Heather Benjamin
2 minute read

At Greenbuild Atlanta, get up to date on materials, technologies and circularity topics.

The benefits and challenges of using various materials and technologies in green building are constantly changing. LEED has always been on the cutting edge of defining healthy and high-performing buildings, and as USGBC assessed the market response to LEED v4 and observed exciting advancements in supply chain sustainability, embodied carbon, healthy materials and the circular economy, we honed the rating system even further in LEED v4.1.

Substantial updates to the Materials and Resources category are reflected in LEED 4.1 for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) and Interior Design and Construction (ID+C). The resulting improved set of credits continues to advance sustainable transformation of the building materials industry, while incorporating feedback from stakeholders and project teams.

Stay ahead of the curve in embracing sustainable new technologies and materials knowledge at Greenbuild 2019, to be held Nov. 19-22 in Atlanta, Georgia. LEED experts from USGBC and GBCI, along with manufacturers and industry innovators, will share the best ways to build green, efficient spaces for the future.

The Expo Hall

The Greenbuild Expo Hall features over 300 different companies bringing their best green products and services to market, as well as informal education sessions located right at their booths.

Six distinct pavilions—Building Performance, Human Health and Wellness, Wood, Smart Energy, Mindful MATERIALS (transparency), and Materials (product selection)—can help you target your visit to the areas that best meet your needs.

Greenbuild workshops

There are five Greenbuild workshops being held the morning of November 19, before the start of the full conference. Here are a couple of them targeted toward materials topics:

A Field Guide to Safe and Circular Building Materials

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | Shaw Industries, Inc.; Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design; HDR Inc.; Health Product Declaration Collaborative; Built Environment at Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII)

This session provides practical guidance and tools from industry experts for making responsible purchasing decisions based on core principles of material health, transparency and circularity to ensure project goals—including achieving the latest LEED and WELL requirements—are met. Join leading industry experts and practitioners to explore proven approaches and strategies for prioritizing material health, transparency and circularity in building products selection and purchasing.

LEED v4.1 Decarbonization Workshop—Construction Materials

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. | USGBC; Carbon Leadership Forum/University of Washington; Skanska USA Building

The course will cover the basics of greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and footprinting of construction materials, as well as highlight tools and techniques to reduce GHG emissions in project specifications and how these reductions contribute to LEED certification.

Greenbuild sessions

There are dozens of Greenbuild sessions on trending topics in materials and technologies. Here are a couple to get you started:

Choose Your Own Adventure: Green Building in the Age of A.I.

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2:30–3:30 p.m. | Kirksey Architecture; Sage Building Revival

Today’s architecture and engineering practices have already felt the impacts of computer-based technologies. The tremendous potential for new technologies is clear, but the capacity for disruption is even greater with autonomous vehicles, big data, behavioral algorithms and artificial intelligence. In this presentation, two green building professionals whose most recent research focuses on the impacts of disruptive technologies on architecture and sustainability will present an interactive, “choose your own adventure” exploration of the future of green building.

LEED v4.1: Advancing Sustainable Materials and the Circular Economy

Thursday, Nov. 21, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m. | USGBC; Walter P. Moore; WAP Sustainability Consulting; Healthy Building Network

This panel session will explore technical improvements to Materials and Resources credits in LEED v4.1 BD+C and ID+C rating systems and the anticipated market impacts. Sustainability practitioners, including the LEED Materials and Resource Technical Advisory Group Chair, Vice-Chair and Member, will discuss how to apply the new whole-building LCA, EPD, materials ingredients and construction waste management credits on LEED projects. Gain insights from manufacturers implementing sustainability programs and seeking third-party certification for their building products. Learn how policy and market trends related to the evaluation of building products and materials are reinforcing the outcomes delivered by LEED. Purchasers, sustainability professionals and consultants will all come away with a better understanding of how to achieve the newest LEED credits.

Unlocking Product Transparency and Optimization in LEED v4.1

Thursday, Nov. 21, 3–4 p.m. | USGBC, UL Environment, Sherwin-Williams

This interactive session will bring together three influential professionals working in LEED: a product manufacturer, two members of the LEED Steering Committee, and USGBC’s Director for Materials and Resources. Learn how LEED v4.1 can move the products and materials industry forward with an innovative and achievable path to minimize impacts. Discuss the use of EPDs, leadership extraction practices and optimization. Our panelists will engage the audience in asking and answering questions about prioritizing, selecting and seeking compliance with LEED v4.1 MR Building Product Disclosure and Optimization credits. Join us to help inform what’s next in product analysis and optimization in LEED.

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