Several years ago, Richard M. Daley, mayor of my hometown of Chicago, vowed to make his city green. To that end, he built the Chicago Center for Green Technology and the Household Chemicals and Computer Recycling Facility. Also, he became a rather staunch proponent of rooftop gardens as a means of reducing air-conditioning use. One such garden was built atop City Hall and became a symbol of the mayor's pledge.

There is little question Mayor Daley has done much in recent years to improve the city, especially near and along the lakefront. Many ghastly looking high-rise buildings have been torn down, and there hardly is a neighborhood where housing—new or rehabbed—does not command top dollar.

But that does not make Chicago green. Case in point: The Chicago Tribune recently reported that, despite a plan to cut carbon emissions generated by city government buildings by 4 percent, carbon emissions have increased 10 percent over the last four years.

What went wrong? Was the city hopelessly optimistic in its planning, or did it take its eye off the proverbial ball? That, I do not know. What I do know is that it takes lasting commitment and technological expertise to make even one building green, let alone numerous buildings that rely heavily on fossil fuels. That commitment and expertise is what HPAC Engineering is looking to foster with its fourth annual Engineering Green Buildings Conference and Expo, which will be held Sept. 17 and 18 at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

The session schedule is nearly complete as of this writing, and we are excited by how it is taking shape. We have assembled a stellar lineup of industry experts who will give presentations on the tools and technologies necessary to design and maintain green mechanical systems in government, education, and hospitality buildings. Buildings like those in Chicago—and your town.

For more information on the conference, visit www.egbregistration.com.

See you there.