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How Green Will Green GET?

Hot off the heels of HPAC Engineering's biggest and most successful Engineering Green Buildings (EGB) Conference and Expo to date, I am excited to announce that the event will be returning to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas in 2008. Mark your calendars for Oct. 21 and 22, and stay tuned to HPAC Engineering and for further details.

If you still are on the fence regarding the green initiative, wondering if it is for real, I have some advice for you: Don't sit much longer.

The risk is not in adopting a green philosophy. It is in believing that, “This too shall pass.” From my vantage point, that is not going to happen, not with the way the green initiative has developed to now.

Last month, I attended the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC's) Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago. (See my report, Page 8.) In five short years, attendance has grown from a few thousand to more than 23,000. Such a rapid and dramatic increase is a strong indication that green is entering the mainstream, Taryn Holowka, LEED AP, director of communications for the USGBC, told me recently. It is tough to argue with that, especially when, seemingly every week, another Fortune 500 company announces it is going green — or, in the case of Internet advertising giant Google, becoming greener.

Last month, Google announced that it plans to invest tens of millions of dollars to develop electricity from renewable-energy sources, such as advanced solar thermal power, wind-power technologies, and enhanced geothermal systems — this after Google took major steps to reduce its carbon footprint and reduce the power consumed by its data centers.

In his new book, “Green Building Revolution,” Jerry Yudelson, PE, LEED AP, quotes Jerry Lea of Hines, a leading development firm based in Houston. According to Lea, within two years, the business case for green buildings will be “business as usual.” And this from prominent New York City architect Richard Cook: “In five years, it will be clear that buildings not reaching the highest standard of sustainability will become obsolete.”

You will be hearing more from Jerry Yudelson in 2008, as HPAC Engineering plans to publish a series of excerpts from “Green Building Revolution” leading up to the EGB Conference and Expo, for which Jerry has agreed to serve as a keynote speaker. Look for an introductory column from Jerry next month.

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