The Latest with LEED: GreenBuild Phoenix Roundup

Thu, 2009-11-26 14:47
Greenbuild USGBC LEED Conference

Last week I attended GreenBuild 2009 in Phoenix, AZ. After last year in Boston, I have to say that I thought Phoenix was a better venue, if for nothing else than that the weather was warmer (It certainly wasn’t because they have mass transit available, unless you consider the taxi a form of mass transit). 

My plane arrived early on Wednesday, so instead of going to my hotel and calling it a night, I took a taxi straight to the convention center. Inside of five minutes, I was drinking some local organic beer while watching Al Gore speak from one of the luxury boxes surrounding Chase field (thanks to Greg, Leisha, and Ernst & Young for their hospitality). I’ve never thought Al Gore was a good public speaker, but he’s come a long way since his days as Vice President. For me, the best part was when he said something to the effect of “I don’t even care if you don’t believe in global warming. If you are an American, you should be concerned about the fact that we buy oil from countries that don’t wish us well.” I didn’t really expect to hear that argument coming from Mr. Global Warming, but I’m not complaining. Maybe he heard Everblue on NPR’s The Story with Dick Gordon the day before and was just parroting what we said.
On Thursday, I walked the floor for a while and spoke with some of our customers and even ran into former students. That day, I also attended a briefing for USGBC Education Providers and spent time with some of their folks. Since we talk to the USGBC on the phone all the times, it was nice to spend some face to face time. During that same briefing I learned that the USGBC is going to be expanding the size of its course catalog considerably in 2010 and beyond to keep up with the credential maintenance requirements that GBCI has set for LEED APs going forward.  
The highlight of the trip for me was dinner Thursday night at a place called Brinkley’s. In addition to good food, I met some very interesting people including Les Lo Baugh who wrote the Endangered Species Act. Friday, I attended a great class on ventilation strategies put on by the Home Ventilating Institute. I think it’s worth mentioning how good the class was because I generally have low expectations after sitting through so many iffy courses over the years. It was the rare combination of technically rigorous, useful, and well taught (something I think Everblue does pretty good as well).
As a final random coincidence, I sat next to Thomas Kelly who runs Carrier Corporation’s LEED training program on my red-eye flight back home. No surprise that someone flying out of Phoenix Friday night would be coming from GreenBuild, but still pretty cool nonetheless. Things will probably be a little colder next year in Chicago. That means global warming is a hoax, right? Chris Boggiano, LEED® AP