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Nicolette Mueller

Felipe Faria shares the updates and can't-miss aspects of Greenbuilding Brasil 2016.

The seventh Greenbuilding Brasil International Conference and Expo will take place August 9–11, 2016, at the São Paulo Expo in São Paulo, Brazil. We sat down with Felipe Faria, managing director of Green Building Council Brasil, to ask what he’s most looking forward to during this year’s show. 

This year, the show is co-located with the High Design Expo. What are some of the benefits and strengths of this partnership?  

High Design Expo convenes professionals from the furniture manufacturing, interior architecture and design sectors. This partnership reinforces the idea that high design and high architecture are intrinsically linked to sustainability and green building. For us, this show is happening at the right moment, since these professionals are spearheading current green building trends such as health and well-being, life cycle assessment and environmental product declaration and green certification in the residential sector. We also project to double the number of visitors at Greenbuilding Brasil 2016 compared to last year; around 8,000 people will visit the expo hall. 

What are you most looking forward to hearing from His Excellency Joaquin Barbosa during the keynote speech? 

This year, the theme is “the power of transformation in your hands.” This reminds us of how meaningful our attitude is, and how strong it can be when it has positive purpose, persistence and is free of internal conflict. Those are the tools for success for any movement. 

His Excellency Joaquim Barbosa is the first black person to sit on the Supreme Federal Court, and moreover, to serve as its president. During his term as president, he led the most important criminal prosecution in Brazil involving political corruption in the federal government. Joaquim Barbosa opened opportunities for Brazilians to build a pathway toward an equitable, healthy and prosperous country. His Excellency will give us his insights and considerations about ethics in the business and public sectors and will talk about the role of institutions and professionals in overcoming political and economic challenges. 

What are some sessions or events that shouldn’t be missed during Greenbuild Brazil this year?  

There are a lot new attractions this year, including more than 120 speakers, 20 of whom hail from eight different countries. Highlights in the Expo Hall include: 

  • A Sustainable Home Concept demonstrating several green building methodologies and technologies.
  • The Expo Hall Stage, which will showcase new technologies, LEED and Referencial GBC Brasil Casa certification news and legacy projects.
  • The Ministry of Environment and PNUD will be promoting finance and guarantee mechanisms to accelerate energy efficiency projects in the existing buildings sector. 

Bonus: there will be a special workshop tailored to Brazilian LEED practitioners on how to navigate the Materials and Resources category in LEED v4. 

The Brazilian market is incredibly dynamic, and despite ups and downs, the Brazilian economy and people have proven resilient. What are some reasons you are optimistic about the future of green building in Brazil?  

Brazil is one of the largest markets for LEED in the world. Given Brazil’s current economic state, stakeholders have expressed concerns for the future. I am pleased to say that the Brazilian sustainable construction industry, guided by LEED, is proving these negative predictions to be unfounded—this is one of the rare markets where we have seen growth. 

There continues to be a rapid process of sharing and consolidating green building concepts and practices in Brazil. LEED projects are present in all Brazilian regions with different climate zones and economic conditions—this shows us LEED’s consistency and applicability at a global, regional and local scale. Additionally, we are observing a meaningful variety of new project types pursuing LEED certification. 

Another positive explanation for the market’s engagement with LEED can be found in the 2015 GRESB Real Estate Report, which highlights several economic benefits of green building, including better occupancy rates, low risks of investment, low risk of obsolescence and liquidity. The manufacturing and building products industries have also contributed to this expansion through their investments in research and new technologies focused on green building concepts. 

What are some sights in São Paulo that visitors should be sure to check out?  

São Paulo is known for some of the best gastronomy and nightlife in the world. For who enjoy exercise, Ibirapuera Park is the best option, and visitors can see architecture from Oscar Niemeyer. In terms of museums, Pinacoteca and the Soccer Museum at Pacaembu Stadium are great. Otherwise, a drive by Marginal Pinheiros, Faria Lima Avenue or Berrini Avenue offers views of many LEED-certified buildings, which are helping to guide the Brazilian construction industry in a sustainable direction. 

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