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USGNN Original StoryGreenbuild Opens Today in Chicago

Everyone's going green. We all knew former vice president Al Gore was green and now, as it turns out, so is former president Bill Clinton.

Clinton opened this growing event, the world's largest conference and exposition dedicated to green building, today in Chicago. It runs through Friday, with the exposition today and tomorrow and educational sessions all three days.

Clinton's keynote kicked off what is expected to be the largest Greenbuild ever. More than 20,000 people from all over the world are expected to take part in three days of educational sessions; LEED workshops and hands-on training; local green building tours; design charrettes and networking events; and the exhibition. Greenbuild's exhibit hall sold out nearly a year in advance: its 800 booths are displaying the newest green building technologies, products and services.

A number of industry companies are participating in Greenbuild. Firms displaying their green credentials include Viracon, Sage Electronics, Kawneer, Vistawall, PPG, Super Sky Products and CPFilms, as well as window manufacturers Andersen, Certainteed, Marvin, Pella and TRACO.

President Clinton accepted a plaque honoring his library in Little Rock for achieving platinum LEED status. He discussed the political aspects of the environmental situation and said that, for the United States, it is an opportunity not a problem. "It is the greatest opportunity for mobilization for this country since World War II," he stated. Clinton noted that 70 percent of energy usage in urban areas comes from buildings, and that dealing with this represents an opportunity. He revealed that GE Real Estate, one of the largest building owners in the United States has committed to increasing the sustainability of its portfolio, which consists largely of existing buildings. "This is huge and will give the market an impetus," he said.

"What I'm trying to do is figure out how to make it work," Clinton told attendees. And making it work is the task for the exhibitors on the show floor.

Stay tuned to™ for information on just what the exhibitors on the show floor at McCormick Place in Chicago are doing for green building.

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