Green Events Attract and Educate Greenophiles

For kitchen and bath design professionals interested in furthering their green education, there are numerous trade shows, conferences and Web-based offerings dedicated to eco-conscious design and remodeling.

While sustainability issues remain a hot seminar topic at all of the major design industry national conventions – from KBIS to the American Institute of Architects' annual convention to ICFF and NeoCon – there are plenty of local events that cover this topic as well.

Following is just a sampling of some of the notable sustainable design, remodeling and building events.

Generation Green

Greenbuild's 2010 edition will take place at Chicago's McCormick Place next month. The event has proven relevant to greenophiles both inside and outside of the building industry; it was recently named Readers' Choice award for Best Green Event in 2009 by the green living and lifestyle site TreeHugger (www.treehugger.com).

Hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Greenbuild's focus this year is "Generation Green," a demographic that the USGBC defines as building industry professionals who are working "to define our economically, environmentally and socially prosperous future."

The event has a comprehensive Web site (www.greenbuildexpo.org) that blends information about the expo, educational tracks, seminars and other events, with a critical social media component.

Regional Green
For those who can't make it to Chicago for Greenbuild, one option is to follow along with major events like the keynote speeches and selected educational sessions from video feeds that the Greenbuild site will offer during the event itself.

Regional events are another option for those who cannot get to Chicago but are interested in learning more about sustainable design. Green design events have sprung up all over the country and are a great way to connect with like-minded design professionals.

  • East Coast Green, which took place this year in Atlantic City, NJ in September, was hosted by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The annual event offers Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) workshops, conference and educational sessions as well as expo space. For more information about next year's event, visit the event site at www.aia-nj.org/ECG.
  • West Coast Green (unaffiliated with East Coast Green) takes place early this month in San Francisco. The event takes a big-picture look at living green and encompasses many industries, from residential building to smart grid technology, to material suppliers for urban farms and other green living materials suppliers. For more information about future events, visit www.westcoastgreen.com/.
  • MiaGreen, dubbed the "green convention of the Americas," will be held March 3-4, 2011 in Miami. Exhibitors will be from across the sustainable business world including the building, construction and remodeling sectors as well as associated clean technology and energy companies. For more info, visit www.miagreen.com.
  • For industry insiders looking for a more global approach, RENEXPO Austria will be held next month from November 25-27. Billing itself as the international trade fair and conference for renewable energy and energy-efficient building and renovation, the conference and trade fair will be held in Salzburg. Conference topics will include building passive homes, improving energy grids and a green jobs congress. For more information, visit www.renexpo-austria.at.

Educational Opportunities

While many organizations build in educational components to the trade fairs they hold, that is by no means the only opportunity to gain access to sustainable education.

For those with limited travel budgets, Web-based educational offerings can provide meaningful learning opportunities about all things green.

In June of 2011, Kitchen & Bath Design News will be hosting the third in its series of Webcasts, entitled "Profiting from the Green Trend: Designing and Selling Sustainability." For more information, visit www.kitchenbathdesign.com

The National Kitchen & Bath Association also offers its convenience learning series. Designed to be accessible on the user's terms, the one-hour webinars cover a variety of topics, including those related to sustainable design.

NKBA also offers a web-based series for topics whose scope expands beyond a one-hour webinar. One of those topics is ‘What Shade of Green Is That?' presented by Deborah Dunning - author, president and CEO of The Green Standard.

Additionally, through its regional and local chapters, NKBA hosts a number of live green-related seminars on the topic, including "Residential Green: Kitchen & Bath Design," a primer for designers looking for an introduction to green concepts and sustainable practices for the kitchen and bath industry.

A list of educational courses can be viewed at www.nkba.org.

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