I'm mid-way through my second of three days at GreenBuild and something is different this year.
For the most part this conference just seems.... on. First, let me tell you that this is my third GreenBuild I went to GreenBuild 07 in Chicago, GreenBuild 08 in Boston and had guest posts on the blog at GreenBuild Phoenix last year. To read posts from each experience, click the 'greenbuild' tag below.
Personally, of the three, I think this is the best year yet. All the problems I had with my first Chicago GreenBuild experience: insanely long lines for the keynote speaker, no clear way to compost food or recycle name tags, a tiny nonfunctional press room, teaching sessions focused on the lowest common denominator, almost rampant waste with giant programs and a general disorganization - are gone.
In its place three years later is a well organized, smoothly run conference. Sessions are easy to get into and focused on pertinent topics. People I've spoken with so far agree that this year, everyone seems to have a deeper level of green building knowledge. The press room is large with easily accessible outlets. Compost and recycling is clearly marked and encouraged. There's also signs all around this exhibit hall stating that the carpet is going to be recycled or that giving out fliers is strictly prohibited without USGBC permission. The USGBC also worked with food suppliers at the conference to make sure everything was organic.
There are also many more of my favorite kind of session: off site visits that demonstrate the unique aspects of the city you're in.
There's been changes in the exhibit hall. Rather than the standard conference practice of having every exhibitor give out literature that is often thrown directly in the garbage, the USGBC has instituted a program to curb that waste. More about this later.
That's not to say that everything is perfect. But overall, I'm pretty impressed and looking forward to the rest of today and tomorrow.