By: Katie Parsons
on Monday, April 30, 2012
Hybrid and electric vehicles will be the talk of the town in May during the 9th Annual Greening the Heartland Conference. The three-day event will feature alternative fuel vehicles at the Indianapolis Convention Center on May 16 – 18.
Some notable vehicles that will be on display include a propane truck, a variable torque motor bus and a compressed natural gas car. The intention of the conference is to give consumers a better idea what the future of cleaner fuels looks like.
There will also be educational sessions that expose attendees to alternative to fossil fuels. Some of the topics that will be covered include solar, wind and geothermal energy. In total, there will be 36 educational sessions that help consumers and businesses make more informed energy decisions that lead to cost savings and a positive environmental impact.
Each day of the conference will have a different focus. Wednesday’s theme will be Environment/Ecology; Thursday’s theme will be Technology/Economy; and Friday’s theme will be Community/Equity. Breakout sessions will be geared toward specific program tracks, including building and design, ecology and resources, green tech, and community and infrastructure.
Indiana Tech will be the feature of a 9:30 a.m. breakout session on May 16 for its efforts to reduce reliance on coal. The college has taken strides to make its campus more “green” despite the fact that some of the buildings date back to the mid-1800s. The geothermal loop technology features at Indiana Tech will be discussed by experts from the college.
The speakers will also give attendees an idea of the steps that it took to transform one of the state’s oldest buildings into one of the most energy efficient spots in the Midwest. Tips on how to renovate buildings to a greener state will be handed out by the experts to the session attendees.
The Major General Emmett J. Bean Federal Center will be the topic of discussion at an afternoon breakout session on May 16. The facility is one of the largest government buildings in the nation and just recently unveiled one of the biggest solar panel installations in the nation. The project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and has a highly efficient photovoltaic system that has more than 6,000 panels for solar power.
The session will highlight the high performance roof system that has a high level of insulation as well as the solar hot water collectors. Experts involved in the project will be on hand to answer questions from attendees.
Greening the Heartland invites attendees from 12 states. The theme of this year’s conference is “Building Community” and will focus on the importance of diverse individuals, government entities and businesses coming together to move towards more sustainable living.
In nearly a decade of existence, the conference has been dedicated to combining environmental protection with “tangible, proven approaches for green building projects and sustainable development.”
An estimated 1,200 attendees are expected at the event, boosting the Indianapolis area with hotel and restaurant revenue.