Photo by Sean Selby

I recently attended my first ICSC RetailGreen and Centerbuild conferences this year. As a newbie in the room I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I must say it was a great experience. There were tons of people to meet and a wide spectrum of perspectives from within the retail building industry. This led to plenty of interesting and diverse conversations throughout the week. Fortunately for me, Sean Selby, co-chair of RetailGreen and Arrowstreet co-worker, was a great ambassador.

The week began with two days of great content at RetailGreen. I found the opening keynote speech by Roger Ballentine very interesting and informative as he walked through the historical timeline of sustainability in business. Roger also projected the full integration of sustainable practices into core business principles and therefore corporate value in the future. What an exciting concept and impressive progression over a relatively short time period! It’s tough to touch upon all of the sessions, but in addition to roundtables, boardroom discussions, and guest speakers, there was an innovation panel called “The Best Ideas You Haven’t Heard Of (Yet).” The panel consisted of representatives from three companies presenting their new sustainably focused product or concept. For example, one company has found a way to inject the CO2 emitted during concrete production back into CMU blocks at the tail end of the process reducing the amount CO2 leaked into the atmosphere.

CenterBuild followed RetailGreen with two days of interesting panels, roundtables, and speakers. One panel presentation I attended was about the Integrated Lean Project Delivery method currently being used to convert Downtown Disney to Disney Springs in Orlando, FL. The project includes renovation of the existing buildings as well as an expansion of roughly 150 new establishments. Panelists Frank Paris from Walt Disney Imagineering and Bart Bodway from PCL Construction discussed the range of adversity they came across and resolution methods they implemented in relation to the contract, design, coordination, and construction of the continually evolving process.

To finish out the week, Sean and I were able to get outside to enjoy the nicest of the week’s weather in Phoenix and do some rock climbing at Camelback Mountain. Quite the week-capper I must say. Check out Sean’s post here for some more photos and a picture.

Topics: Travel, Retail, Sustainability, Events