The 5th Annual Alternative Building Materials & Design Expo

The 5th Annual Alternative Building Materials & Design Expo (AltBuild) returns this year as the largest and most cohesive green-building Expo in Southern California, offering a number of 'firsts' and unprecedented presentations, including the first official presentation by collaborative Green Cities California. AltBuild will take place on April 25-26, 2008 at its new location, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Presented by the City of Santa Monica, the show continues to offer FREE admission, while featuring top speakers and noted exhibitors within the "green" community.

The Expo is a much-anticipated event that brings together the general public and members of the building community, including architects, designers, contractors, retail buyers, government representatives – all with the uniform motivation to learn about and promote green building, alternative energy and sustainability technologies and practices.

Friday (April 25th) is a Trade-focused day, geared to the design/architecture and construction communities, and Saturday (April 26th) will be directed primarily to the general public, though Trade is also welcome.

All interested parties are encouraged to attend the special presentation on Friday at 1:00pm by Green Cities California (GCC). As a means to address the urgency and gravity of a variety of environmental and social issues, the cities of Berkeley, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and the County of Marin - which collectively represent over 8 million California residents - joined together in October 2007 to create GCC.

The purpose of this new collaborative is to cooperatively take action to accelerate local, regional, national and international efforts to achieve sustainability. Representatives from member cities will describe the history of the formation of GCC, goals for the coming year, and collective impact to date. More information available.

Some additional 'firsts' for the region being presented by AltBuild are Victoria Johnston, LEED AP, on the board of the US Green Building Council-Redwood Empire Chapter, is Saturday's Keynote speaker. Topic: "Things That Work to Manifest your Green Vision". She is the Project Facilitator for the Salmon Creek Falls Environmental Center – an educational and community center – in Sonoma County, which received a substantial grant from the California Coastal Conservancy.

Michelle Kaufmann, AIA, LEED AP, of Michelle Kaufmann Designs is giving a rare Southern California solo presentation, entitled "Let the Green In". She will share certain solutions to the questions of "why" and "how" are the best ways to create a sustainable, healthy living environment as it relates to her work with prefabricated green homes, as well as the firm's "prenewable" mission.

Southern California's Edison and Gas Co. will showcase their latest professional and homeowner energy efficiency programs & rebates, and conduct extensive giveaways of showerheads, aerators and lightbulbs. "Developments Go Green" panel of residential developers and homebuilders who believe 2008 is the 'tipping point' for the residential community green building movement. Led by Greymar Assoc. founder and CEO Wally Geer – who brings his extensive background in design, construction, marketing, and finance of both conventional and alternative housing systems – this discussion will also touch on how to integrate deconstruction and reuse into the development of green homes. A brief panel discussion will follow re: the financing of sustainable homes and communities.

As green building certification systems become mainstream with a wide scale yearning for knowledge about these programs, a detailed panel presentation will discuss and compare the various certification systems. The near future of these programs will be discussed as well. Book signing for Global Green's Blueprint for Affordable Housing with the organization's President & CEO Matt Peterson, and Program Director Walker Wells, AICP.

Green Remodeling panel participation and book signing by Carol Venolia, author of Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green-House. Book focuses on how to start with the home you have and transform it into an eco-paradise—on any budget. Venolia is also a columnist for Natural Home magazine.

Additional AtlBuild programming and exhibitor highlights are listed in the document titled 'Additional 2008 Highlights.' A full schedule of lecture topics and exhibitors are also available, and on the website.

On Friday, seminars will be open to the architect, building and design trades, including a returning special certification prep class for LEED-NC presented by LEED -accredited architect Blair Seibert. (This class requires pre-registration.) Build It Green will be offering one of their first trainings in Southern California on their green home rating system, and on marketing and implementing green building strategies for the professional.

Saturday will feature workshops and panels on landscaping, climate, interiors/remodeling, and affordable solar applications. There will also be a special panel on water use ("doing more with less"), the Green Schools panel, and a Dwell Magazine-sponsored panel (topic tbd).

The Expo has become a must-attend event that occurs in a state that leads the way in green-building awareness and experimentation. "With over 8,000 attendees from across California and even internationally, last year was a resounding success for the AltBuild Expo." states Brenden McEneaney, Green Building Program Advisor for the City of Santa Monica. "We are excited to present AltBuild 2008 at its new location at the Santa Monica Civic Center, where attendees can see the latest in sustainable technologies and learn from renowned experts in the field just steps away from some of the green gems of the region, such as the Civic Center Parking Structure, the Rand Corporation building, and the Public Safety Facility."

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