Reflections on Greenbuild from a Seasoned Attendee – GBA’s Executive Director

It’s hard to believe, but this most recent Greenbuild in Washington, D.C. was my 11th. Yes, you read that correctly, ELEVENTH. Pittsburgh’s Greenbuild in 2003 was my first; total, I’ve been to Greenbuild every year that it has existed except for two (Austin and Denver). This year helped confirm my favorite things about Greenbuild.


Aurora with Rich Overmoyer at the 2007 Greenbuild in Chicago.

Interaction with colleagues old and new is what Greenbuild is about. Yes, Greenbuild provides loads of new knowledge, but it’s also a priceless opportunity to meet someone whose name you’ve only seen in your inbox, lunch with someone you lost track of years of, USGBC chapter leaders near and far, and be reminded that our industry and region still has very much to be excited to about.

As the green building world turns, much changes – and quickly. It’s up to us all to keep up – and it never fails that I learn something at Greenbuild, but not always about what I think. Here’s some information that was new to me.

Green buildings improve cognitive function compared to conventional buildings across nine considerations (including crisis response, strategy, and information usage.) On average, cognitive scores were:

  • 61% higher in green building conditions
  • 101% higher (essentially double!) in enhanced green building conditions. Even higher for specific considerations, including information up almost 3 times and strategy up 2.8 times in enhanced green building conditions. Read more here.

Green building technology costs are DOWN since 2008, specifically:

  • Solar photovoltaics = 59% cost reduction
  • Electric vehicle batteries = 70% cost reduction
  • LEDs = 90% cost reduction
Fallings Costs for Clean Energy Technologies


In NYC, 60% of multifamily energy efficiency opportunities are related to hot water and heating. What is the market doing to take advantage of this opportunity if all of Pennsylvania’s current energy incentives are focused on electricity? Learn more here.

Sometimes you have to go to Greenbuild to see a Pittsburgher. You may be surprised to learn that Pittsburgh has quite a few folks who go to Greenbuild every year (and a few who likely boast all 13 Greenbuilds attended.) From the presentation stage, to the expo hall floor, to just walking around, Pittsburghers past, present, and future are all over Greenbuild. I love it that our region has so many nationally recognized and recognizable individuals, organizations, and brands. When I tell people I work for Green Building Alliance, they know who we are, what’s going on in Pittsburgh, and are interested in knowing what’s next.

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