Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the Greenbuild 2011 Recap

This Greenbuild report is brought to you by guest blogger Mark Johnson, FAIA

Connect with him on Twitter at @MarkJohnsonFAIA, or on GreenDesignGuide.

Greenbuild celebrated an exciting tenth year by going to Toronto, its first destination outside the United States. USGBC’s theme, Greenbuild Next, was appropriate as attendees pondered, “what’s next” for the sustainability movement and green building products.  Attendance was down a bit at 23,000, but the energy and enthusiasm are so high at Greenbuild, it’s a show not to be missed!

So what’s new at the world’s largest expo featuring sustainable building products? I overheard a few curmudgeons who wanted to see more dazzling new products, but I was delighted to see many product makers focusing on incremental refinements, collaboration, and cost savings to improve their products. As more manufacturers introduce green building products, the competition heats up and that drives prices down, speeding the adoption of sustainability. It’s a good thing for all of us as we hunker down to power through a tough economy.

Another theme at Greenbuild was the thoughtful integration of design and technology. Product makers are getting better at designing green products to look handsome and mainstream.

DIRTT showcased a fascinating new indoor idea, the Breathe Living Wall, a modular indoor wall garden that saves floor space in today’s smaller homes, contributes to better indoor air quality, and looks beautiful.

Richlite teamed up with Plyboo to collaborate on an exciting new surface product called Stratum. It embeds a layer of bamboo between two layers of Richlite. Its beauty is the way the edge reveals each layer and contrasts the two materials.

Expanko’s Vallarex cork floating floor system is another handsome product combining advanced technology with nine beautiful shades and patterns. The fiberboard core is made with recycled post production waste and features a glue-less installation.
I could go on at length about all the handsome new dual-flush toilets from bathroom fixture companies, but I’ll leave the potty talk to them! Click here to see a list of all the exhibitors at Greenbuild.

My ‘Cool Booth Favorite’ for Greenbuild 2011 is Austria. Their booth’s combination of contemporary design, open plan, and lighting was a show stopper!

Greenbuild 2012 is in San Francisco next fall. Make your plans early. Hotel rooms sold out this year…a good thing!