Revolutionary Green: Innovation for Global Sustainability is the theme for this year's Greenbuild conference. Being socially aware in our neighborhoods and our global community was the focus of the Opening Plenary session featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the African Children's Choir. Tutu's message was positive and energizing, but I must say that the highlight for me were the children. It was a group of about 20 ranging in age from 7 - 12. That is my inspiration -- the energy and joy radiating from these kids was deeply moving. They are part of the reason that I do what I do. This is why the places we are working so hard to save matter, not just for me, but for those that will come after me.
My first education session of the day was, "Greening the Trades of Tomorrow." Now I figured that this would be heavy on the technical aspects of building, but I figure that I have something to learn about how to engage teenagers in the preservation trades. The presenters were from Building Event Solutions, an education group focused on bringing the building trades to life in tech and trade schools throughout New England. Theirs is a hands-on approach, making the learning process fun for students in these programs. They are dedicated to introducing students and their instructors to green building best practices. They have been very successful in breathing life into the trade programs here in New England, garnering support from product and tool manufacturers. However, they also talked about window renovation, yes folks you heard me right, WINDOW RENOVATION! I almost leapt out of my chair and cheered - well, I was little more subtle than that, I did give them a thumbs up. While preservation was not a major feature of what the discussion it was easy to see that A) the ABCs of good construction and best practices are the cornerstone of their curriculum and B) these guys understand that the best practices include preservation. Stay tuned for more... a session at the National Preservation Conference perhaps?
"Biophilic Design and Sustainability in the Urban Context" was the other session I attended yesterday. Stephen Kellert is a professor at Yale University and I have seen him speak before. I wanted to learn more about this concept of Biophilia and Biophilic design.
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