Greenbuild Report 2009
by Brian Libby
"Almost 40 percent of the global warming pollution in our country comes from old, inefficient, leaky buildings that don't have to be that way."
So said former Vice President Al Gore as he opened Greenbuild 2009.
Held by the U.S. Green Building Council in Phoenix in November, this year's conference focused on the theme "Main Street Green: Connect to the Conversation." Stepping outside the doors of the Phoenix Convention Center, the opening event was held at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team. It felt as much like a rock concert as it did a gathering of sustainable design and construction professionals.
In his address, Gore suggested investing in "green" infrastructure to protect the climate while stimulating the U.S. economy. "I know where we can get at least 2.5 million good new jobs," he said. "By building green buildings and retrofitting buildings up to the LEED standard here in the United States, and by building the windmills and the solar panel and the super grids... It's time to shift to a new kind of energy infrastructure, where we can depend on resources that are right here in America: solar, wind, and geothermal, but especially energy efficiency."
Soon after Gore's speech concluded, the evening really did become a rock concert, as musician Sheryl Crow took the stage to finish Greenbuild's opening evening in song.
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