Greenbuild 2009 rocks

Annual building expo boasts big names: Al Gore and Sheryl Crow

Al Gore is keynote speaker at Greenbuild 2009

Al Gore is keynote speaker at Greenbuild 2009

Sustainable Space columnists Lori Brown and Greg Kallio are professors in the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Construction Management at Chico State University.

VP opportunity
Is seeing Al Gore in person on your wish list? If so, you are in luck. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced last week that the opening keynote speaker for its annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will be the honorable former vice president. This event is held in a different location each year and is known as the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.

If designing, building, living and working in green buildings is important to you or your business, this is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up. Fortunately for the West, the conference is being held Nov. 11-13 in Phoenix, making attending it possible without the dreaded layover.

More on Gore …
Our former vice president is a Nobel laureate, best-selling author, and the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary. Along with four terms in Congress, two terms in the Senate, and two terms as vice president, Gore has written the bestsellers Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth and the just-released Our Choice.

His résumé doesn’t stop there, either. Gore is currently a visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University and chairs the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit organization designed to help solve the climate crisis. Another exciting announcement from USGBC is that environmental advocate and nine-time Grammy Award-winner Sheryl Crow will help open the event. Of course, Sheryl Crow is a fox. Hearing her sing in person is pretty much always on my wish list.

Sheryl Crow is helping open Greenbuild

Everything green
There’s much more at Greenbuild 2009 than celebrities who promote saving our planet. The conference offers many different things for attendees to do: educational opportunities with more than 100 workshops, including many sessions on LEED topics such as the new LEED-rating systems; master speakers, such as the president of Starbucks; green-building tours; and social events. The biggest draw, besides Ms. Crow, will be the chance to walk through the world’s largest expo hall devoted to green building.

More than 1,800 exhibitors will be showcasing green-building products, technologies and services throughout the length of the entire conference. This is an unbelievable chance to see the latest in green products, talk to the reps, and of course fill your green canvas SWAG (stuff we all get) bag. Another interesting part of the conference is the Greenbuild 2009 Residential Summit, which focuses on greening the home-building industry.

Sign up, already!
Educational sessions on building affordable green homes and workshops on the latest LEED for Homes 2009 rating system are being offered. Early registration for Greenbuild 2009 ends Sept. 15; the price increases after that date. If attending this event is of interest to you or your company, this would be a great time to join the USGBC. Member prices for attending the conference are lower than for nonmembers and supporting the USGBC is tax-deductible. Joining the organization is easy; simply access the Web site at and follow the membership link. Conference information can be found at See you soon at Greenbuild 2009!