Widgets Magazine

Greenbuild and Green AV

By Penny Sitler
Last November Draper once again exhibited at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. It has been our largest show for the architectural audience for several years. It allows us to demonstrate our energy conservation and daylight harvesting solar control products and window coverings to the architectural community.
Draper began working on incorporating our products into LEED certified buildings about ten years ago. During that time we have developed a number of products to help building designers achieve certification points. To support that community several members of our team (including myself) have become LEED Accredited Professionals. The most significant of these products are in our window shade and solar control product lines. These products have the potential to realize significant energy savings, manage daylight, and cut down the glare on projector screens and displays to maintain views.
When I look around at the Greenbuild exhibitors I don’t see a lot of AV companies. From an exhibitor’s standpoint, most AV manufacturers who are not at Greenbuild have good reason for their choice: they don’t have the right product offering. AV, and green AV specifically, has had a difficult time getting incorporated into the LEED building design process. The exception is in the control section of our market – Crestron, FSR, and Lutron are a few examples that attend Greenbuild.
Standards are evolving; it seems the focus on LEED is shifting to a broader range of certification and validation options. That may offer more opportunities to include AV in energy saving designs. Further, there is a big movement in sustainable builds around the materials and supply chain. Architects are increasingly seeking documents called “HPDs” and “EPDs” (Health Product Declaration and Environmental Product Declaration). These are focused on what the products are made of or what specific ingredients in the materials might be risky or dangerous. The demand for this kind of documentation is growing. Companies that focus their resources on maintaining a green manufacturing process will be able to benefit from this move.
The Greenbuild Expo is a great show to connect with a broad range of professionals in the building construction and operation field on a one-on-one basis—from architects to facility managers. The attendees also include general contractors, subcontractors, interior designers and owners. The AIA (American Institute of Architects) show is designed around architects but many of them don’t spend much time on the show floor. They are focused on the continuing education opportunities, and don’t visit many exhibitors. At Greenbuild, visiting the show floor seems to be higher on the priority list.
Greenbuild offers a good opportunity for those AV integrators who want to broaden their work and control much more than AV. That’s why the control companies are exhibiting. Integrators and programmers might visit for much the same reason.
If you want to understand what is going on and ways to make buildings sustainable this show is a good place to be. We will certainly be there next year and Draper will have free passes to the show. The 2016 show will be in Los Angeles, October 5-6. We look forward to seeing you there and continuing to grow this market segment with our partners.
Penny Sitler serves as the Marketing Manager at Draper, Inc. You can reach out to her on twitter @DraperInc on Twitter.
Image used with permissions of Creative Commons. Image from Wikipedia.

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