The 2014 edition of the DesignColumbus trade show is setting up to be better than ever. The event is put on as a combined effort between the CSI (Columbus Chapter) and USGBC Central Ohio and primarily consists of educational sessions and a trade show. The planning committee has selected a top-notch group of sessions from both local and international entities, many of which count towards AIA and GBCI credential maintenance requirements. The list of trade show vendors is diverse, ranging from building product manufacturers to design firms. Beyond the sessions and trade show, this event represents an opportunity to network with some of the best and brightest of Central Ohio’s AEC community.
This year’s keynote speaker is Guy Worley, the President & CEO of the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation. Downtown Columbus has been in the news lately with development plans centered around the area of the existing Veteran’s Memorial. The demolition is moving forward and should have a dramatic impact on the Downtown area surrounding West Broad Street, including COSI, the venue where DesignColumbus is held annually. This revitalization of another part of downtown is an exciting prospect and many of us are excited to hear more about this project.
There are two of the educational sessions that I am especially excited about it. The first, “Keeping Up with ASHRAE and LEED,” I watched for the first time at Greenbuild 2013. In particular, the LEED Administrator and researcher in me enjoyed their experiment of how a particular project would fare across three different versions of LEED (and ASHRAE) and the necessary cause and effect of scope changes. I liked it so much, I made a point to reach out to Scott Bowman from KJWW to see if they could bring it to DesignColumbus. I’m glad to say that we made it happen and I think it will be as well received here as it was in Philadelphia.
The other session I’m really looking forward to attending is Schools for the 21st Century by Allison McKenzie and Todd Thackery from my own firm, SHP Leading Design. This session focuses on the nearly $250 million K-12 building program underway for South-Western City Schools here in Columbus, projects that I have the privilege to be a part of. I am lucky to see first hand to be part of the hard work a lot of people are putting into building schools our community can be proud of. There is a dedicated cast of professionals from SWCS, SHP, Ruscilli, Smoot, Heapy, Kleingers, Altman, Robertson, Summit, Barton Mallow, and many other firms and subcontractors working together towards that common goal and the first four elementary schools will open for the 2014-2015 academic year. I am excited that more people will get to see what we’re doing and the brand new ways that we are doing it, such as utilizing Ohio’s OAKS project management system for the first time on K-12 projects.
Finally, after the conclusion of the educational sessions, DesignColumbus will close out with a happy hour that historically is buzzing with networking and stimulating conversation. As usual, the planning committee has demonstrated their commitment to keeping the event a great value to attend, with the highest (non-member) registration cost being only $50 and student registration at only $25. In my experience, many similar events cost more than twice that much to attend. All in all, there’s a lot to look forward to on April 28th.
(Please contact DesignColumbus Committee Co-Chairs Adam Olson and/or Jim McDonald for more information about sponsorship opportunities or trade show booth openings)