Greenbuild: Top five seminars to check out

Gensler's eco-friendly Ballet Center for Dance in Houston
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New homes for the Sustainable Fellwood initiative in Savannah, Georgia
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Office interior by HOK
Gensler's eco-friendly Ballet Center for Dance in Houston
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Here are our picks for the best seminars to check out this week at Greenbuild.

1. From Rust Belt to Green Belt – Making the Midwest Sustainable
Wednesday, October 5 at 8:30 a.m.

This session examines four declining American midwestern cities (Cincinnati, Dayton, Minneapolis and Detroit) and how they’re using sustainable initiatives to redefine and revitalize their cities. Led by Skidmore Owings & Merrill’s Philip Enquist, the partner in charge of urban design and planning; Marja Winters, deputy director of the City of Detroit; and architect and sustainability consultant Shawn Hesse of Emersion Design, the session will show how green jobs policies and grassroots efforts can help deter a shrinking population, spur employment and encourage city building.

2. Achieving Market Rate Zero Emissions Office Buildings – What Will it Take?
Wednesday, October 5 at 8:30 a.m.

Affordable. Towering. Zero emissions. Can an office building achieve all three? This question, plus others, will be answered by experts in the field including global architecture firm HOK’s chairman Bill Valentine, Weidt Group’s David Eijadi, and John Jennings of Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

3. Redefining Sustainable Redevelopment: Two Innovative Neighbourhoods
Wednesday, October 5 at 10:30 a.m.

Neighbourhood developments aren’t always the first thing you think of when imagining innovative urban planning, but two American projects are suggesting otherwise. Georgia’s Sustainable Fellwood’s 27-acre LEED-ND neighbourhood offers multi-family, mixed-income  housing units, while Pringle Creek has all-porous paving, lots of open space, district geothermal heating/cooling, and a net-zero energy LEED Platinum community centre. This session will discuss the energy-saving strategies used in both projects.

4. Transparency in the Service of Sustainability: Addressing the Market Demand for Glass Buildings
Thursday, October 6 at 8:30 a.m.

Look at any major city’s skyline and you’re bound to see lots, and lots, of tall glass buildings. This session, featuring Bill Logan of Israel Berger & Associates, Eric Duchon of Cushman & Wakefield and James Brew, principal architect of Rocky Mountain Institute, will examine how to balance the demand for glass structures while also reducing energy usage, a major hurdle for both new and existing modern buildings.

5. Mastering Healthy Building Materials: Tools For Success     Thursday, October 6 at 10:30 a.m.

In this session, the panel discusses how to keep buildings free of toxic materials. Google, for instance, is pushing the market by demanding materials that will enable a healthy work environment while architecture firm Gensler brings material criteria for a wide range of international projects.

All sessions take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For the full list of education sessions visit, greenbuildexpo.org.

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