Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Covering the BuiltGreen 2008 Event

One of the largest and most comprehensive green building conferences in the USA took place in mid-March in downtown Seattle. It's called BuiltGreen 2008 and Energy Rush TV covered it like no one else.

Our crew videotaped a keynote address by Andrew Winston of Riverside, Connecticut, founder of Winston Eco-Strategies and co-author of the best-selling book "Green to Gold." After the speech, Winston sat down for an interview with Energy Rush TV, where he spoke about the importance of going green in buildings around the world, going as far as to say that buildings need more attention in terms of going green than either the transportation or industrial sectors.

We also interviewed Patti Southard, a perennial co-chair of the annual BuiltGreen event and also head of the King County Recycling and Environmental Services department, which has developed a cool program called Green Tools, a way for suburban communities throughout the region to get greener and cleaner.

One of the presenters at the conference was Mark Schuster, president of The Schuster Group. His company is finishing up work on an ultra-green high-rise condominium project in the Belltown neighborhood near downtown Seattle. Mark spoke to us at length about the project, called the Mosler Lofts, and aside from being green from top to bottom, the condos are unique in their adherence to the original concept of an urban "loft" with ceilings that soar up to 19 feet high. The Mosler Lofts are scheduled to be completed by the first of April, and The Schuster Group has arranged for the Energy Rush TV team to come shoot footage of the inside and outside of the finished building. Look for more on this story soon.

Another innovator we interviewed that afternoon was Betsy Hands. She's a Montana State Legislator from Missoula, and also executive director of homeWORD, an affordable housing advocacy group in Montana. They recently completed construction on a project called Orchard Gardens, which intermingles land, housing, agriculture and affordable living in one tract of semi-urban property. The day after the conference, Betsy emailed us a whole bunch of great photos of the project, which we'll post soon.

In Issaquah, Washington a group of forward-thinking folks are embarking on a new endeavor called the Zero Energy Project. It's a small neighborhood which is designed to create more energy than it uses. We interviewed five of the key people involved with the ZEP, including:

  • Brad Liljequist, project manager from the City of Issaquah

  • Mark Wierenga, architecht of the ZEP

  • Dennis Rominger, representing the builder

  • Patti Southard, from the King County Green Tools program

  • Aaron Adelstein, executive director of BuiltGreen

The Zero Energy Project breaks ground this September. The Energy Rush TV team will be on hand, and will be following the progress of the ZEP from mud to final touches.

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