ConferenceExhibition On Green-Built Homes Coming

April 28, 2008
| By Pete Daly |
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GRAND RAPIDS — A major Midwestern conference and exhibition on green-built home construction and remodeling is set for Aug. 21-23 at DeVos Place, featuring more than 100 exhibitors and informational programs for builders. The exhibits and special programs are open to the general public on Aug. 22 and 23.

The Michigan Association of Home Builders and Green Built Michigan will host the inaugural Great Lakes Green 2008, which is expected to attract attendees from throughout Michigan and surrounding states

“Green is everywhere and becoming a part of every industry; home building and remodeling are no exception. Green building is about building a healthier, safer and smarter home,” said Rich Kogelschatz, president of Heartland Builders LLC in Rockford and chair of Great Lakes Green 2008.

According to a recent study by the national polling firm Public Opinion Strategies, 64 percent of 800 registered voters said that reduced energy costs would drive their decision to purchase a new green home or remodel their current home to be more green. Fifty-five percent said their driving decision to purchase or remodel green would be “because it would be healthier” and 49 percent said it’s “the right thing to do for the environment.”

"Almost everyone (in the market for a new home) wants something that green offers," said Greg Powell, owner of Powell Construction Services in St. Joseph, and president of the Michigan Association of Home Builders. The extensive list of green benefits includes energy efficiency, higher indoor air quality, reduced maintenance costs, less impact on the global environment, and more.

Great Lakes Green 2008 will begin with a reception hosted by Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, who has established a reputation as an advocate for the creation of sustainable communities.

A green home design competition for students, Great Lakes Green 2008 Home Design, and a two-day professional course for achieving the NAHB Green Building designation are among the activities scheduled during the conference/exhibition.

Home construction industry professionals will choose from more than 18 seminars ranging from Green Built Training, LEED for Homes training, Green Products, Geothermal Heating and a Renewable Energy discussion.

On the last day of the exhibition, more than 20 seminars will be open to the public. Topics include a general discussion about green products, energy efficiency and, according to the announcement from the MAHB, a session on “how to remodel your home or build a new one without getting a divorce.”

“Saturday seminars are going to be very informational to the public and will provide the tools necessary to educate consumers on how to go green,” says Powell.

The exhibition will be open to the general public on Friday and Saturday, with commercial exhibitors demonstrating green goods and services. Other exhibition booths will be occupied by representatives from nonprofit organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the Alliance for Environmental Sustainability, West Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association.

To learn more about Great Lakes Green 2008 or to register, sponsor, exhibit or enter the Student Design Competition, visit www.greatlakesgreen2008.com. In addition to MAHB, Great Lakes Green 2008 is sponsored by Green Built Michigan, Wege Foundation, MASCO, Whirlpool Corp., Nu-Wool, Floorheat, WaterFurnace, Habitat for Humanity and Michigan Association of Realtors.

MAHB is the major professional trade association in Michigan for home builders, based in Lansing and chartered in 1948 with the National Association of Home Builders. It is comprised of 33 local home builder associations around the state. MAHB currently has about 9,000 members, which includes builders as well as other professionals involved in the home building industry. MAHB promotes the building industry and is active in legislative, regulatory and legal issues affecting home construction.

Green Built Michigan Inc. is a 501(c)3 education, training and certification organization affiliated with home builder associations across Michigan since 2001. Green Built serves as an education resource to all members of the building community and homeowners who are interested in learning more about residential green construction. For more information about Green Built Michigan’s members and programs, go to GreenBuiltMichigan.org.

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