The following post is by DJC staff:
The Mechanical Contractors Association of Western Washington held its inaugural Mechanical Innovation conference in Seattle last week, with a speech by Denis Hayes of the Bullitt Foundation about his group’s net-zero headquarters under construction on Capitol Hill.
Hayes spoke about the worldwide market for net-zero buildings using his project as an example.
The members of MCA are union plumbing, piping and HVAC contractors.
About 300 people attended the conference, which included sessions about embracing change, innovation and technology. The tech talk was by David Burczyk of Trimble Navigation, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm that provides advanced positioning systems that are used in a variety of fields including surveying and construction.
There was also a panel discussion about sustainable built environments and the participants are shown here: Yancy Wright (Sellen Sustainability), Craig Norsen (The Seneca Group), Robert Willis (PSF Mechanical), Ted Sturdevant (Washington State Department of Ecology), Steve Doub (Miller-Hull Partnership) and moderator Robert Tucker.
Tucker introduced and questioned the panelists about sustainable buildings. They talked about how and why to get involved, as well as the challenges and benefits of such types of projects.
Tucker also delivered the keynote address: “Innovation is Everybody’s Business.”
The breakout sessions included a leadership talk about "Unlocking Your Innovative Smarts" by Bill Stainton, who shared tools and techniques to help people think more creatively in problem-solving, embracing change and unleashing innovation. A technical session presented by Norman Strong of the Miller-Hull Partnership gave a glimpse into the direction of the AEC industry through the eyes of an architect.
In case you, dear reader, doubt big time American business is interested in the business opportunities of green, look no further to be convinced than the attendance list at a business-oriented event this week.
Amazon. Boeing. Battelle. Microsoft. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Expedia. Seattle City Light. The list read like a who's-who in Northwest business.
The event was presented by Climate Solutions and McKinsey & Co. It presented a global view of business opportunities, and discussed cost effective strategies for Washington's place in the market. A panel of leaders talked afterwards about where Washington is.
All the panelists were interesting. But after the event was done, attendees spent most of their time twittering about the perspective of Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist at Microsoft. It is, after all, Microsoft.
Bernard was appointed to the role last winter. To read more about him (apparently he began his career in construction and building management), visit 'A blog by Joev' here.
So how does Microsoft see the world and its role in sustainability?