Green Construction Expo to showcase products, offer demonstrations on sustainability

Construction crews poured concrete with a recycled glass content of about 10 percent for a Clarkson University sidewalk project. The project was undertaken between Price Hall and the Cheel Campus Center parking lot, with crews using a donated byproduct from a glass bead manufacturer, Potter’s Industries, as a replacement for Portland cement. The new concrete formulation was part of a process developed at Clarkson. Submitted Photo.

Construction crews poured concrete with a recycled glass content of about 10 percent for a Clarkson University sidewalk project. The project was undertaken between Price Hall and the Cheel Campus Center parking lot, with crews using a donated byproduct from a glass bead manufacturer, Potter’s Industries, as a replacement for Portland cement. The new concrete formulation was part of a process developed at Clarkson. Submitted Photo.

Clarkson University is seeking vendors and sponsors for its upcoming Green Construction Expo, which will bring together individuals and businesses striving to make the north country community a more sustainable place.

“The intent of it is to enable the people of the north country, whether they be local residents or businesses, to understand what is green construction by seeing products, materials, demos and some education,” said Erik C. Backus, director of Clarkson University’s Construction Engineering Management Program.

Mr. Backus said the expo will also feature do-it-yourself exhibits and enhance awareness about what people can do both in their home and in the community.

He said people should be able to see contractors doing construction in the community and understand what they are doing and what they could be doing better to be more sustainable. North country people have sustainability “almost in their DNA,” according to Mr. Backus.

“This is not new to the Adirondacks or the north country. A lot of folks here really support these things,” he said. “This is just trying to understand what the new technologies are and bringing together the community around this.”

“Certainly what you do at the home is important, but this is an opportunity for you to start learning about what you want your public officials to be thinking about in terms of how we develop infrastructure here in the north country,” Mr. Backus continued.

Businesses can set up booths to show off their materials or processes that focus on sustainability, but the expo can also be used as business promotion, Mr. Backus said.

“Green construction or sustainable construction will not be successful unless it is sustainable economically as well,” he said. “There is a lot here in the north country that can be taught to other people about what is sustainable.”

The Green Construction Expo focuses on sustainability to help steer north country residents toward living healthier, more productive lives and engaging in the community in ways that better our future, Mr. Backus said. He said the north country has experienced firsthand the effects of climate change as carbon emissions increase and more acid rain is dumped into our lakes and rivers.

“What we need to do here is help create the environments we want for our future generations. The north country can be a leader in this and has been a leader in this,” Mr. Backus said.

Local efforts are most effective when it comes to sustainability, according to Mr. Backus. He said that, as taxpayers, residents have an opportunity to make a significant impact locally. He said the expo can help promote sustainability in the future, which can be less costly in the long term.

“Each of our municipalities across the north country have precious few dollars to maintain infrastructure,” he said. “How do we look at that? This is a way to learn about how all of those things come together and how you need to be informed about that.”

Mr. Backus said the expo is a good way to bring the community together.

The Green Construction Expo will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 31 at Clarkson’s Cheel Arena.

Vendors interested in a sponsorship or setting up a booth can contact Theresa Ferero from Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment at 268-3856 or at tferero@clarkson.edu.

By Jake Newman, Watertown Daily Times