Mean and Green: IBHS to Present at Greenbuild 2009 Conference

TAMPA, FL – November 16, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today announced that President and CEO Julie Rochman, along with representatives from Travelers and Ceres, will present “Mean and Green: The Need for Disaster Resistant Green Building,” Thursday, Nov. 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET at the Greenbuild 2009 Conference in Phoenix.

Greenbuild is the mechanism through which the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) advances its message of how to build for the future through the use of cost-effective, energy-efficient and water-saving green buildings.

“IBHS is a strong proponent of building green, and we also believe it is critical that we build structures that are durable and disaster-resistant,” said Rochman. “After all, a building won’t be very green or environmentally-friendly if it ends up in a landfill following a disaster.”

A significant percentage of the U.S. population now lives in harm’s way, either within 50 miles of the coast or within wildfire-prone areas, so incorporating existingresilient building techniques into green building makes sense. There are sound economic, environmental-preservation, and public health and safety reasons for green building; but there are potential pitfalls that need to be just as carefully evaluated from a building science perspective.

“USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification System, known as LEED, is a sound, well-recognized building standard,” added Rochman. “LEED could be even stronger and more beneficial to communities and property owners if its standards required structures to be both energy efficient and disaster resistant so they are better able to survive windstorms, floods, severe winter weather or wildfires, for example.”

The Washington, D.C.-based USGBC has more than 20,000 member companies and more than 130,000 LEED-accredited professionals operating within its 78 local affiliates. LEED is described by the USGBC as an internationally recognized green building certification system,providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

“By incorporating disaster resistant building standards into LEED, the USGBC would provide property owners with even more incentive to build green. For example, using dual-pane glass for windows is both energy efficient and it will help keep wind, water and fire out,” Rochman explained. “As IBHS and others identify ways to protect property in the face of natural disasters, we look forward to working with our colleagues in the green community. Helping property owners build and retrofit structures that are both green and durable will make our communities stronger, safer and better in many ways.”

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IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.

Contact:
Ed Domansky (813) 442-2845
edomansky (at) ibhs (dot) org

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