Verge: Greenbuild sharpens focus on health and transparency

Jay Owen Green Prosperity


By Elaine Hsieh, Program Director & Senior Analyst – VERGE

Greenbuild – the world’s largest green building conference – officially kicks off in Philadelphia today, and I’m excited to be here with about 40,000 others to take it all in.

This is my eighth year attending, so it’s a reunion of sorts as I get to catch up with old green building friends and former colleagues. In addition, I’m planning to attend sessions, visit exhibitors, conduct interviews, and live-tweet anything I find interesting, entertaining, or insightful. I’ll also be rocking out to Bon Jovi after Hilary Clinton’s keynote Thursday night.

From a VERGE standpoint, I will be on the lookout for practical, scalable new technologies and solutions that are gaining traction in the green building market and have the potential to translate to other industries, like energy, water, and transportation systems. Big data players and business innovators: I’m looking at you.

Building material health and transparency is gaining momentum this year, which I find very encouraging. Getting building product manufacturers to be more transparent about the chemicals they use and the life-cycle impact of their materials is still seen as a Sisyphean endeavor, but there are signs it might get easier, as described in myGreenbuild preview story yesterday. This is a hot topic, so stay tuned.

One more thing: Happy 20th anniversary to our VERGE partner the U.S. Green Building Council. Looking forward to celebrating with you this week!

Greener Building

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Before the blockbuster green building event kicks off this week in the “workshop of the world,” these unique themes are already emerging.

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VERGE São Paulo Recap

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Here’s how companies like GE and Votorantim aim to advance sustainability by teaming up with local players.…Read More

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In this megacity, traffic jams can stretch for 60 miles. Smarter mobility is crucial to urban resilience, as well as shorter term planning for the 2014 World Cup.…Read More

Charging Forward

Driverless cars: Tesla, Google, Nissan and others shift gears
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How much power do Google and major automakers plan to give self-driving vehicles?

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Will EVs bring down the electric grid?
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A new study reveals a surprising fact about the impact of EVs on utilities. …Read More

IKEA charges up its sustainability plan
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ikea soon will become the first major retail chain to offer electric-car charge points at all of its U.K. stores.

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New VERGE Video Worth Watching

VERGE SF 2013: Gabe Zichermann on playing games for good
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Sustainability can a tough sell, but the best ideas from games can help. This gamification guru and author shares how your company can start getting to ‘that magical place.’…Read More


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