_DSC0915Los Angeles – sunshine, movie stars, and most important, GREENBUILD.  Here’s your chance to enjoy everything Greenbuild for FREE!

Do you see a career in sustainability in your future? As the largest conference and expo in sustainable building and design, Greenbuild can provide a pathway into the right direction.

If you’re a minimum of 18 years of age and a full time student OR a young professional age 25 and under, you can volunteer at Greenbuild and receive a FREE three-day pass to all areas of education. Eight hours of volunteer service is required but these can be performed non-consecutively, and participants are allowed to attend education sessions before all of their volunteer hours are completed. Volunteers are accepted on a rolling, first come, and first serve basis. For more information please visit the Greenbuild Volunteer Page. *

Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and sign up for your volunteer shifts now. But register soon – 8 shifts have already filled. Claim your spot today!

To learn more about Greenbuild scholarship opportunities visit our scholarship webpage. Scholarship submissions end August 31.

*A fall 2016 schedule and/or a photo ID is required to confirm eligibility upon check-in

Dhruv Raina Leader, Corporate Sustainability at Owens Corning

Dhruv Raina
Leader, Corporate Sustainability at Owens Corning

The opposite of footprints are handprints — the positive impacts people and organizations can make in the world. What gets included in your footprint are the impacts of all activities linked to your actions by buying and selling, producing and consuming. Handprinting pays attention to the influence of purchases too; and then it expands our view to capture other ways that we exert influence on the world, such as sharing innovations, inspiring action, and creating sustainability benefits anywhere on earth. In this way, handprinting opens up a wider set of pathways for positive influence, and also enables us to pursue the creation of buildings, products, communities and lives which are NetPositive – which do more good than harm. In Session D01 Handprinting: Making Buildings, Products & Lives NetPositive, it will first clearly explain handprinting, and how it is being actively applied now in three building-related companies.  We will then invite and empower all participants to start using a free and open source web platform to share new handprinting action ideas with the world, and to pitch in on open, transparent assessment of those action’s impacts. We asked session speaker Dhruv Raina to tell us more about this session.

GB: What makes you an expert in this area?

DR: I’m an LCA Practitioner with years of experience in Corporate Sustainability & lead the Net Positive Project for Owens Corning, developing methodology for how the guidance will look like in the future.

GB: Why is the topic of your session important?

DR:  As businesses look beyond footprint reductions this can help them transcend to the next level.

GB:  Why should Greenbuild attendees attend YOUR session specifically?

DR: We will Identify and evaluate opportunities to shrink their organization’s or building’s footprint and increase its handprint.  Share handprint action ideas with the world, and review action ideas relevant to them that were shared by others.

GB: What’s the most interesting experience you’ve had in the green building/sustainability world?

DR: Influencing folks across businesses and borders to take action!

Jackie Henke Energy & Sustainability Innovations Director, TD Bank

Jackie Henke
Energy & Sustainability Innovations Director, TD Bank

According to Jackie Henke, Greenbuild Program Working Group member “The overtone of climate change is inherently negative – this session feels like it will be focused on climate change using a positive frame of reference, which we all can benefit from. I love the concept of “handprints” being the positive impacts people can make on the world.  This session is looking at our ability to make change through our individual supply chains (i.e. the purchases we make everyday) and also how we engage with each other through sharing innovation and insights.”

Additional presenters include:

Jeffrey Zeman

Principal Environmental Engineer at Kohler Co.

Jane Abernethy

Sustainability Officer at Humanscale Corporation

Gregory Norris

Executive Director at New Earth


By Jed Donaldson

LA River Cleanup 2With Greenbuild 2016 just a few months away, it seemed appropriate that the Greenbuild 2016 Greening Committee would give back to the iconic host city by pitching in to help clean up the Los Angeles River.

In 2009, the Frogtown Artwalk had a screening of the film “Rock the Boat;” in which an environmentalist kayaks down the Los Angeles River to protest the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designation of the river as an un-navigable waterway. The fallout of the film was a paradoxical change in the attitudes towards the river.  In July 2010, the EPA declared the concrete-lined Los Angeles River channel “traditional navigable waters” and forever changed how this city views one if its greatness resources. With this designation, the river is now protected under the Clean Water Act. Moreover, the declaration has catalyzed the current movement to reinstate the quality of nature in and around Los Angeles.

One of the original protectors of the LA River is Lewis McAdams, who founded the non-profit organization Friends of the Los Angeles River, also known as FoLAR. When the river was still designated a ‘channel’ FoLAR was one of the few activist groups trying to protect the river that the city had turned its back on. One of the ways to bring awareness was through volunteer events. FoLAR’s annual event – The Great LA River Cleanup – is open to the public and a perfect opportunity to help better the environment.

