Fin MacDonald

Information on me and my current projects

Tag Archives: Toronto

Greenbuild is Green

Tomorrow I will be leaving for Greenbuild and I wanted to talk a little bit about the green features that the conference will have. When you register for the conference you need to enter how far you will be travelling to get to Greenbuild, and your method of transportation. This is because Greenbuild will be offsetting the carbon associated with the travel as one of its green initiatives. Most of the conference hotels are within walking distance of the event. If you are staying at one of the few that are too far to walk you will receive a complementary 3-day transit pass with your registration.

The conference will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center (MTCC) in the heart of downtown Toronto. The MTCC will ensure that it is a zero waste event and will reuse or recycle 97% of all waste generated. Volunteers will be at all the waste stations helping attendees sort their waste. The event will also be powered using renewable energy. The energy will be generated off site and guaranteed available on the grid through renewable energy certificates. The menu for the event will all be locally sourced. Food, beer and wine available on-site will be from within 100 miles of the conference.

Maroon 5 will be headlining the opening celebration. The band practices green touring and travel using a bio-diesel powered tour bus. The band members also live on an organic food diet.

Exhibitors will be encouraged to be as green as possible when developing their displays. Green Exhibitor awards will be available to those who exceed the standards developed for the expo hall.

When it comes to being green Greenbuild is a winner. They certainly walk the walk. I’m excited to see all the green initiatives in action this week!

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Mapping the Greenbuild Expo Hall

This years Greenbuild will bring over 900 different exhibitors to Toronto and fill two halls with booths at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. This is easily the largest event I have ever attended. Since I want to get the most out of my experience I have taken the time to research which booths I would like to visit. I only have 11 hours to myself during my 4 day trip to Toronto and this is the only time I have available to visit exhibits. I would like to have as much left over to see some sights in Toronto so it is extremely important that I develop a plan of attack for the exhibit hall.

My main interests lie in new and innovative products and technologies. I am looking to be impressed! I am also going to be visiting several companies that I have targeted for employment once I graduate. It will be a great chance to have someone from the company tell me about what they do and how they like working there.

I was able to narrow the 940 exhibitors down to a list of 89 that I would like to see. The majority of them are in the north exhibit hall so I will visit that on the first night and try to get that out of the way. The Greenbuild website has a really useful tool that allows you to select the booths you want to visit and print a map so you can take the most optimum route through the hall. I’ll be keeping the ones I’ve chosen to myself for now but watch for an update after the conference to see which ones impressed me.

A picture of the exhibit hall from a previous Greenbuild Expo

Greenbuild Education Sessions

My registration package for the Greenbuild Conference in Toronto arrived by email this weekend and I registered as quickly as possible. A big part of the event is the education sessions which are offered. Since some of these sessions fill up early I wanted to make sure I got my first choices. I had picked my choices a few weeks ago and today I registered and got into all the ones I wanted. Part of my responsibilities as a Greenbuild Scholarship winner is to share the knowledge with my local chapter. I will be presenting on what I learn to both the Atlantic chapter of the CaGBC and my classmates at NSCC. The sessions I will be attending are:

Passivhaus: Bringing German Energy Design Home to LEED
The Passive House approach (Passivhaus in German) is one of the world’s most aggressive, proven approaches to radical energy reduction, durability, IAQ and thermal comfort by design. This session will introduce and explore the Passive House standard design approach and requirements as well as demonstrate its application to projects in the North American context. This interactive session will introduce some of the barriers and opportunities–seeking input from attendees–for superior home energy performance

What You Need to Know About WaterSense for LEED 2012, Inside and Out! 
The 2012 rating systems have been revised to ensure that LEED projects are protecting water supplies for future generations. Gain a firm understanding of the most reliable strategies to reduce water use in your projects for all rating systems, no matter what the size!

The Proof is in the Pudding: Performance metrics from the first Five Certified Living Buildings
The first 5 certified Living Building Challenge projects are the greenest buildings in the country. How did the teams accomplish this lofty goal and achieve net zero energy and water, what are the lessons learned? The panel will discuss the one year occupancy period and how that data informs building performance knowledge. Learn about each project’s strategies across five different climates and project types from the perspective of the client, consultant and audit team.

Advancing Energy Simulation Tools for Design and Retrofit Optimization: the EnergyPlus GUI Development
More deep energy retrofits and net zero energy projects are required! Better simulation tools should be accessible! EnergyPlus is widely viewed as the most comprehensive building performance analysis tool available. A primary barrier to widespread adoption (critical to DOE’s mission) has been the lack of a graphical user interface (GUI). The diverse panel will demonstrate interactive use scenarios of how the new EnergyPlus GUI can enable practitioners to use EnergyPlus to support innovative, integrated design.

Learning from Buildings: Technologies for Measuring, Benchmarking, and Improving Performance
This session describes methods developed at UC Berkeley for monitoring and benchmarking buildings’ physical environments and occupants’ perceptions. We present research results derived from such assessments, which have significant implications for building designers, owners, operators, employers, and occupants. We discuss the development and testing of the Performance Measurement Protocol, recently produced by USGBC and ASHRAE. Driving this work is the belief that all stakeholders benefit from increased assessment and sharing lessons learned about building performance

Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities
The current interest in green buildings often overlooks the far greater conservation potential of sustainable communities. Creating net zero energy and water usage communities is much easier than creating single buildings with the same performance. Communities can be vital, complex ecologies that obtain maximum use of consumed resources while minimizing waste. These goals are best achieved by exploiting the synergies among the separate infrastructure systems while obtaining multiple benefits from each conservation strategy.

LEED 2012
LEED must continuously improve to drive change and transform the market. This is especially important as green codes begin to raise the floor on the status quo and current LEED requirements become the norm. LEED 2012 has shifted to a performance-based structure that supports recertification and raises the bar to maintain LEED as a leadership tool. The rating system draft will have completed its 2nd public comment period and received thousands of comments on the proposed requirement. This session will provide insight into the decisions behind the changes in LEED and discuss some of the more complex issues that have arisen during the development process.