I decided not to blog or tweet the conference, but rather to try to really listen to what my green industry fellow travellers were saying. So here is what I heard, in reverse order of importance:
10. Green is becoming mainstream. There were lots of green products providers, but the exhibit hall was primarily filled with the usual suspects in the building industry--Turner, Kohler, skanska, etc.
9. Data is becoming available. A lot of the exhibitors brought nice compilations of data on green building stock. The General Services Agency was giving away flash drives with new data on its large stock of LEED building, for example. The quntification of performance on green buildings should benefit the business case.
8. Fireman's Fund is leading the pack of insurers with green products for building green or insuring green replacement in the event of loss. They are also considering creating a risk product for designers of green buildings.
7. NAHB is going after LEED-H in a big way. A new, more robust NAHB green standard for residential should be out shortly which will give LEED-H a run for its money.
6. Green building policy was well covered, but carbon policy got short shrift. The one session dealing with carbon policy at the state and federal level was cancelled, with no explanation.
5. Enacting green building policies in major municipalities requires LEED APs in relevant municipal agencies to act as agents of change.
4. There was remarkably little concern over the economy's effect on getting buildings built, which seemed strange at a conference for the building industry.
3. The economy tanking may be the push needed to implement basic green changes like energy efficiency and conservation. The next big green thing is likely to be blown insulation, not photovoltaics. [Green Decoder has a nice article on green winterization for a head start]
2. Legal issues, especially risk and liability associated with building green, were little discussed. Where legal issues were highlighted, like a seminar on green leasing, the practioners did not appear to have deep understanding of the green legal issues [Caveat--there was a paid additional seminar on green leasing today that I could not attend--did anyone go and want to comment?].
1. There are no bars open after 2 am in Boston.
I will post more on each of these issues over the coming weeks, and I would welcome other greenbuild attendees to submit their thoughts on greenbuild.