The Great LA River Cleanup

LA River CleanupThis year, the 27th Great LA River cleanup was held in April. This was not only an opportunity to build a relationship between USGBC and FoLAR, but it will hopefully be an initiative that can influence future Greenbuild conferences as well as future local chapter commitments.

The cleanup was divided between three river sections – upper river, mid river and lower river – and each section was designated for a weekend in April. The Greening Committee chose to participate in the Mid River section on April 23 because it has the closest proximity to downtown Los Angeles. About 30 USGBC volunteers climbed down into the river and removed trash that had collected for years. More than 9,000 volunteers in total participated in the cleanup and removed 70 tons of trash this year. At our site, there were 1,100 people who removed 8.5 tons of trash. On average, each person filled about of two bags in the span of just three hours.

The Greening Committee would like to thank FoLAR for leading the effort to revive the Los Angeles River, and would also like to thank those USGBC members who came out that day ready to work and sporting a positive mindset. Some of the volunteers shared their thoughts on the event’s success and expressed the positive energy that surrounded the day:

  • “The LA River Cleanup was a memorable experience. I picked up everything from an old gym bag to a $5 dollar bill that must have been Mother Nature’s good karma.  Coming together to help our environment left a lasting feeling of community.” – Matt Harrigan, Managing Director, Pace Equity
  • “The experience really helps you to appreciate how much of our trash just ends up in the environment. It’s not ‘out of sight, out of mind’ when you throw away your trash.  It’s always going somewhere it shouldn’t and impacting natural habitats,” – Caroline Ingalls, Designer, Hirsch Bedner Associates
  • “It was a great team building experience, and it was inspiring to see all of the participants together for a common goal!” – Nina Hamamura, Green Business Solutions
  • “I’m proud to have helped orchestrate an event with such immediate and measurable impact on greening our own backyard in L.A.” – Emily Hand, Project Manager, Verdical Group

Jed Donaldson is the Greenbuild Greening Sub-Committee Co-Chair and a senior designer at Steinberg Architects.

At Greenbuild, you can always expect a high-caliber education program with a variety of sessions and renowned speakers, an expansive expo hall with over 500 booths to scope out the latest innovative products and services, and networking opportunities galore!

Greenbuild also features:

  • Full-day and half-day Green Building Tours
  • Workshops to gain additional training and CEUs
  • Three pre-conference summits Including the Communities & Affordable Homes Summit, WaterBuild and the International Summit
  • Greenbuild Plenary with California’s popular Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom followed by music and food at the Celebration
  • Closing Plenary featuring famed architect and cultural innovator Bjarke Ingels
Sign up before August 2 to save $100 or more on your registration!

When you attend Greenbuild, you can expect a robust education program, expansive expo hall, as well as a great city destination. Make sure you check out the list of workshops we have available to add onto your registration and the new exhibitors added to the 2016 show floor.

GB16 Workshops NL
Greenbuild Workshops
Greenbuild Workshops offer you the extra training you need from qualified experts, who can prepare you for anything from taking the AP exam to our newest rating system offerings. Attend workshops at Greenbuild 2016 and earn up to 7 hours of continuing education credit.
GB16 First EXH
Check out Our First Time Exhibitors
We have a lot of new exhibitors joining Greenbuild 2016 for the first time, and we’d like to extend our thanks. Welcome them to the Greenbuild family by adding them to your must see list!
GB16 About LA
All About Los Angeles
There’s a lot to see and do in L.A. early October. If you’re looking for information on the Los Angeles Convention Center, hotels in the room block or a way to get around town (sustainably), the Greenbuild website has your answers.

sustainable cityAs a teaser to our comprehensive Greenbuild Sustainability Report coming out this March, here are our Top 5 sustainability stories from Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, DC.

#1. 84% Waste Diversion at Convention Center 

  • Early in 2015, the Greenbuild Waste Team set a goal diversion rate of 80% for the Greenbuild conference based on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center’s baseline diversion rate of 32%. This dedicated group worked for 6 months to improve front of house bin signage, find haulers for additional waste streams and fine-tune the back dock sorting process for all waste generated by the Greenbuild show. This group, Greenbuild volunteers and a team of 15 people that spent 80 hours manually separating waste, made it possible to exceed our goal and achieve an 84% waste diversion rate.

#2. Over 7,000lbs of Show Donations

  • Each year, our Exhibitor Donation Program collects leftover booth materials from Greenbuild Exhibitors. This year, our exhibitors donated over 7,000 pounds of materials including cement blocks, carpet, insulation, floor tiles and cleaning supplies. These items were donated to local non-profits including Habitat for Humanity of Metropolitan Maryland – RESTORE. Donations also included an attendee clothing drive to support the Safeway Feast of Sharing event which was hosted by the convention center.

