More Than 24,000 Attendees and 700 Exhibitors Convened for Greenbuild and ABX 2017

By Informa Exhibitions U.S. on 11/17/2017

Today, Informa Exhibitions, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Boston Society of Architects/AIA announced the results of the 2017 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo and the Architecture Boston Expo, held last week at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The week-long events included an overall attendance of 24,731 and 703 exhibiting companies participating in 169,000 square feet of exhibit and display space on the trade show floor.

The Greenbuild-ABX education programs cumulatively featured more than 300 sessions, tours, summits and workshops in the robust education program and throughout the week, with nearly 100 sold out sessions. Attendees of each show were eligible to attend education sessions at both events.

“This year, we celebrated ‘Together in Boston’ to aptly describe the communal spirit of the week and the co-location between Greenbuild and ABX that formed the mega-event last week. We are so grateful to our community of attendees, exhibitors, sponsors and partners who brought such energy, excitement, and momentum to this year’s event," said Lindsay Roberts, Greenbuild group director, Informa Exhibitions. “It was an incredibly successful week celebrating the entire building and design community as well as the green building movement in the beautiful, historic setting of Boston.”

Greenbuild-ABX 2017 featured several key events, such as:

  • Plenary, which featured the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton
  • Celebration, held at the Boston Museum of Science, with a special concert by The Revivalists
  • Closing Plenary, which concluded the week with American astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson  
  • Combined Summit Closing Plenary with Bill McDonough, who spoke on advancing sustainable communities through the Cradle to Cradle© mission
  • Master speakers Scot Horst, CEO of Arc Skoru; Dr. John Warner, President and Chief Technology Officer of Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry; and Stephanie Meeks, CEO, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • USGBC Leadership Awards Luncheon, which annually recognizes outstanding efforts to advance green building design and construction
  • Communities & Affordable Homes Summit, WaterBuild Summit and International Summit
  • Women in Green Power Breakfast, which celebrated the strength of our democracy and women’s role in shaping change
  • Women in Design Symposium, a day-long event that encourages success and leadership for women in the design community
  • Greenbuild Legacy Project, the creation of a Green Building Tech Program at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in Boston
  • Eleven alumni events hosted by area universities and associations
  • Happy Hour in the Hall, which provided a lively atmosphere for networking

“The theme for this year’s Greenbuild was “All In,” which encompasses the breadth of the sustainability and green building movement and the commitment we feel to our community, to our mission, and to our world,” said Kate Hurst, senior vice president, Conferences & Events, USGBC. “With Greenbuild’s platform expanding to India and China in addition to Boston in 2017, we are growing our green building knowledge and shared expertise across continents—while scaling the breadth and reach of global market transformation for the built environment.”

Attendees also spent significant time discovering and enjoying the historical city of Boston. The USGBC Massachusetts community led the official host committee of Greenbuild 2017 with 30 tours throughout the week, exploring sustainable sites, prominent local universities, commercial buildings and the seaport.

The expo hall again showcased the leading products and services available to professionals within the sustainable building industry and had several notable areas, including:

  • World’s only Net Zero Zone, a 9,000 square foot pavilion powered by alternative power collected on-site at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
  • Five new content-specific Applied Learning Areas which featured extended Q&A from sessions in the education program, exhibitor-led lunch & learns and whitepaper discussions
  • Seven sponsored Education Labs with CE accredited education on the show floor
  • 212 exhibitors who scored a 75 or higher on the Greenbuild Mandatory Exhibitor Greening Guidelines Survey, including overall winners
  • Design Technology Throwdown, where teams of 4 competed against each other to design the best solution to a mutual design problem
  • Immersive Visualization, an interactive A/R and V/R display that featured over 10 companies
  • Learning Stage which featured free presentations every hour
  • The Quad, an annual social space exhibition area
  • Open Architecture Collaborative, which featured images and models of projects from the Boston chapter and hosted 2 interactive sessions on the show floor
  • MakeTank demonstration pavilion
  • Central Park landscape pavilion, which featured a charging pelaton and allowed attendees to charge their phone by riding stationary bicycles
  • Braindate lounge that allowed all participants to connect and meet face to face on specific topics of their choice

