Northeastern lumber association focuses on 'green'

The Northeastern Retail Lumber Association’s [NRLA] Lumber and Building Materials Expo 2008 brought vendors and retailers together at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston Jan. 23 to 25.

Energy-saving windows and doors took up a lot of real estate on the floor at a show that featured a wide variety of green products.

“Green’s something in the Northeast that is not going away,” said NRLA president Rita Ferris. Ferris said the NRLA is starting to focus some of its education programs on Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as well as other green educational initiatives.

“It’s something our members have been calling us and asking for more and more.” But green wasn’t the only topic on the show floor. The housing decline gave members and attendees alike plenty to talk about in an environment where new products and innovative ideas are on display.

The downturn also meant a smaller turnout for the show. “It’s not what we like to see, but I think it's meeting people's expectations,” said Ferris, who noted that there were more qualified buyers at this show than previous years.