#3. Greenbuild Hospitality Tour

  • This year, Greenbuild hosted a “Greenbuild Behind the Scenes: Sustainable Event Tour” to showcase the show’s sustainability efforts to hospitality professionals. The 34 attendees included representatives from hotels, national associations, and international conference organizers. Attendees toured a variety of show areas including the back dock sorting area and convention center control rooms.

#4. 70% Regional Food Sourcing

  • Thanks to the great efforts of the Centerplate Team at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, led by Chef Jon Dornbusch, 33% of the food served at the convention center was sourced locally (within 100 miles) and 70% of the food was sourced regionally (within 500 miles).

#5. 100% Green-e Carbon Offsets

  • In 2014, Greenbuild became the largest US conference ever to become Green-e certified for its carbon offsets. In 2015, the Greenbuild Team remains committed to this standard. In partnership with Terrapass, the following projects will be supported by Greenbuild’s carbon offset purchase: New Beulah Landfill (Dorchester County, MD) and The Big Smile Wind Farm at Dempsey Ridge (Roger Mills and Beckham Counties, OK).

Keep your eye out for our comprehensive report of Greenbuild’s greening initiatives, coming March 2016!

2015 VolsUSGBC is so thankful for our Greenbuild volunteers! As we launch 2016 and prepare for Greenbuild: Iconic Green in Los Angeles, we’d like to highlight a few volunteers from Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, DC.

Taylor Ghost and Emily-Kate Hannapel are students at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, studying interior architecture. They both are interested in the impact of buildings on our environment, and were excited for the opportunity to attend Greenbuild and learn more. In addition to their duties assisting with the conference’s commitment to waste diversion, Taylor and Emily-Kate authored a terrific rap video, linked below.

Tell us a little about yourselves!

TG: I am a senior at UNC-G and will soon graduate with a BFA in Interior Architecture. The program teaches a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to design. During my junior year in school, I was asked to propose a design concept for a hotel that is moving to an existing building in downtown Greensboro. While I worked on the concept something clicked in me that has since narrowed the focus for my career; I am truly inspired by the impact that commercial interior environments can have on their occupants.

EKH: I’m working on an MFA in Interior Architecture at UNC-G. I’m interested in community-engaged design and the overlap between affordable housing, sustainable design and preservation. After receiving my undergraduate degree from NYU I started an urban farm in Durham, NC and helped to manage my local farmers’ market. I now live in a 12×12′ tiny house on a farm in rural North Carolina with my two dogs.

How would you describe your Greenbuild volunteer experience?

TG: I thoroughly enjoyed my experience! I think I loved meeting people the most and being able to help them in some way.

EKH: I loved my volunteer experience. It was great opportunity to meet presenters and other conference attendees, and just generally make connections. I really believe in the idea of reducing waste and was impressed by Greenbuild’s commitment to reduce their footprint. Being able to help with this, in a very concrete way, felt important.

What was your biggest impression of Greenbuild overall?

TG: Greenbuild had a lot to offer, and I appreciated the balance of the expo, learning sessions, and events throughout the week. The most impactful thing I learned was that one of the easiest ways to promote the wellness and cognitive health of employees in an office environment is to increase air quality. This was the result of an intriguing research study by a group from Harvard that they are calling #theCogfxStudy. I attended their session right before I left and have been chewing on my notes from it since then.

EKH: Attending Greenbuild helped remind me of all the different career options that I have. Most importantly, it connected me to a community of people doing the type of work that I’d like to be doing in the future. After a challenging semester, attending Greenbuild reminded me why I’m studying what I’m studying.

If you were telling a friend to volunteer for Greenbuild in Los Angeles, what advice would you give them?

TG: Invest yourself in the tasks you are asked to do, be present, and be proud to do your part!

EKH: Volunteer! You’ll meet great folks and make a lot of great connections!

GB Vol Rap







By volunteering for eight hours to support the conference, Taylor and Emily Kate received free admission to Greenbuild. By volunteering at Greenbuild in Los Angeles, you can attend for free as well! Check out the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo volunteer page for more information.

1445864860_2015-10-26_greenbuilding_297x150Are you looking to make a lasting impact on the green building industry in South America and across the globe? The Greenbuilding Brasil International Conference & Expo is now accepting education session proposals for the conference taking place August 9-11, 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil.

For the third year, USGBC is partnering with GBC Brasil and Informa Exhibitions to produce the 2016 Greenbuilding Brasil International Conference & Expo, offering the same level of education and community engagement that Greenbuild has brought to North America for more than a decade. This conference will feature education sessions covering all aspects of sustainable design, construction, deconstruction, and operations practices for buildings and communities, including their impact on people, the environment, and the economy.

