Green Build 2010 – Industry Growth or Collapse?

As we decend upon Chicago to immerse ourselves in what is expected to be an epic GreenBuild, I am left to wonder where the industry is headed…

Last year 30,000 plus people moshed through the doors in Phoenix Arizona at Green Build 2009 but after Tuesday night on the showroom floor at Green Build 2010 in Chicago, I am left wondering how many will be pushing through the front doors of the Chicago Convention Center in less than 12 hours. Either way, virtually all of them will be curious about one question: where is the green building industry headed?

The much anticipated Green Outlook 2010 from the folks at McGraw Hill will be out soon and’s “State of Green Business” has been released just in time for GreenBuild. The “State of Green Business” is, as usual, written in a passive voice in which the tone overly skirts around getting to the point in it’s quest to uncover advancements in “green.” The Green Outlook however is the much more quoted study referencing the potential market value of the green building sector. It is expected to suggest significant growth in this sector continuing the exponential growth it has experience throughout the 2000s.

Whether looking for trends, networking, education, or the “experience,” GreenBuild 2010 in Chicago will forcast exactly where the USGBC is headed. Membership to what was the largest environmental NGO in the world and the fastest growing NGO in the world, has dwindled from 20,000 members to 16,000 during the past 12 months. The showroom floor tonight demonstrated to me that the spending just isn’t there – Kohler who built a monstrosity covering better than 5000 square feet last year with water features galore, occupies maybe 1/5 of that space this year. Although I didn’t make it everywhere Tuesday night, there was Anderson Window’s massive demonstration, Home Depot’s 2-story structure, and the modular house tours that existed in Phoenix. Where is the USGBC in their growth pattern and how will they continue to impact the green building sector?

This question and others remain – to be continued…

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