EcoMap, Eco-Tech Makerspace, Tours & Greening Businesses Demonstrate Useful, Replicable, Teachable & Community-Driven Projects
LOS ANGELES (April 12, 2017) The U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles chapter (USGBC-LA) has received the Los Angeles County Green Leadership Award for a nonprofit agency for its 2016 campaign “Road to Greenbuild”. The campaign was prepared over months to showcase sustainable built environments and initiatives across LA County to over 18,000 people attending an international green building conference here over 72 hours. The annual awards—recognizing outstanding efforts by individuals and organizations in fulfilling innovative strategies to improve our environmental sustainability—were presented yesterday by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Chairman, during the weekly Board of Supervisors meeting.
“We are honored to be among the awardees selected by the committee for this year’s Green Leadership Award. This is a win for all of the USGBC-LA members and our partner organizations who keep working to make every day Earth Day in L.A.,” states USGBC-LA Executive Director Dominique Hargreaves.
In October 2016, the USGBC-LA chapter hosted the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, for the first time. The conference traditionally draws tens of thousands of visitors, and it was no different this year. USGBC-LA and its army of volunteers—led by Hargreaves and L.A. Greenbuild co-chairs Annie Argento and Randy Britt—spent the majority of 2016 preparing how to showcase, and then present, a sustainable built Los Angeles environment to those who attended.
Tools, projects, and events/tours were created, planned, and employed to meet this goal:
• The launch of Eco-Tech Makerspace at T4T.org in Gardena, where young people are able to explore sustainability challenges and learn how to solve problems using technology and other STEM learning. This “Legacy” project was a gift to Los Angeles for hosting Greenbuild. Through collaborative efforts, USGBC-LA was able to install a hi-tech design workspace at T4T, as well as help cool the building with green screens (walls of plants) so the tech and the children can innovate on-site more comfortably. This project is replicable and a second one is in the works.
• Going door-to-door, USGBC-LA engaged 100 businesses, providing them with giveaways and toolkits on how to green their operations, and then encouraged Greenbuild attendees to patronize these businesses. Toolkit included sustainable tips and guidance to specific incentives through the LADWP.
• Creation of EcoMapLA, an online, real-time, interactive, and searchable tool for all things sustainable in L.A.—from transportation hubs to local green places, spaces, and businesses, as well as iconic landmarks. Enabled Greenbuild attendees (as well as all future visitors and locals) to take self-guided tours, click on the building/place they are at, and learn its sustainability story, and more. Already quite comprehensive, the map continues to add more places, information, and features.
• Eighty (80) tours, over three days, of green buildings, transportation hubs, and routes, and outdoor facilities, showed off L.A.’s greening efforts across a region that was the most geographically expansive of any prior Greenbuild host city.
• Connecting and developing 600 local women leaders in sustainability throughout the year and leading up to participation in Greenbuild. Women were inspired by such leaders as Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, and Anna Guerrero, Chief of Staff for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, among many others.
• The BuildSMART Trailer brought knowledge and resources about sustainable building materials, new technologies, and utility incentives to over 4,000 L.A. area residents. This mobile learning tool offered a one-on-one, tactile learning opportunity directly to various communities (schools, parks, etc.) throughout 2016.
• On-the-job energy and water conservation training and certification for 400 janitorial workers across the County, who are now certified Green Janitors. Through this program, janitors earn a seat at the sustainability table alongside building owners and managers, empowering them to actively participate in the goals of the LEED Rating System, with an emphasis on energy efficiency and building health. Janitors also take their knowledge home to their families and neighbors, spreading sustainability across local communities. The program continues to grow, locally and across California.
Los Angeles’ Greenbuild co-chairs Annie Argento of Argento/Graham and Randy Britt of Vanir Construction Management state, ”The Road to Greenbuild offered us an amazing opportunity to engage hundreds of volunteers in this highly effective outreach initiative, and we’re so proud and grateful to them and to the Board of Supervisors. We’re especially pleased that almost all these programs are ongoing and growing, well past Greenbuild, leaving a tangible legacy for all Angelenos.”
For more information on the annual Green Leadership Awards, and for LA County’s press release about the winners, please visit http://www.lacounty.gov/greenleadership.
About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles
USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation. Our mission promotes sustainability in LA County’s built environment by delivering access to knowledge, resources, recognition, and networking. (www.usgbc-la.org)