Top reasons to submit a Greenbuilding Brasil session proposal:

  1. Share innovative ideas. Greenbuilding Brasil is seeking fresh, relevant content presented by subject matter experts and visionaries. Topic priorities for the 2016 program include: Materials, Net Zero, Resilience, Social Responsibility, Community Action & Engagement and Water. For a full list of preferred topics, review the Greenbuilding Brasil Call for Proposals.
  2. Connect with diverse audiences. Presenters will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience reaching diverse audiences at Greenbuilding Brasil. Audiences include: Architects, Engineers, Builders/Contractors, Service Providers, Green Building Leaders, Government Entities, Interior Designers, Real-estate Companies, Urban Planning & Housing Professionals and more.
  3. Reach a rapidly growing market. Brazil is among the top five countries for LEED projects and certifications. With an expanding construction market, Brazil has a significant volume of new developments, generating jobs and wealth to the country. Analysts of this sector forecast significant growth by 2016.

Check out these key resources for detailed instructions on submitting a Greenbuilding Brasil session proposal.

Find out more and submit a session proposal.

Greenbuilding Brasil is also seeking volunteer peer reviewers to evaluate session proposals. Reviewers are eligible to present at Greenbuilding Brasil and receive a registration discount. Learn more and apply to be a reviewer.

Greenbuilding Brasil International Conference & Expo


DSC_6181Thanksgiving is over, you’ve just caught your breath from Greenbuild 2015, and the new year is around the corner… which means the 2016 Greenbuild Call for Proposals and Reviewers are open and ready for you! We want to see you in Los Angeles. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare your education session proposal:

  1. For the first time ever, we have prioritized certain presentation topics, which are: Materials, Net Zero, Resilience, Social Responsibility, Community Action & Engagement and Water. All requested topics are still welcome and important – see more details and the full list in the Call for Proposals.
  2. Sessions that strike the balance between delivering expert content and engaging attendees in the learning process typically attract the most attendees and receive the highest ratings. Check out an informative recorded webinar featuring the Chairs of our Greenbuild working groups and Education Events Committee to hear more about how to successfully craft and submit an education session. Hear recorded webinar and download slides here
  3. Do you work internationally or focus on sustainable communities and/or homes? This year we’re soliciting education session proposals for two of the summits that happen on Tuesday, October 4th. You can find the submittal guides for each summit here and check out the 2015 summit programming here.


Find out more and submit a session proposal.

Greenbuild is also seeking volunteer peer reviewers to evaluate session proposals. Reviewers are eligible to present at Greenbuild and receive a registration discount. Learn more and apply to be a reviewer.

Owners Michael Haft (left) and Harrison Suarez (right) show off Compass’s refillable coffee canisters.

Owners Michael Haft (left) and Harrison Suarez (right) show off Compass’s refillable coffee canisters.

The Greenbuild Greening Committee is working with restaurants near the DC Convention Center to help them green their operations, with support from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility and the National Restaurant Association. This blog series highlights sustainable businesses that are participating in the program.

Compass Coffee offers DC coffee drinkers a sip of sustainability with their morning java. Owned and operated by a pair of former Marines, Compass Coffee has taken steps to make their operations efficient from beginning to end.

Compass Coffee proudly proclaims its “Made in DC” philosophy

Compass Coffee proudly proclaims its “Made in DC” philosophy

In the Beginning: Sourcing Sustainably

Compass Coffee follows a “Made in DC” philosophy that emphasizes locally produced – and delicious – food and drinks. Among the local offerings are salads from Glen’s Garden Market, sandwiches from Broodjes and Bier, and Thunderbeast root beer. For their coffee, which sadly doesn’t grow in DC, they work with small and medium-size farms in Central and South America and Africa.

From Bean to Brew: Efficient Operations

Compass Coffee prioritized water and energy efficiency in its operations. From its plentiful daylight to its LED-lit sign, Compass uses efficient lighting strategies. It also invested in an energy-efficient Loring coffee roaster that reduces emissions by 80%. A Nest thermostat cuts energy use by 15%, and water-saving fixtures in restrooms maximize water efficiency.

End of the Road: Taking Out the Trash

Compass Coffee’s LED-lit sign

Compass Coffee’s LED-lit sign

Compass Coffee employs several strategies to minimize the amount of waste its operations, and its customers, create. Many of its packaging

materials, including hot beverage cups with a minimum of 30% recycled fiber and cold cups that are compostable. Its signature coffee canisters, are recyclable. However, Compass hopes its canisters never reach the recycling bin, and offers customers a discount for refills with a reused canister. In-store, Compass composts its used coffee grounds.

Compass Coffee is located at 1535 7th St NW, approximately an 8-minute walk from the DC Convention Center. You can connect with Compass Coffee on social media at @compasscoffeedc.

 Learn more about green venues and services in D.C., as well as other restaurants taking part in the Greenbuild Greening Committee’s sustainability program.

Greenbuild Greening Sub-Committee Co-Chairs

Allison Porter, LEED AP, Vice President, Sustainability Services, Cushman & Wakefield

Takehiro Nakamura, LEED AP BD+C, Associate, Perkins Eastman