2011 Greenbuild - Checking in from Toronto

Day 1

Day 1


Wednesday’s highlights included the opening of the Exhibition Halls. It seems as though every company imaginable that is involved in the design, building and construction industries has some sort of display. DiRTT, Centria, and Richlite’s stand out, as well as the number of engineered and composite wood products. Also, standing out is the sheer number of people, businesses and organization participating in this 2011 Greenbuild. Downtown Toronto is teeming with Greenbuild participants with their badges and bright green tote bags.

The Living Building Challenge was the subject of a particularly interesting and insightful Education Session in the afternoon. The session assessed and looked at a few LBC projects a year after their occupancy. The panel and their discussion of the process offered some interesting insights into the value of stressing actual performance versus prediction, and the importance of building flexibility into the whole process. There appeared to be quite a bit of trial-and-error in the design and construction after users moved in and real operational data was obtained. This is an interesting and potentially significant paradigm shift in project delivery and the building process.

At the evening’s Plenary Session, Thomas Friedman, NY Times columnist, delivered a rousing keynote speech. Friedman gave a history of how we’ve gotten to our current geopolitical, economic and ecological place – starting in 1979, which had a number of pivotal events. He showed how economic attitudes and trends have paralleled and impacted our outlook and attitudes on resource consumption and sustainability.  He finished by making the case that if we are to get ourselves out of our current economic and environmental condition, we’ll need to create a counter, virtuous loop of sustainable innovation and changes in patterns of consumption.

Posted by Anthony Harris