This past weekend, the Southwest Build-it-Green Expo and Conference was held at the Phoenix Civic Center.  Parts of the Civic Center have gone through a major rebuild/renovation, including a LEED Silver certification for the West building.  Oddly enough, this green building expo was held in one of the original and un-LEED-like buildings.

As I stepped into the Expo hall, the very first exhibitor that I saw was a solar company.  This trend continued throughout the medium-sized Expo.  I did not count the solar displays but I would not be surprised to learn that there were 20 different solar companies represented. 

I understand that this is Phoenix, Arizona and the city has an average of 300 days of sunshine each year, but perhaps the show organizers should have placed a cap on the solar exhibitors.  I stopped at several of the solar booths to ask what differentiates one person’s company from the solar company that was three booths down.  The main difference came down to financing options.  Of course, the booth personnel were salespeople and so the bottom dollar was usually the primary focus. 

I also stopped by the booth of the Arizona chapter of the American Institute of Architects to discuss one of my favorite topics – LEED certified buildings.  I was excited to hear that March is Eco Month 2009 and the AIA Arizona group is providing guided tours of LEED Registered projects. 

Two of the properties on the schedule are the Cesar Chavez Library in Phoenix, which has applied for LEED Silver certification and the LEED-CS Silver pre-certified Papago Gateway Center.

I was able to zip through the expo center in a few hours and the general vibe that I got from exhibitors is that everyone is excited about USGBC’s GreenBuild in November.  GreenBuild is the world’s largest green building expo and conference.  GreenBuild 2009 begins on November 11 right here in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Photo by networker

My first green building expo
Solar displays were prominent at the Southwest Build-it-Green Expo in Phoenix.