The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) 11th annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will take place Nov. 14-16 in San Francisco. More than 35,000 attendees from 120 countries visited 2,000 exhibits and participated in more than 150 educational sessions at last year’s event. This year’s event will welcome green-building representatives from all sectors including commercial and residential professionals, architects, building owners, facility operators, students, advocates, educators, and more.

“We are thrilled to bring the energy of Greenbuild to San Francisco, home to some of the world’s leading minds in both sustainability and technology,” said Kimberly Lewis, senior vice president of community advancement, conferences, and events, USGBC. “Greenbuild is the nexus of the sustainability movement where we celebrate collective successes, share our knowledge with one another, and challenge the status quo.”

Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, co-hosts of MSNBC’s weekday morning show, “Morning Joe,” and Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter Inc., will headline the opening plenary celebration, the official Greenbuild kickoff event, Nov. 14.

“Sustainability is everywhere and no longer is it an option for companies and individuals to ignore their footprints,” said Stone. “Collectively, we can make a profound social and environmental impact. I look forward to the ensuing discussion among the innovative crowd at Greenbuild.”

Gail Hampsmire, technical director, Energy HVAC Team, Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), San Francisco, said going green encompasses a holistic vision of a building. “Green philosophies include indoor air quality, energy efficiency, and really the overall impact of the building on the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the ozone, and more,” she said. “It also addresses the site of the building, how that site relates to overall performance, and so much more.”

Hampsmire said HVAC systems play a pivotal role in green building science. “In terms of the energy used by a building, IAQ achievements, and the way the building interacts with the climate and overall performance, HVAC systems are very important. An HVAC system’s performance also has a direct impact on the global environment,” she said. “The HVAC exhibitors attending Greenbuild are leaders in their respective fields, integrating the principles of green design today and the innovations that will define tomorrow.”

The HVACR industry will be prominently represented at the conference through exhibits, breakout sessions, educational courses, and more. “An industry trend I’m sure we’ll see at Greenbuild revolves around retrofitting,” said Hampsmire. “We’ll see a lot of products related to controls retrofits, variable-speed drives, chillers, variable air volume systems, and more. All offer immediate and long-term savings.”

Other trends that will be on display include net-zero philosophies, data center cooling units, combined heat and power systems, hydrogen-powered furnaces, geothermal heat pumps, chilled beams, and more. “Our exhibitors are covering all sorts of new and useful equipment — it’s really all over the map,” said Hampsmire. “Some exhibitors will be showcasing proven technologies that have been around a long time that still carry high interest, and others will bring new, innovative systems and applications. That’s the beauty of Greenbuild.”

Greenbuild has been honored as a four-time recipient of IMEX Green Meetings awards, and a recipient of the MPI Rise award for Organizational Achievement.

Previous keynote speakers have included Thomas Friedman, Cokie Roberts, Ret. Gen. Colin Powell, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Al Gore, President Bill Clinton, and others.

Greenbuild 2012 will feature three days of networking, educational sessions, green building tours, master speakers, and plenary events. The expo hall will be the biggest in Greenbuild’s 11-year history, with three floors and more than 1,000 exhibitors and 2,000 booths.

“Greenbuild is our place. It’s where we decide what the future becomes,” said Scot Horst, senior vice president, LEED. “Because the future that gets created is only created by us.”

Visit, follow @Greenbuild on Twitter and tweet the hashtag #Greenbuild to join the conversation.

Publication date: 11/12/2012