AIA, Cree Buildings, is his custom bowtie, fashioned from wood scraps.

The only thing more captivating than tall-timber-structures proponent and designer Nabih Tahan, AIA, Cree Buildings, is his custom bowtie, fashioned from wood scraps.

Credit: Wanda Lau

 

For clients who want the look and durability of tropical hardwood without its conventionally heavy carbon footprint, Norway-based company Kebony infuses softwood with a biowaste from corn. The result is a product that started as softwood but looks and behaves like its resource-intensive counterpart.

For clients who want the look and durability of tropical hardwood without its conventionally heavy carbon footprint, Norway-based company Kebony infuses softwood with a biowaste from corn. The result is a product that started as softwood but looks and behaves like its resource-intensive counterpart.

Credit: Wanda Lau


Sage Electrochromics attracted a lot of attention from the Greenbuild attendees with SageGlass Simplicity, the first electrochromic glazing product that runs on solar power. Because the self-contained units no longer require wiring to a power source, they may ease the process of installing electrochromic glass on existing buildings.

Sage Electrochromics attracted a lot of attention from the Greenbuild attendees with SageGlass Simplicity, the first electrochromic glazing product that runs on solar power. Because the self-contained units no longer require wiring to a power source, they may ease the process of installing electrochromic glass on existing buildings.

Credit: Wanda Lau


Eco Supply Center, based in Richmond, Va., displays several products it distributes, including a particle board made from soy straw

Eco Supply Center, based in Richmond, Va., displays several products it distributes, including a particle board made from soy straw

Credit: Wanda Lau


Sustainability is valued at the German company ThyssenKrupp, which counts elevators among its divisions. The international company mandates all products to have life cycle assessements. Shown is IWalk moving walk, which can be pitless or installed with a compact, 15-inch-tall pit, making feasible its installation in airports and facilities with little infrastructure space.

Sustainability is valued at the German company ThyssenKrupp, which counts elevators among its divisions. The international company mandates all products to have life cycle assessements. Shown is IWalk moving walk, which can be pitless or installed with a compact, 15-inch-tall pit, making feasible its installation in airports and facilities with little infrastructure space.

Credit: Wanda Lau


Signs and banners of transparency and third-party verification were displayed proudly by several manufacturers.

Signs and banners of transparency and third-party verification were displayed proudly by several manufacturers.

Credit: Wanda Lau


Cards and pins celebrating a movement toward material transparency were seen at Forbo Flooring Systems and Teknion.

Cards and pins celebrating a movement toward material transparency were seen at Forbo Flooring Systems and Teknion.

Credit: Wanda Lau


Credit: Wanda Lau


Image used with permission courtesy a Creative Commons license with Flickr user J. StephenConn.

Editor's note: Our parent company Hanley Wood recently entered into a strategic partnership with USGBC regarding the management of the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. For more information on that relationship, click here.