Greenbuild: What Is It Good For?
  • Greenbuild is the world's largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, attracting more than 20,000 attendees and getting bigger each year.
  • Akridge is committed to sustainable building and operations and has been a proactive Greenbuild attendee since 2007. The company is an active member of the local United States Green Building Council (USGBC) chapter and will continue to expand participation in these activities.

USGBC’s 10th annual sustainability conference, Greenbuild, was held in Toronto in October 2011. It is the preeminent gathering for thousands of “green” professionals and luminaries from around the world including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former President Bill Clinton, and retired General Colin Powell. Held during the fall in a different city each year, Greenbuild is a three-day event featuring educational seminars, renowned speakers, green building tours, and networking events.

This year’s conference was attended by Bob Schofield, Akridge Vice President and Director of Design and Construction. The Akridge Green Team spoke with him recently about the value of Greenbuild and what someone attending for the first time might find.

Green Team: How would you describe Greenbuild to someone who has never attended?

Bob Schofield: Greenbuild has two major components for attendees: the exhibition hall with roughly 1,000 exhibitors and the educational program with more than 100 seminars and keynote sessions.

Exhibitors include representatives displaying and demonstrating products such as flooring materials, HVAC technology, lighting, paint, plumbing hardware, and renewable energy, as well as software and computer applications. Services like architecture and design,

construction, engineering, facilities management, financing, landscaping, and general consulting also have promotional tables, along with government agencies, academic organizations, and professional associations.

Educational sessions range from topics of energy, technology, and benchmarking to infrastructure, policy, and financial value; and they cover commercial, residential, educational, and healthcare environments.

Why did you go to Greenbuild, and what were you looking to find?

I first attended Greenbuild with Tommy Russo (Akridge Chief Technology Officer) four years ago and found that the conference is not only a showcase for “green” building design and operational practices, but also represents the cutting edge of high performance technology for buildings of the future. Greenbuild is host to established and innovative products, services, and practices alike. It is not uncommon to see all the leading manufacturers alongside startups – with both showcasing new or soon-to-bereleased products and services. The educational element and the access to key leaders and visionaries are also important. Greenbuild attracts a who’s who in the world of sustainability, high performance properties, and the building of the future. This is the best building show, with the highest concentration of ideas, currently held in North America.

What did you take away from this year’s event that will help your group design and build better buildings?

I was very interested in learning about technologies to help thermally isolate window systems, new building energy management integration systems, new materials to incorporate into the aesthetic design, and new and evolving mechanical system components such as chemicalfree water treatment, better façade systems, and energy control systems. These technologies help Akridge reduce operating expenses while being environmentally responsible.

Akridge University: Sustainability 101

On Thursday, December 15, 2011, the Akridge Sustainability and Professional Development Councils co-hosted an internal educational forum titled LEED and ENERGY STAR 101. Led by Akridge’s own Sarah Knutson, Vice President of Development, and Lesley Morrison, Property Manager, along with other Akridge staff, the event was a crash course in the key components of the LEED and ENERGY STAR building rating systems. Guest speaker Bill Kristan from Healthy Buildings International also took part in the forum, providing insights into the ideas and practices associated with these systems and what they mean to Akridge.

From the Session…

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system developed by the United States Green Building Council in 1993. LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. Buildings attain one of four levels of certification – Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum – by meeting specific criteria.

ENERGY STAR was introduced in 1992 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and later joined by the U.S. Department of Energy. ENERGY STAR is a voluntary labeling program in which office products, major home appliances, and office buildings are recognized as energy efficient.

Akridge is proud to manage…
  • 4 LEED-NC Certified Projects
  • 2 LEED-CS Certified Projects
  • 3 LEED-CI Certified Projects
  • 8 LEED-EB: O&M Certified Projects
  • 17 LEED Projects in Process
  • 21 ENERGY STAR Qualified Buildings


ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Training

Energy consumption is the largest controllable expense we can manage for our building owners, which is why Dr. Sharon Levin, founder of Manage Energy, was invited to conduct a one-hour training session for engineers and property managers at Akridge’s home office. Dr. Levin taught the team how to correctly put building energy information into ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager online database. She covered basics such as creating a user account, identifying data requirements, managing and sharing information, and establishing an energy performance score between 0 and 100 for each building. Properties scoring above 75 earn the ENERGY STAR designation, indicating energy performance 75 percent better than comparable buildings.

From an asset management perspective, energy performance scores are important to evaluating investments in energy efficiency, developing energy management plans, and measuring improvement over time.

This training also helped to prepare Akridge for DC’s new Benchmarking regulations, which will require building owners to report annual energy and water consumption using ENERGY STAR portfolio manager.

Who is the Akridge Green Team?

Originally created in 2007, the Akridge Green Team is an interdisciplinary team of employees who have come together to assist in furthering sustainable practices within the company.

The Green Team has been led by members of the Property Management department with oversight by Senior Vice President, Kathy Barnes.