In November, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced two new green building rating systems, LEED for Retail and the LEED Volume Program.

LEED for Retail is designed to guide and distinguish high-performance retail projects, including banks, restaurants, apparel, electronics, and big box stores. The LEED Volume Program offers building owners a streamlined way to certify a large number of new-construction projects or existing buildings.

While they may not be directly involved in deciding to build a green-certified building, contractors are becoming the biggest champions for concrete as a sustainable building material. Those who are up-to-date with sustainable construction trends are on the front lines of the industry's effort to expand concrete's role in this growing market.

Contractors, producers, and architects can gain a deeper understanding of green building issues at the third annual GREENSITE Luncheon & Forum at World of Concrete. The editors of THE CONCRETE PRODUCER and CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION magazines will host the event at the Las Vegas Convention Center, from noon to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20. Holcim is the event's sponsor.

Many contractors are concerned that green techniques will reduce profit margins, require additional capital equipment, or involve excessive documentation. The GREENSITE luncheon connects interested contractors with experienced professionals who have surpassed these challenges.

Industry experts will discuss various perspectives of the green building movement, including: using construction data analysis to find upcoming green projects in your area; reducing waste materials with Building Information Modeling (BIM); and using new tools and software to include more recycled material in the construction process.

After the speaker presentations, a panel will answer attendees' questions. The event is also a networking opportunity for contractors and producers share their advice and experiences with helping make concrete a key sustainable building material. Nearly 100 contractors, producers, and architects attended last year's event.

More green sites at WOC

The GREENSITE exhibitor area will feature environmentally friendly solutions in the Central Hall, near Registration.

This year, experts from the concrete industry's Joint Sustainability Initiative (JSI) will be speaking as part of the Contractor Clinic series. JSI members include PCA, NRMCA, ACI, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Concrete Masonry Association, and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.

The 30-minute sessions will take place Tuesday, Jan. 18, through Friday, Jan. 21, in the South Hall. The presentation schedule will be available onsite.

Visit to register for the GREENSITE Luncheon and Forum and to learn more about green activities during the show.

GreenSite Luncheon & Forum Speakers

Finding and bidding green projects
Derek Guffey, AIA, LEED AP, Key Account Executive, Reed Construction Data

BIM, concrete, and sustainability
James Barrett, National Director, Integrated Building Solutions, Turner Construction

Selecting the proper materials and providing results
Barry Descheneaux, Manager, Product Support & Development, Holcim

Green Building Seminars

Monday, Jan. 17
10:30 a.m. - Noon
Cementitious Blends and Their Impact on Sustainable Construction
Bruce Blair

3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Creating Sustainable Concrete Through the Use of Performance-Based Cementitious Systems Todd
Laker, Brooke Smartz, Thomas Van Dam

Tuesday, Jan. 18
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Introduction to Sustainable Design and BIM
Rich Szecsy

Wednesday, Jan. 19
1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Sustainable Concrete & You: How to Survive and Thrive in the Green Concrete Revolution
Kevin MacDonald

Thursday, Jan. 20
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
The Concrete Home as a System: The Building Science Behind the Benefits
Donn Thompson

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Pervious Mix Designs and Testing
Bruce Glaspey, Matt Offenburg