EEBA takes summit to new level
October marks a new beginning for the annual Energy & Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) conference.
Gone is the name. And in its place is a new moniker that organizers say better fits the future of the building industry – High Performance Home Summit.
Out, too, is the traditional exposition that showcased manufacturers and their latest wares. It has been replaced with individual meeting rooms where developers, builders and designers can come together behind closed doors to discuss potential collaborations to advance each others’ efforts toward sustainability.
“This is the place to be,” said Nancy Bakeman, EEBA’s executive director. When it comes to high-performance building, “you can jump in at any point. We’ll get you to the next level and where you want to be.”
Registration for the Oct. 10-12 event in Atlanta is open through Sept. 29. The Summit is expected to attract as many as 500 builders, designers, raters and other industry representatives from around the country.
Though the focus is on single- and multifamily homes, many of the concepts used and pitched for erecting such high-performance structures are applicable to commercial projects as well.
A number of those taking part each year in the EEBA event are returnees, who always find something new – approaches, philosophies and techniques – on which to build.
“What is going to scale up this industry to the benefit of building science professionals is the new information that is going to be provided at this new EEBA event,” said Bob Fincher, an EEBA board member and publisher of ProudGreenHome.com and ProudGreenBuilding.com. “Every presentation is going to have a practical component that transitions interesting facts of building science to specifically how it’s applied and how is it communicated.”
Among the topics to be covered:
- Proper Valuation & Consumer Education for High Performance Homes
- Marketing & Selling High Performance Homes
- New Directions for Quality Assurance in Healthy, High Performance Housing
- The Future of High-Performance Housing Policy
The design of presentations has been tweaked into three formats with the aim of fostering more appeal and spurring more interaction between presenters and attendees.
Participants still can take part in the traditional lecture-style 75-minute presentations. But added into the mix are 150-minute summits that will be split into two parts, with half of the session featuring three panelists presenting on a particular topic and the other half being a roundtable discussion with the audience.
There will be what’s dubbed mini-summits, which run 90 minutes and involve multiple presenters each speaking for a short time. The final half-hour of the sessions are dedicated to questions and answers.
The EEBA Summit again will play host to the annual U.S. Department of Energy’s Housing Innovation Awards. The recognitions will be done as a luncheon to allow for more participation and to further illustrate to attendees what others are doing to stand out in the field.
“This shows others what can be done,” Bakeman said. “They can learn a lot from the winners.”
They also can learn a lot through private meetings with manufacturers in attendance – instead of in an open exposition – specifically to talk in-depth about new tools, equipment insight and how they might partner on high-performance projects.
With expositions, many businesses carry a booth from one event to the next, showing their latest goods and working to build interest in their products. Part of the problem with that approach is that much of the audience is familiar faces who attend multiple shows and already have seen what’s available at some point, said Gene Myers, EEBA’s board president.
Oftentimes, manufacturers collect business cards or visitor information and conduct follow-ups after the shows end.
The EEBA Summit’s new approach establishes an immediate opportunity between builders and developers, who can talk directly with the people who will use their products and to convey their value.
“This creates a more intimate conversation where (manufacturers can explore builders’) pain points,” said Myers, who also is owner and CEO of Denver-based Thrive Homes.
EEBA has made its mark as the independent voice for the green and sustainable building industries. The organization doesn’t promote specific labels or programs, but rather concepts and strategies for better building.
“The idea is to be a resource to help builders more from where they are to where they want to be as they move down the performance path,” Myers said.
For more about how summit participants can learn about high-performance building, click here.
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