Northeast Region Conference 2013 held May 21st to 23rd

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Green and Sustainable Vermont
Northeast Region Conference 2013

Over 100 construction industry professionals from Vermont and around the Northeast Region got together for three days from May 21st to 23rd in Shelburne, Vermont. Tuesday night's welcome reception included a champagne toast for Worcester's Roland Barrett, recipient of the NE Region's Distinguished Service Award - the highest honor awarded by the Region.

Wednesday's events were held at the Coach Barn in Shelburne Farms on the magnificent 1,400-acre working farm/campus on the shores of Lake Champlain. The conceptual layout for this National Historic Landmark was designed by America’s father of landscape architecture Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1880’s. Prominent architect Robert H. Robertson designed four major buildings including the Coach Barn.

The day kicked off with a keynote by net-zero home builder Chuck Reiss on Building and Living Green.  Chuck discussed his philosophy of building sustainable homes and showed how to make it work using examples of projects he has build in Vermont that combine highly insulated energy efficient construction with solar electric power and geothermal heat pumps to create homes that use zero fossil fuels and have no utility bills.

Attendees were able to receive 5.5 continuing education credits from among the eight sessions that followed:  
-    Managing the Storm - Rainwater Management – Design Innovations
-    Efficiency VT Roundtable - From Vision to Projects – How can High Performance become Standard Practice
-    Riparian Corridors – Restoring Nature for Human Benefit
-    LEED version 4 – What’s Coming
-    LED: Lighting State of the Art and Art of Control
-    Environmental Product Disclosures – The New Materials Documentation Standards
-    Green Roofs in the Northeast – Options, Opportunities and Lessons Learned
-    Liveable/Walkable Communities – Planning with Form Based Codes

Throughout the day, the trade show booths offered attendees a chance to checkout the latest products and materials from around the region.  By all accounts the vendors who displayed found this a very well attended successful show.

A cocktail party kicked off the evening, and included the giveaway of the trade show door prize - an ipad mini - by the Vermont Chapter.  The Northeast Region held its annual meeting with a full quorum.  Then a scholarship auction with prizes donated by chapters from around the region ensued. The bidding was active and funds raised to enable the region to award three $1000 scholarships to deserving students at the end of the night.

Despite networking until the wee hours in the hospitality suite, the activities kicked off at 8 am on Thursday morning. In addition to the Region Board meeting, workshops were held on Academic Programs, Finance, Communications, Membership, and "The Seven Deadly Sins of Volunteering".  Synopses of these will be posted on the NE Region website.

The conference concluded with an awards luncheon honoring all who volunteered to serve the Region in FY'12 and included the ceremony of Roland receiving the Distinguished Service Award Medal.

All-in-all it was a very rewarding and productive three days. We look to repeat this success in Rochester on  November 12th and 13th, 2013 and with the Worcester County Chapter hosting in May 2015.

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