2023 Buildings Conference Sustainability Takeaways

BuiltWorlds’ 2023 Buildings Conference was hosted in mid-May and provided a space for leaders in the AEC industry to discuss emerging technology and innovation and how to leverage them for more sustainable, cost-efficient, and time-efficient building projects. The conference spanned over a three day period, with one day dedicated to pre-conference events, and the final two days centered around panels, discussions, and other events. While sustainability wasn't the main emphasis of the conference, there was significant discussion about initiatives driving sustainable action, which will be further highlighted below.

Want to be a part of the discussion? Our upcoming 2023 Paris Summit is quickly approaching in late June and will cover how to grow alongside the ever-evolving built environment.

There will be  sessions discussing sustainability-focused tech and initiatives, what it takes to build a global audience, the state of corporate venture capital, and more.

Demo Day Competition

This competition featured both early-stage and growth-stage companies within the field that presented their ideas to a panel of hand-selected judges. Demo Day’s presenting companies were: Flexnode, Ecomedes, Arx, Sensytec, Symbium, lulafit, BuildingEase, Inventables, and Build Smartr.

Solutions provided by these companies focused on different challenges occurring within the industry, but a handful of them connected back to sustainable action. With the climate emergency becoming a much more harsh reality, the AEC industry must begin to create viable solutions to reduce its carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. By uplifting early and growth stage companies to share their innovative solutions, we hope to continue pushing for sustainable efforts to gain traction within the built world.

Build Smartr Presenting at BuiltWorlds' 2023 Buildings Confrence Demo Day.

Panels and Sessions

At the Buildings Conference, BuiltWorlds hosted and facilitated panels and discussions that featured guest speakers from different areas of the industry. Throughout the conference, sustainability and addressing the industry’s carbon footprint with innovative solutions–from changing building materials, using technology to make smarter buildings, to the actual construction of the build. Below are quotes from these discussions and panels that pertain to sustainability and taking environmental action within the industry.

“I see the path to net zero and decarbonization really not as a technology problem right now; I see it as an organization problem. I don’t think what’s holding any of us or any of our organizations back from the progress we need to be making is from a lack of technology…What I feel is actually counterproductive to progress to where we need to be to fight climate change is a dependency on some future silver bullet that’s going to solve all of our problems.” Kyle Hendricks, Managing Director, Sustainability, CBRE


“Net zero at the end of the day is going to come through collaboration and partnership… That collaboration to look at how you are going to get to net zero through a community or city level effort, is frankly the only way that some properties are going to be able to achieve that in the future.” Myrrh Caplan, Vice President, Sustainability, Skanska

“Six to eight percent of the overall greenhouse gas emissions of the planet [are from the AEC industry] and we have tools today to reduce that by thirty to fifty percent and the word is not out there yet.” John Ortiz, Global Head of Sustainability, MBCC Group

Speakers sharing content for the "Buildings 2.0 - What Will that Ultimately Mean?" discussion.

SOM Presentation and Tour of 800 Fulton Market

SOM led a presentation prior to leading a tour of 800 W Fulton for attendees of the conference. They shared the numerous sustainability initiatives that are active within the 14-story building and how it provides a holistic approach to sustainable living. The building has LEED Platinum Certification, with the design boasting enhanced energy efficiency, superior air quality, and reduced operating costs for its occupants. 800 W Fulton has an over 50% Green roof space that provides green space to tenants while emphasizing the importance of environmental preservation.

A group of Buildings Conference attendees taking a tour of 800 W Fulton.