Date: 4 December 2019
Sustainability and architecture leaders from across the globe descended onto Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from Nov. 19 – 22 for the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo.
The event’s 2019 theme – A New Living Standard – connected buildings to the health & well-being of the people who inhabit them, beginning with a moderated discussion with President Barack Obama as the Wednesday keynote. The theme was then reflected throughout the week with additional daily keynote addresses, delivered by visionary leaders including Jeanne Gang, architect; Dr. Bernice King, renowned civil rights and peace advocate; Jaime Margolin, teen climate change activist; and Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a leading international expert in weather and climate, among other speakers. Key themes and learnings from the event were affordable housing, reaching net zero, the business case for sustainability, and building performance.
“The sustainability industry is continuing its revolution and transformation, and Greenbuild is serving as a driver of innovation that’s taking place,” said Sherida Sessa, Greenbuild brand director. “Greenbuild is a crucial venue for the learning, interaction, and technology which will lead to greater efficiencies, a safer environment, and a healthier future. We are grateful to the community for their dedication to creating a new living standard for us all.”
Greenbuild took place in the LEED Gold Georgia World Congress Center, and host city of Atlanta recently became the 100th city or community to earn LEED certification. Atlanta is also the headquarters of the event’s Title Sponsor, Home Depot.
“The excitement and passion we saw from this year’s attendees is proof that the green building community is committed to using sustainable design, construction, and operations to working toward a better living standard for every person,” said Kim Heavner, vice president of Conference & Events, USGBC. “Greenbuild remains a powerful platform for showing how our buildings, cities, and communities impact people and the environment. This was a remarkable conference and we thank all the attendees, sponsors and volunteers for making it such as memorable experience.”
With more than 200 educational sessions available, attendees had the opportunity to earn up enough GBCI CE hours to fulfill LEED, SITES, WELL, and AIA professional credential maintenance. The conference’s robust programming throughout the week featured several key events, such as:
- Tuesday Keynote, featuring Dr. Bernice King, renowned civil rights and peace advocate
- Tuesday Speaker Spotlight, featuring Jasmine Crowe, entrepreneur and creator of Goodr, a tech-enabled sustainable food waste management company
- New in 2019: the Resilience Summit, which explored elevating equity and creating a sustainable future for all.
- New in 2019: the Global Health and Wellness Summit, which looked at how to commit to green, healthy buildings.
- New in 2019: the Corporate Sustainability Forum, featuring panelists from Fortune 500 companies, speaking on the sustainability wins of their brands.
- Wednesday Keynote: “A Conversation with President Barack Obama,” where he challenged the audience to make affordability part of the sustainability dialogue
- Thursday Speaker Spotlight, featuring Peter Sorckoff; strategist.
- Greenbuild Celebration, held at the LEED Platinum Mercedes-Benz Stadium, headlined by multi-platinum, Georgia-based rockers Collective Soul.
- Friday Keynote, featuring Jaime Margolin, teen climate change activist; Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a leading international expert in weather and climate; and Stephen Leahy, renowned biosphere journalist.
- Women in Green Power Luncheon, tackling the concept of ‘A Culture of Courage’
- 20 Green Building Tours of sustainable buildings and neighborhoods located in and around the Atlanta area.
The expo hall showcased the leading products and services available to professionals within the sustainable building industry and had several notable areas, including:
- 300+ exhibitors and brands showcasing the latest sustainability solutions, while supporting the movement by adhering to Greenbuild’s d Mandatory Exhibitor Greening Guidelines
- Interactive, content-specific Applied Learning Areas which featured extended Q&A from sessions in the education program, exhibitor-led lunch & learns and whitepaper discussions
- Education Labs with CE accredited education on the show floor
- A Mindful Materials Pavilion featuring companies promoting material transparency in their products
- New in 2019: two Happy Hours to increase the networking and engagement opportunities between attendees and exhibitors
- A sustainable tiny home
- A fully functioning microgrid, powered by Greenbuild installed solar panels, which were used to power a portion of the expo hall floor ‘off the grid’
Photos and videos from the event can be viewed here. Greenbuild 2020 is scheduled for Nov. 3 – 6 in San Diego.