Greenbuild Day Zero: New Websites, New Tools, New Building Designs

Greenbuild Day Zero: New Websites, New Tools, New Building Designs

The 2007 Greenbuild conference and expo officially opens its doors today, but major announcements have been steadily leaving the conference hall for days already.

The conference's organizers, the U.S. Green Building Council, showed off two new websites yesterday, including a redesigned and reorganized home page at USGBC.org, and the launch of Greenbuild365.org, a new educational resource.

Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC's president and CEO, said the new home page was redesigned to make more accessible the information visitors and members want, including reference materials, resources, LEED information and an online store to purchase workshop materials and publications.

Greenbuild365 is a new education project aimed at the global green building market. Funded by United Technology Corp. (UTC), the website will offer courses on innovations in green technology, training for professionals to prepare for LEED certification. During the Greenbuild expo, the website will show live webcasts of keynote speakers, including former President Bill Clinton, entrepreneur Paul Hawken, architect Thom Mayne and planner Jaime Lerner.

The conference will also highlight hundreds of new products and technologies to make buildings greener, and as a way to cut through the information overload, CertainTeed has developed a "Green Building Products" reference guide. The publication is intended to help building professionals get a better sense of the ways that a range of products affect the environmental impact of commercial and residential buildings. The company will post the reference on its website and will have it available at its booth at Greenbuild.

Along more purely electronic lines, the Whirlpool Corporation has unveiled its Green Home Collection a series of models designed using Google's SketchUp 3D modeling software. The collection includes homes from Michelle Kaufmann Designs, including the mkLotus show home that was on display at the recent West Coast Green conference and the "Elementhouse," the University of Illinois solar-powered house that recently won two of the 10 Solar Decathlon 2007 contests. The Elementhouse is also featured at Greenbuild, where attendees can view the virtual home at the Whirlpool Corporation booth, then visit the actual home.