Philadelphia – GreenBuild 2013 – A Student’s Perspective

I had the pleasure of attending the week long Greenbuild event through the city of Philadelphia. As a volunteer for Greenbuild, I was able to communicate with individuals from all over the world ranging from students to professors, to professionals, politicians and non-profits. If I am to summarize what I have heard and what I have learn that would be that, “Green is here to stay”.

Last night, the keynote speaker, Hillary Clinton sparked the crowd on the re-occuring theme of the week on the importance of health and transparency in green design. Many people may wonder why Hillary? How is she related to green infrastructures. Well just for background, She is a long time sponsor of the expo and a member of the Green Building Council. During her time as First Lady, she “green” the White House to the standards that still stands today. As Secretary of State, she is also the one to initiated the requirement of LEED certification for embassies and consulates globally.

LEED version 4 was also announced yesterday. The latest version of the LEED green building certification requirement and guideline brought the certification to another level. The main change to LEED is the additional focus on materials and resources. V4 also shows the latest attempt by LEED to bring about a comprehensive certification process by looking at the life cycle impact not only on the materials, but also on human health and environmental health. During the Q&A for the session, many question the current structuring of the V4 on materials and resources and many voice their opinions and opinions on potential changes. (link to the video)

Personally, I believe that although incomplete, V4 is just a stepping stone to what is to come within the next 6 to 12 months. I believe that V4.1 and 4.2 will take into consideration all that is voiced not only during the Q&A but also on the web and thru social media.

Finally, I will have the pleasure of attending a trip to the Philly Eagle’s stadium to see how the greening of sports and all that is sports is taking place in Philly. For those who watch football on Sundays when the Eagles took on the Redskins, how many viewers actually realized that the field that the players played on and the spectators sat in is an innovative green structure in the sports field. I will report on my trip on Saturday afternoon.




About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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