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Greenbuild Conference highlights green construction, more jobs
Oct 6, 2011

By Alexandra Rosario
The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual conference and expo makes its way to Toronto this week to celebrate “what’s next” in green building. Greenbuild is the world’s largest green building conference and expo and is expected to  bring 25,000 delegates from over 115 countries to the event. A release from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre earlier this week also stated that Greenbuild will generate a positive impact on the local economy of over $58 million from delegate spending.
Toronto was selected by USGBC as the host city for the conference for several reasons, including its growth in the green building movement with nearly 300 building projects registered and seeking LEED certification and 44 green building projects already LEED-certified in the Toronto area.  
“Toronto and the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) have been a tremendous force in the recent growth of the green building movement in Canada,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC.  “Toronto’s building market has continued to boom and prosper and it’s the perfect backdrop for the 10th anniversary of Greenbuild.” Held in conjunction with the Canada Green Building Council, Greenbuild promised to inspire and educate with hundreds of educational sessions; dozens of master speakers; one and two day summits focused on green jobs, residential and affordable green building, and the international green building marketplace; more than 1,000 companies showcasing the most innovative green building products and services in the world’s largest expo hall dedicated to green building; and top-notch plenary speakers that include New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell, ABC News political commentator Cokie Roberts, medical anthropologist and physician Dr. Paul Farmer and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The opening plenary event will also feature Grammy award-winning band, Maroon 5.    
“It’s appropriate that the first Greenbuild outside of the United States is being held in Canada because it demonstrates the huge impact LEED, and the close partnership between the USGBC and CaGBC, have had on green building in Canada,” said Thomas Mueller, President and CEO, CaGBC. “There is no doubt that Greenbuild will be a game changer for Toronto and for Canada by taking green building to the next level in terms of industry and government recognition and international trade.”
According to a new study released by McGraw-Hill Construction at Greenbuild this week green jobs are established in the design and construction workforce. According to the study, 35% of architects, engineers and contractors (AEC) reported having green jobs today, representing 661,000 jobs and one-third of the industry workforce. That share is expected to increase over the next three years, with 45% of all design and construction jobs being green by 2014. 
“Green jobs are already an important part of the construction labor workforce, and signs are that they will become industry standard,” said Harvey Bernstein, vice president, Industry Insights and Alliances for McGraw-Hill Construction. “These numbers reported by the industry match our Dodge green building market sizing; so as green takes over construction activity, so too will green take over the construction workforce.”
Further results and insights will be shared by Harvey Bernstein at Greenbuild’s “The Green Workforce: Is the Construction Industry Ready for What’s Next?” panel on Thursday, October 6, at 4 p.m. in room G5325. Michele Russo and Donna Laquidara-Carr will discuss two other new green studies from McGraw-Hill Construction about the benefits of green office buildings and greening existing buildings at panels on Friday.

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