New Orleans Hosts 2014 Greenbuild Conference And Expo

Oct 21, 2014

A shot of the floor from the 2010 Greenbuild conference in Chicago.
Credit Timothy Dahl /

Here are two buzzwords you probably hear a lot these days: "sustainability" and "resilience." These words will be heard a lot over the next few days at the Greenbuild Conference and Expo, as visitors from around the world will share ideas on how to plan for the future using green technology. 

Regardless of how "green" the New Orleans Convention Center is, for the next two days everything inside it will be. Architects, engineers, designers and the rest of the green build movement descend upon New Orleans on October 22 and 23 to showcase products, meet other professionals, and tour the green buildings of the Crescent City.

Waggoner and Ball Architects is leading one of these tours. Aron Chang is a planner and designer at the firm. He sees the significance of Greenbuild choosing New Orleans as its host city.

"Because of the magnitude of the problems we have here, the fact that we’re on the front lines (of) land loss, climate change, sea level rise. To have a lot of people come and here pay attention to what we are doing and what we aren’t doing — and hopefully be candid about ways in which we can do things better," he says.

The beauty of such a gathering is the exchange — sure, there is lots to learn by walking down the aisle of exhibitors to discover new green lighting, kitchen countertops, and landscaping products. But Chang says when it comes to shaping our environments, it is worth talking about where we come from.   

"I’m from California, and the issues that we face there in terms of drought... and here we have an overabundance, an excess of water. On top of sharing of projects and sharing of ideas and technologies, how do people get things done, how does one city become the first to pilot a new kind of system, a new way of handling water, or improving water quality, and how can one city learn from another."

Greenbuild Conference is a chance for the rest of the world to see how New Orleans sizes up in the world of sustainable technology, and to inspire new ideas for the city as it continues to brainstorm ways to stay on the map.

Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Walton Family Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and the Kabacoff Family Foundation.