Greenbuild 2014

green|spaces attended the 2014 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, held on October 22-24 in New Orleans. It featured more than 240 sessions, tours, summits, and workshops. Highlights of some of the sessions are listed below.   

Should you want access to these presentations or any other sessions listed here, please let us know.


LEED v4 Update discusses the goals and themes of LEED v4 and the major changes and improvements from LEED 2009, including how best to access and use the new LEED v4 resources such as the web-based format for reference guides, and the new LEED Online platform.

LEED v4 - Optimization Through Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) explains the LEED v4 Materials credit category and its requirements, specifically the current state and future vision of LCA and EPD tools in the context of LEED v4. Getting the LCA credit in LEED v4 presents a case study demonstrating how the LCA credit may be achieved on a project.

State of the Market: LEED v4 and Materials is an update from program operators representing Health Product Declaration Collaborative, UL Environment, Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute, Clean Production Action Network (creators of GreenScreen) and USGBC. These programs are intended to simplify the specification and use of LEED v4 compliant materials.


Data-Driven Design: Architecture in the Age of Information demonstrates how green building is benefitting from the age of information and how it will evolve in the future. It discusses how advanced performance metrics and knowledge and new data-driven techniques are used to create higher-performing designs.

 Integrating Nature and Biophilia - From Theory to Practice describes high performance design informed by nature, place, and ecology. Case studies show how nature's principles are translated into built design solutions, and explains the role of biomimicry in design thinking and adaptive reuse projects. Launch and Iterate: Using Rapid Tests to Refine Biophilic Strategies is a presentation from Google's IEQ team, sharing how they developed scalable performance metrics, many of which are implemented on Google projects, to measure occupant responses to biophilic design.

Health & Community

Leading Southern Cities Ramp Up on Building Efficiency is an update on what the cities of Houston, Orlando, and Atlanta are doing to improve energy efficiency in large buildings in their cities. This effort is in partnership with the City Energy Project, a national initiative to improve energy efficiency in existing buildings in 10 major American cities.

Powering Community: Engagement for High Performance Neighborhoods discusses the social and cultural context crucial for the success of neighborhood development and high performing urban systems.  It proposes that high performance neighborhoods are best built by empowered communities and identifies opportunities and tools to build community capacity through the planning and design process. Demystifying Community Engagement showcases successful stories of community development shared by leaders in the engagement process.

Health Matters: Designing Communities that Learn defines what material health means at the community scale, and how this can impact the urban design and planning practice.  Experts discuss how communities, with resiliency and regeneration, can adapt and improve over time - to embody "communities that learn".

Removing Asthma-Causing Materials from Building Products presents research undertaken by the Healthy Building Network identifying chemical asthmagens found in building products, and methods for avoiding these chemicals in new construction, renovation, and materials manufacturing. It also recognizes which certifications and standards address these asthmagens, and existing resources that identify and screen products.

Stormwater Management

ARCSA'S Rain Harvesting: Green Infrastructure & Sustainable Uses is a presentation from American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association to discuss latest innovations in rain and stormwater harvesting. Other points of discussion include: examples of how green infrastructure and low impact development are used to sustainably manage stormwater, the basic elements of an integrated rainwater harvesting system, and examples of rain harvesting projects.

The State of the Science of Using Urban Trees for Stormwater Management advocates the use of trees as a stormwater control measure and explains the mechanisms through which the tree/soil systems provide stormwater benefits. Policy development, research quantifying stormwater benefits, techniques to maximize such benefits, and how tree/soil systems can be integrated into landscapes of various scales to maximize ecological services are discussed.

Building Performance

Crossing the Net-Zero Finish Line focuses on the influence building occupants have on the energy consumption of an energy-efficient building. Through a case study on the Perkins+Will San Francisco office, learn how to improve occupant behavior to decrease energy use, and how to engage and encourage efficient occupant behavior.

Passive House Builders Training - One Hour Crash Course provides construction professionals a quick run-through of characteristic passive construction details, materials and techniques, and common challenges and mistakes in Passive House construction.  This primer draws on the 4-day PHIUS Certified Builders Training Program.


I'm Just a Bill is a discussion led by manufacturing industry experts on the current demand for transparency through bill of materials (BOM), specifically EPDs and HPDs. Topics include definitions and limitations of different types of transparency systems, as well as the challenges  these bring to the manufacturing industry.

Building a Materials Workforce: a Core Curriculum for Materials Specifiers and Product Manufacturers discusses the development of a building materials curriculum focused on human health and the environment. With the increasing interest in healthier buildings, green building practitioners need a deeper knowledge of the health and environmental attributes of building materials, and this presentation gives an overview of how specifiers and manufacturers can better navigate the tools and standards (EPDs, HPDs, etc.) currently available.

Beyond Hazard Disclosure: Are Building Materials Safe? evaluates the strengths and limitations of hazardous chemicals disclosure in building products, and explores additional approaches to chemical product risk assessment. It also explains how HPDs and similar tools can be used to understand chemical impacts and alternatives.