Sustainable Buildings Industry CouncilDec. 4–7Washington Convention Center

The Industry

building design, construction, and renovation

The Attendees

2,000 engineers, designers, architects, and urban planners transforming the built environment with lean, green, and ultimately self-sustaining machines

The Issues

Eskimo’ Better: Sure, Buckminister Fuller’s geodesic dome maximizes structural strength while minimizing materials, thanks to its self-bracing framework of triangles. But the Inuits’ igloo optimizes volume, minimizes surface area, and conserves energy. “You can’t get more rapidly renewable than ice,” said “The Shape of Green” presenter Lance Hosey.

Mold Rush: Building Health Sciences Inc. toxicology experts tallied the growing expense of mold and moisture damage. In one case, a leaking pipe cost $3.2 million in the end. In December 2004, the mold- and class-action-lawsuit-plagued Hilton Hawaiian Village spent $55 million and a year gutting a 453-room tower.

Guilt Environment: At the “Making Renewable Do-Able” session, Steven Strong, designer of the first all-solar house in 1980, reflected on an 800-year-old building at Oxford that exemplified rock-solid architecture using locally sourced, renewable materials: “What have we accomplished in sustainability in all of the years since?”—Rob Tierney

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