The public is invited to learn about current and upcoming green technology at the Bridging the GAPS conference April 7-8 at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center. Sponsored by the Georgia Alabama Partnership for Sustainability and Fort Benning, the event is free of charge.

The conference is modeled after a sustainability conference initiated by Fort Carson, Colo., in 2003, said Peter Lukken, Fort Benning's sustainability planner.

Similarly, this conference is designed to become an annual event that will keep business, military and community leaders in the region up-to-date with advances in green technology, he said.

"We need to share what's out there with environmental energy," Lukken said. "One big partnership in sustainability, that's basically what this is. The latest energy and environmental technologies change so rapidly that you really have to stay abreast of what's out there and what's coming on board. This (conference) allows us to exchange ideas, look at the latest technologies and also compare notes on what we're all doing."

Assistant Secretary of the Army Tad Davis will kick off the two-day conference. After that, people will divide into breakout sessions geared toward their interests, Lukken said.
Four tracks are available: green building, environmental resources, military programs and education.

Green building will focus on technology used in houses, such as geothermal piping, carbon neutral carpet, rainwater harvesting and solar cells, said Lynn Deaton, a strategic planner on post who will head up the track.

In this track, people will have the opportunity to take Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design classes to help them prepare for the LEED certification test.

Environmental resources will be geared toward projects with a broader scope like the Clean Air Campaign, watershed management and pollution prevention, Deaton said, while the military and education tracks will highlight advances on post and in universities.

There will also be 60 to 80 exhibitors showcasing sustainable technology.

Even though sustainable has become a buzz word of late, it's a practical concept that can benefit local and regional industry, Deaton said.

"Sustainability really means something that's going to sustain, something that's going to last longer," she said. "I interpret 'green' directly as efficiency. How can you make something more efficient or use it more intelligently so that given the same resources, you're able to do more work or produce more results' And that's exactly what technology does."

The deadline to register is March 31. Tickets are limited to the first 350 registrants. Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. both days and the conference starts at 9 a.m. Lunch is included April 7.

For more information or to register, visit www.gapsconference.com.

Page last updated Fri February 20th, 2009 at 16:42