So I took some time today to go ahead and lock in my sessions for Greenbuild 2010, and thought you might like some guidance on the bewildering array of choices available. Last year I know the popular sessions filled up, and there will be someone at the door scanning your badge so it's not like you can simply stroll in anyway. If you're going, you'd be wise to sign up now! Also, if you haven't seen it yet, you may also want to check out my post on places to stay, as right now all but one of the official conference hotels are completely booked.
You must first register for the conference, and after that you must schedule the sessions you want to attend. Note that you can sign up for workshops and tours as part of your initial registration, so what I'm talking about today are the dozens of 'regular' educational sessions that are included in your registration fee. There's an online schedule guide that you can browse before you sign up, and once you register you use a very similar system to actually lock in your choices. I found it helpful to have this pdf 'at-a-glance' style schedule printed out next to me (I know... I'm terrible, but in my defense I also had to deal with having this post up on the screen and I only printed the three pages I needed) while signing up, as the online scheduler show the GBCI CMP hours.
Credential Maintenance Program (CMP) Hours
There are some 37,000+ of you out there that now must deal with continuing education requirements, and there is a handy pdf guide that explains which sessions are elgible for GBCI credit hours, whether or not they're LEED specific, and what topic category you can apply those hours towards that is organized by date and time. I found this extremely helpful, as I already have submitted credits for many categories and need to fill in a few specific topics only at this point. There's a long overdue post about my experience with this that I'm determined to get to soon, but for now those seeking other sources for credits can look at a post on 95+ Online Sources for FREE CMP Hours. Unsure which credits you need? Log in to the My Credentials section of the GBCI website and click on "Review/Report CMP Activity"... a table will pop up showing what you have earned and what's still required.
Also, I'm not personally very interested in the Residential Summit, which appears to have it's own set of educational sessions all day Thursday. You're on your own for that one as well.
I'm not including obvious things like the Opening and Closing Plenaries... just the stuff where you have to make tough choices. I've also not included off-site sessions or tours, because frankly not being a Chicago resident I can't really say what's worth it or not. I've also found a number of discrepancies and among the various sources of information (e.g. 'SS' sessions that don't appear to be listed anywhere but the online catalog and mislabeled times for some programs), but I suspect most of these amount to last minute changes inherent in any conference. To anyone reading this blog for the first time, please don't take the 'most likely' designations seriously... Regular readers should already know better!
There are a two ways to add sessions, and I've found the easiest is to go to "My Schedule" section and add based on time slots... The "Session Catalog" doesn't even include the Specialty Update sessions in it's lists, and in general is more frustrating to use. The "My Schedule" route has the added benefit of allowing you to add personal meetings.
Red Series: Wednesday 2:00-3:30
- First Choice: RD03 Making the Connection: Linking Building Design to Healthcare Outcomes - In addition to administering LEED projects, my 'real' job focuses on the power of research to inform our design decisions, and evidence informed design has taken root in healthcare more than any other sector. Both speakers hail from the Center For Health Design, whose Pebble Project is arguably the most comprehensive examination of the impact of design on healthcare outcomes worldwide.
- Most Intriguing: RD06 Cell Phones On for this Session Please: Social Media and Tech Tools for Public Involvement and Charrettes - Mostly intriguing because I've recently started contributing to LS3P's social media efforts (twitter, research blog, facebook).
- What My Boss Probably Wants Me To Go To: RD09 Rationalizing Sustainability When Money is Tight... and Isn't It Always? - I can't say how many times I've put together materials justifying the (potential) increased costs for sustainable design and construction practices, and it always seems like the data's a little out of date.
Orange Series: Wednesday 4:00-5:30
- First Choice: SS01 The Building Blocks of Green Neighborhoods: An Interactive LEED-ND Focused Site Planning Exercise - I'm currently in the process of looking at LEED-ND for the first time (see my first take here), and this appears to be a very valuable opportunity to get some practical experience before performing similar routines with clients.
- Most Intriguing: OR10 Mannahatta and the Mtigwaaki: Learning from Ecological and Indigenous History To Remake Our Cities - I once attended an AIA session by Frank Harmon who said that whenever he went to design a project in a new city, the first thing he did was look at building design there before the invention of air conditioning... It only makes sense that the most sustainable facilities could likely learn a lot from those that have no supply of energy or far away materials at all.
