NAHB Green: 550 attendees, 60 exhibitors and 33 breakout sessions
Salt Lake City is a not-so-distant memory. The NAHB Green Building Conference & Expo, May 1-3, was an amazingly busy three days, starting with a green home tour of area construction, then two full days on the exhibitor floor, including the Monday night awards dinner. The three-day conference attracted approximately 550 people and 60 exhibitors.
As I walked around the expo floor each day, I learned a little about a lot of things. I guess that makes me dangerous now. I heard about customized rainwater harvesting systems from Brae Rainwater Technologies and found it fascinating how one system can collect thousands of gallons of reusable rainwater to be used in any non-potable application.
And then, over at the Bayer Material Science booth, I discovered more about spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and how it works to create a protective air barrier to practically eliminate air leakage in a building to save on energy costs.
One of my personal favorites was the Plug 'n Save Energy Products booth, where Dan Conroy showed off the PV Solar Shutter he invented. The product is simple – small solar panels that are easy to self-install on the backside of indoor shutters. It's the perfect way to access solar power without a large investment.
Next up were the sessions – there were 33 sessions spread out over two days, so some of my toughest decisions were which ones to attend and which to bypass, since there weren't enough hours in the day to cover everything. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Mike Holmes, host of Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection on HGTV, as he spoke passionately about green homebuilding. I also learned quite a bit more about Daybreak, the sustainable and affordable community created just outside of Salt Lake City by Kennecott Land with homes built by many builders, including Garbett Homes.
A big topic being discussed throughout the conference was how to get appraisers to recognize the value of green homes, and how the energy-cost savings in lighting, heating and cooling and appliances in highly efficient homes should offset the amount of a mortgage that homeowners qualify to receive. As Rene Oehlerking, marketing manager for Garbett Homes pointed out, it costs less, for instance, to operate a 100mpg car than one that gets 14mpg, and mortgage companies need to recognize the difference.
Overall, the conference was a highly successful venture. My colleagues and I met many interesting people and discovered many new products and companies to write about. Their stories will be appearing on our website in the near future.
Teena Hammond Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.