Josiah Stevenson FAIA, principal at Leers Weinzapfel Associates and 2017 BSA President noted:

“Every year during ABX, the BSA/AIA looks forward to learning the unexpected from interesting seminars, speaking face to face with product reps and running into seldom seen old friends. This year ABX was especially exciting because we co-located with Greenbuild. We were delighted to share the quest for design excellence and the power of knowledge with our Greenbuild colleagues during our time ‘Together in Boston’.”

Greenbuild 2018 is scheduled for Nov. 14-16 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. More information can be found at greenbuildexpo.com. The Call for Proposals and Reviewers for Greenbuild 2017 is now open and the deadline to submit a proposal is Jan. 5, 2018.

ABX 2018 is scheduled for Nov. 28-29 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center in Boston, MA. More information can be found at abexpo.com. The Call for Proposals for ABX 2018 will open Dec. 1 and the deadline to submit a proposal is Mar. 31, 2018.

A Message from USGBCMA:

I attended Greenbuild for the first time ever this past week and was amazed by the seeming ease and professionalism an event hosting 25,000 people could operate with. But it is important to remember that behind the success of Greenbuild is a small army of people whom throughout months of preparation are able to pull together a seamless integration of volunteers, outreach, sustainability, tours, and even the fostering of the future generation of green building practitioners. Their efforts underpin the success of the event and even the success of the green building industry in Boston. 

We owe special thanks to Judy Nitsch of Nitsch Engineering, who was recognized for her efforts at our Local Chapter Welcome Party and lead the host committee efforts. 

Jessie Miller of Opterra and Andrew Breiter-Wu of Breiter Planet spearheaded the volunteer's effort, gathering roughly 350 student volunteers from the local community and abroad.

Todd Isherwood of the Green Project Manager and Christina McPike of Winn Development lead the Greening of Greenbuild project, which aimed to promote sustainability through all aspects of the conference. The Greening Committee also aimed to educate Greenbuild 2017 attendees on recycling and waste management by equipping student volunteers with the appropriate background knowledge and expertise.

Kate Bubriski of Arrowstreet and Mike Browne of Advanced Building Analysis lead the Local Partners and Regional Outreach Committee. The goal of Local Partners & Regional Outreach Committee is to create and strengthen relationships with local and regional governments, educational and cultural institutions and nonprofit organizations to ensure Greenbuild 2017 is an amazing and lasting experience for all.

Jenn Taranto of Structure Tone and Cynthia Curtis of JLL lead the Ambassadors Committee, which ensured that USGBC (National) and USGBC MA were connected to the region’s sustainability VIPs, cultivates relationships, and delivered sponsorships for Greenbuild and Chapter-related Greenbuild activities.

Beyond the expo hall at Greenbuild, many tours occurred in the background of the entire event, showcasing Boston to the international audience. The arrangement of tours was managed by Jana Silsby of Perkins Eastman and Jeremy Caron of DCAMM, whom we owe a debt of gratitude. 

Before Greenbuild we also hosted a Local Chapter Welcome Party, and all proceeds from this event went to our Legacy Project. The Legacy Project to foster growth in the green building sector by providing internships to the students of the Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in green building relevant jobs. Paul Gusmini of the Federal Reserve Bank and Kristen Fritsch of Elkus Manfredi Architects made this possible through the constant commitment to the program and fostering the next generation of students. 

Lastly, we would like to thank Co-Chair Bryan Koop of Boston Properties and Co-Chair Agent Ben Myers of Boston Properties for their support and work within the Greenbuild Host Committee.

Undoubtedly there are many others that have contributed to making Greenbuild possible that we may not have mentioned, and we recognize that with an event so impactful to Boston, many people worked tirelessly to make this happen. The experience was incredible to all of us at USGBC MA, and we are eager to help continue to foster the momentum and passion we saw at Greenbuild.