Billed as the largest and most cohesive green-building expo in Southern California, the Sixth Annual Alternative Building Materials and Design (AltBuild) Expo will return to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium Friday and Saturday, May 8th and 9th, offering a number of unprecedented presentations.

Presented by the City of Santa Monica, the free show features top speakers and noted exhibitors within the “green” community. The expo is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica. Parking is $8.

The AltBuild Expo brings together members of the building community, including architects, designers, contractors, retail buyers, government representatives and the general public — all with the uniform motivation to learn about and promote green building, alternative energy and sustainability technologies and practices.

Friday, May 8th is a trade-focused day, geared to the design/architecture and construction communities, while Saturday, May 9th will be for Trade and Public. The city hosted the free, self-guided “Green Building Tours” featuring homes, offices and gardens in the area in conjunction with AltBuild on May 2nd.

“The stars seem aligned for the 2009 Altbuild show,” said Brenden McEneaney, Green Building Program advisor for the City of Santa Monica. “Contractors are looking to differentiate their services in a slow economy, homeowners are looking to tighten their belts by reducing utility bills, and developers are looking for ways to increase values in a depressed market.

“Combine this with the clear priority that the Obama administration has placed on green jobs — it couldn’t be a better time to provide these extraordinary resources for the people who need it most.”

On May 8th, seminars will be open to the architect, building and design trades, including panels on the Principles of Sustainable Landscaping, and Institutional Architecture, which will focus on sustainability in schools, amongst other issues.

The May 9th event will feature workshops and panels on things such as sustainable design, green residential remodeling, and the issues surrounding the cutting edge of green building. There will also be two panels on water challenges in the 21st century, and water success stories, both moderated by Conner Everts, executive director of the Southern California Watershed Alliance.

“There is no time in recent history that California has had such challenges with drought and water conservation,” said Everts. “The issues discussed at the AltBuild panels will greatly affect the lives of all Californians in years to come.”

Among the 2009 sponsors and exhibitors are: the Department of Consumer Affairs, the California Energy Commission, PermaCity, AIA, BIA, ASID, LAGBC, SMDD, IBEW/NECAWaste Management, Build It Green, Livingreen, and Royal Plywood, Kingspan Panels, Discover Green, Western Roofing, So Cal Gas and Toro.

Information,, or (310) 390-2930.