IRTBA Green Council hosting Greenbuild panel Nov. 18

Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association’s (IRTBA) Green Council will host a panel on sustainable transportation infrastructure at the International Greenbuild 2010 Conference and Expo in Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 18.  The IRTBA Green Council is leading the transportation construction industry in developing and employing green, sustainable practices, hence the reason they were chosen among 1,100 applicants to speak at this year’s event.

“We want to show how integrating sustainability with planning, engineering and even construction will create cleaner, more vibrant communities,” said IRTBA Green Council member Pete Mesha, group president of engineering of Wight & Co.

Panelists Janet Attarian, of the Chicago Department of Transportation, Doug Knuth of Jacobs Engineering, and Leanne Redden of the Regional Transportation Authority will discuss how Illinois agencies and companies have combined efforts to identify new techniques to meet the challenges of designing and building infrastructure that protects the environment and efficiently moves people and products.

The panel will provide details about several notable local initiatives, including the Illinois Livable and Sustainable Transportation (I-LAST) Rating System and Guide. I-LAST, modeled after USGBC’s LEED program, is a way of scoring road and transportation projects on their degree of sustainability. The IRTBA Green Council leads the nation in translating the principles of LEED to infrastructure – in design and construction.  Chicago’s Green Alley Program will also be discussed.

The panel will demonstrate simple and effective ways to improve water and air quality, reduce energy consumption, recycle construction materials and reduce waste.  They will discuss methods for raising awareness about these issues and how to begin to change behavior, like encouraging car pooling and alternative modes of transit.

“We want to raise the bar,” said Jennifer Krug, chair of the IRTBA Green Council and vice president of K-Five Construction Company.  “We believe that by encouraging sensible sustainable solutions,  we are being environmentally responsible and promoting a better, greener use of infrastructure investment.”

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IRTBA’s session, titled “Planes, Trains and Automobiles:  How Chicago is creating more sustainable transportation infrastructure,” will be held Thursday, November 18, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., at the Greenbuild 2010 Expo at McCormick Place West.