Dwayne Fuhlhage, PROSOCO’s director of regulatory affairs, is attending GreenBuild. He offers this report from day 1.
GreenBuild Conference: Day 1
by Dwayne Fuhlhage, CHMM; Regulatory Affairs Director
After working PROSOCO’s booth for the last two years at GreenBuild, I am here in Chicago as an attendee. I learned a lot in the conference sessions today and I’ll try to share more before everything winds down Friday afternoon.
The overall vibe is optimistic. There’s a lot going on in the sustainable codes and standards arena and I get a real sense of momentum from the conference session presenters and attendees. Of course, change is only good for companies and individuals that are keeping up on green building technologies and trends. I’m feeling confident about PROSOCO’s efforts. While waiting in line for an Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) session, the architect next to me asked “So what makes your products green?” That’s a question I can answer confidently and without hesitation – I take that as a good sign.
Best stuff from today
The opening Plenary Session featured Retired General Colin Powell talking about his work with green distributed power generating systems and leadership in general. Colin Powell on leadership – cool.
Energy Labeling: A Market Catalyst – This session featured speakers who have been working on innovative energy use calculation modeling and building labeling in the Pacific Northwest. The big idea is that consumers and sellers will be well-served by showing the energy use profile as a simple label much like the fuel economy estimates for cars. One of the presenters does design/build for energy efficient houses including a variety of Passive House projects. There was a good sampling of pushback in the audience, but also a lot of excitement about a labeling approach that they are turning into a regional reality.
Designing for Indoor Air Quality; A Commercial and a Residential Perspective – First off, this session was absolutely full; no getting in without pre-registration. I’ve been doing a lot of standards work on IEQ issues and this reinforced what a hot topic IEQ is in the sustainable building sector. I expected this session to be dry and was surprised by the guitar strumming/singing USEPA program manager. Yes, I have photographic evidence.
I also expected a stock discussion on product VOCs and toxics. While he mentioned these issues in passing, he put much greater emphasis on IEQ issues caused by poor sealant and waterproofing details and installation. He also showed the correlation between air infiltration and IEQ problems caused by the moisture transported into the building due to having a flawed building envelope. I also learned about the benefits of infrared cameras as a diagnostic tool for IEQ issues. Sounds strange, but it goes like this:
IR shows temperature differentials caused by damp insulation and building materials. Damp materials equals mold. Mold equals IEQ problems for building occupants.
I’m not sure if our friends at BEI (Building Envelope Innovations) use IR cameras for their building forensics work, but I’ll share this information with them.
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