Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Green I Am

Green I am. It’s hard not to be here at the GreenBuildConference in Phoenix, AZ. With over 25,000 people and counting it is obvious that the “green movement” is now mainstream. Yesterday I learned a lot about the history of the US Green Building Council which has no federal agency connection despite its name. USGBC started back in the early 90’s and is particularly known for its LEED program (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design). While the LEED designation is targeted to buildings, there are basically 6 elements that make up LEED. That’s where HVAC/R can participate. Our equipment can lend credibility to the point system used to designate LEED structures esp. in the areas of energy, water efficiency and indoor environmental quality. Yesterday’s speaker, an architect, is working with a hospital in CA to recapture 75% of the condensate from its HVAC systems cooling towers and using it for irrigation. There is definitely a role for our industry but I heard the word “collaboration” as the marching cry yesterday. Building design and development has always been a joint effort of architects, engineers, equipment providers and operations people. The new effort of “green collaboration” is meant to bring in all these people at the beginning of the process in a true collaborative approach before any foundation is even poured.

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