- Most Likely To Have Pretty Pictures: OR15 2010 Natural Talent Design Competition: Young Designers Help Rebuild New Orleans - I don't mean to belittle this excellent competition or rip on the quality of the other sessions, but most of those sessions will be fairly technical and at the end of a long day it will be nice to see fresh images and ideas up on the big screen...
Yellow Series: Thursday 8:30-10:00
- First Choice: YL14 Benchmarking & Performance Evaluation LEED Schools (BELS): Research Findings and Design Lessons for the Future - This is an overview of a year long comparative study of 10 LEED and non-LEED schools in Oregon. Based on the description, they appear to be looking at about every metric imaginable, from energy to obesity rates to student performance.
- Most Intriguing: YL09 Beyond The Silver Plateau: Using an Innovative Model to Conquer the Financial Barriers of Deep-Green Projects - This was a very close call for first choice... We've repeatedly run into the certified/silver barrier where economic ROI quickly dwindles after the 'easiest' credits are earned, and I'm very curious to hear any methods to move clients beyond these barriers.
- Most Likely To Foster an Antagonistic Relationship With Your Clients: YL06 Expanding your Reach: Engaging Commercial Building Tenants In Energy Management and Sustainability - We're all well aware that the occupants play a critical roll in making sure all those efficient and highly tuned systems are performing optimally, but it can be difficult to 'educate' them about how their building should run.
Green Series: Thursday 2:00-3:30
- First Choice: GR02 Night at the Energy Modeling Improv: Featuring The Wizard of SD - I'm very interested in this session as it focuses on the use of eQuest in the schematic design phase, a process that I'd like to see used on EVERY project... The scheduler currently has this listed as taking place on Wednesday at 2:00 but it looks like this is a typo?
- Most Intriguing: GR15 The Evolution of a Biomimicry Approach - I've been fortunate to have a former Biomimicry Guild alum move just down the street from me, as it's a topic that I've been fascinated with in general for the past five years. The scheduler also has this listed as taking place at the wrong time (noon)...
- Most Likely To Include Someone Yelling To Prove A Point: GR14 Building Sound Environments: What the Workplace Can Learn From Schools - I think in general acoustics are one of the last things considered in a building's design, if it's considered at all... This is something that needs to change!
Blue Series: Thursday 4:00-5:30
- First Choice: BL02 How to Integrate the OPR, BOD and Commissioning to Optimize Building Performance - The Cx process including the creation of the OPR/BOD documents is the arguably the most important aspect of sustainable design. I'm surprised that this is the first session to directly address Cx in this conference that I can see!
- Most Intriguing: BL15 Tomorrow's Vertical Cities: Sustainable Design in Tall Buildings - Architects will likely fawn over the opportunity to hear Adrian Smith speak post-SOM, and I can't blame them.
- Most Likely To Be Even More Relevant in 2012: BL01 When Green Building Is Code - This session focuses on the implementation of CALgreen, which is a precursor to what is likely much more widely adopted International Green Construction Code (IgCC) from the ICC which is due for final release in early 2012.
Purple Series: Friday 4:00-5:30
- First Choice: PL05 Using the Past to Teach the Future: Post-Occupancy Studies from Two Affordable Multifamily LEED for Homes Platinum Projects - I'm a big fan of POEs, and am proud that our firm is about to embark on a set of them in the near future to build on a few we've done in the past. The difference is that this time I'm involved in the design and administration of those POEs, so this session will hopefully offer some helpful advice.
- Most Intriguing: PL09 Effect of LEED Ratings and Levels on Office Property Assessed and Market Values - Perhaps 'intriguing' is a bit of a stretch, but I'd love to have whatever data they've found at my fingertips when I leave Chicago.
- Most Likely to Terrify Design Professionals: PL01 Outcome-Based Energy Codes as a Foundation for Market Transformation for Building Energy Performance- The major criticism of LEED has been that it's based on energy models and not actual performance. This session appears to propose that we go a step further and have codes based on energy performance instead of designs...
For the True LEED Nerd: Specialty Updates
There are a series of USGBC developed 'specialty update' sessions that happen during or just after lunch each day that cover topics like "CMP Roundtable" and "Introducing the LEED Volume Program" that really will only be interesting to people who find this blog interesting. I'm not going to go through my picks, as you can easily see for yourself what's available.