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Greenbuild 2023: Celebrating Resilient Transformations in the Built Environment

Members of our sustainability team share their experience at the Greenbuild 2023 Conference.

Insights from Greenbuild 2023

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Green Building Council’s development of the most recent version of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Greenbuild 2023 celebrated decarbonization, equity, health, biodiversity, and resilience in the built environment.

Members of APTIM’s Sustainability & Energy Solutions team attended the event, and they are proud to share their learnings about the future of building design for minimized waste, water, and energy footprints. Below are their reflections from the event:

Monica Smeal, Sustainability Performance Program Manager

I was excited to see two sports venues and Green Sports Alliance highlighted on a panel at Greenbuild—all of whom participate or are affiliated with APTIM’s Sustainable Sport Index—where they discussed their home turf’s sustainable construction, operations, and initiatives. I personally learned about the role stadiums and arenas can play in building entire communities that are resilient and proactive in the mitigation of climate change. Venues spoke on their accessibility to free public transit, electrification of sensors and temperature control, plastic and organic waste reduction efforts, promotion of biodiversity through native plantings, and many other industry-leading practices.

While the number of sports venues throughout the U.S. and North America may be relatively smaller than other forms of built infrastructure, these spaces can be equally impactful in educating fans, teams, staff, and communities on how they can be team players for the planet.

Dan Guico, Sustainability Specialist

I attended Greenbuild-at-home and was able to implement some lessons immediately into APTIM’s work with administering and implementing sustainability practices in airports. One of the sessions at the conference focused on specifications and submittals, which provided a very helpful overview of embedding documentation requirements into project manuals to ensure that sustainability initiatives are properly executed and recorded during projects. As administrators of an airport sustainability program, the APTIM team looks to influence environmental performance at airports by communicating reporting needs to designers and general contractors. Specifications and submittals are the foundation for proper accountability and communication in this context.

Anna Malone, Sustainability Assistant Project Manager

Greenbuild 2023, themed “Building Transformation,” marked my first-ever attendance of the event, and the experience was nothing short of inspiring. It was refreshing to feel a palpable sense of shared urgency throughout multiple sessions and panels. Diverse participants across sectors openly acknowledged the multifaceted challenges our industry faces, including social justice, climate adaptation, resiliency, and decarbonization.

I remain optimistic that the theme “Building Transformation” signifies our readiness to take concrete action as a collective. While climate change discussions resonated throughout the conference, a fundamental truth emerged: no meaningful climate change can happen without systemic transformation. It is not solely reliant on cutting-edge technology or the most efficient solar panels; it demands a profound shift in “business as usual.”

One notable highlight was the conversation between actor and former White House staff member Kal Penn and Vox co-founder Ezra Klein on climate and storytelling. Penn’s insights into the tension between individual choices and corporate influence, such as decisions concerning electric vehicles or plant-based diets, were affirming. Penn emphasized that individual choices act as a bridge to collective change in our pursuit for a sustainable future.

Building a Sustainable Future

All in all, Greenbuild served as a compelling reminder to embrace innovation while challenging conventional norms in construction and our day-to-day lives. The well-being of our planet relies on our courage to explore uncharted territories and reimagine our future together.

To learn more about APTIM’s role in driving a sustainable future, visit our Sustainability and Energy Solutions page.

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