November 26, 2013, by DuWayne Baird

My Greenbuild 2013 Experience

Back in September I was chosen to be one of the fortunate group of people to be selected for the Greenbuild 2013 Scholarship, granted by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).  This scholarship allowed winners to travel and attend the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, held in Philadelphia, PA last week. For a variety of reasons, it was truly an amazing and inspirational experience.

The other scholarship winners were an extraordinary group of people, diverse in every possible way, but sharing the ambition of positively impacting the world.  They came from all over the world to learn and to build relationships that will become catalysts for the change they want to see in the world around them.  They work in non-profits, higher education, faith-based organizations, and represent disciplines like architecture and construction management to name a few.  Certainly one of the highlights of my Greenbuild experience was interacting with them.

Top-notch marketing was another remarkable aspect of Greenbuild.  Attendees had the opportunity to mingle with the individuals behind USGBC and LEED at the national and international level.  One of my involvements in Columbus is the USGBC Emerging Professionals committee, where we work to bridge the gap between college and professional life for those interested in sustainable design and construction.  At Greenbuild I was able to make connections that will strengthen the ties between regional and national levels.  These ties will help our ongoing collective efforts to establish a USGBC student chapter at Ohio State.  Another networking opportunity I had that was very successful was meeting the LEED reviewers.  USGBC made a point of providing insight into how the LEED review process works, their internal goals and challenges, and how they are continuously working to improve the process.  LEED project team members were even able to schedule an appointment to meet with reviewers face-to-face and discuss issues or answer questions relating to the documentation of credit compliance.  I only wish I had known that ahead of time!

Many of us working with the Green Schools Compendium and other related green schools research had the chance to share and discuss results with interested parties and make connections to further project goals.  The latest round of the Green Schools Compendium sought to explore how LEED might be affecting educational buildings in Ohio schools.  The Greenbuild Community Lounge provided space for the researchers to set up an infographic displaying the outcomes of their statistical analysis.  Where my research project was concerned, I was able to reach out to several individuals to peer review my findings and even more who couldn’t wait to read them.  These research projects have been a passion project for many of us within the Central Ohio chapter and I have no doubt Greenbuild 2013 will elevate our collective efforts at SHP Leading Design to the next level.

For more on DuWayne and his involvement in Greenbuild and other aspects of his emerging career, visit his blog here.