Well folks, Greenbuild is officially underway, as the opening plenary just wrapped up in McCormick Place! Not having been to Chicago since I was quite young, I'm already enamored with this city and can't wait to explore it over the course of this week.
No photography inside the plenary, so enjoy a view of Lake Michigan instead!
The Opening Plenary
Right off the bat R. Fed led off with some impressive stats. I'm sure many of you have seen the headlines about LEED certified space crossing the 1,000,000,000 sf mark, but what I consider more impressive is the announcement that the GBCI is certifying 1,000,000 sf a DAY, meaning that it will take less than three years to get the next billion. It's an amazing growth curve that we all should be proud of.
After that, Colin Powell told the story of the LEED Platinum General Colin Powell Apartments recently built in the South Bronx, and then moved on to his investments in the company that created the Bloom Box, a fuel cell that's received a great deal of attention and has the potential to decentralize power production across the world. He then launched into what I suspect is his more traditional keynote speech, which only loosely related to sustainable design and construction. It was a great talk, but I'm not going to go into great detail.
I was about to walk out to head o the expo hall when they announced that Mary Matalin and James Carville were introduced, and of course I couldn't pass on the opportunity to hear the Ragin' Cajun* in person. Unfortunately their discussion on the current state of politics only confirmed that neither party really has any solid vision for the future, though Carville's trademark humor and perspective were interesting all the same.
Overall it was a fairly tame opening, but as my only frame of reference was the giant party of last year's opening in Phoenix it's probably not a fair comparison. As I write this from the Spertus Institute waiting for the Executive Leadership luncheon to begin, and am looking forward to the LEED Automation session taking place this afternoon... I suspect that is likely to have the biggest impact on your day to day work in the coming years, and will be sure to cover that in depth soon after it closes.
*If you haven't seen Bill Hader do his Carville impression on SNL you must click on that link! For those more politically inclined don't write me off as a buffoon just yet, I've been a Carville fan and follower ever since I watched excellent documentary The War Room nearly a decade ago...