LOS ANGELES (May 22, 2023) The U.S. Green Building-Los Angeles Chapter’s (USGBC-LA) Civic Green Building Awards were presented at the 22nd Annual My Green Building Conference and Expo (MyGBCE) on May 18th. The awards recognized 11 exceptional efforts in sustainable buildings within city or county government. They also recognized: a top civic entity, and local official, for their work on impactful policy; and two Product Awards, for innovation in energy efficiency and embodied carbon. All awards are listed below.
This year’s MyGBCE embraced the theme “Build. Connect. Grow.” and was fittingly hosted at The Beehive, a campus renovated by SoLa Impact, the largest Opportunity Zone developer in South L.A. and a place that supports innovation and training for the local community.
The event featured 12 sessions and workshops including several focused around housing, equitable decarbonization, EV infrastructure, and nature-based solutions; six keynote addresses; a Power Panel of regional government officials; over 40 topic-focused, interactive and fast-moving Table Talks; ESG Training for small/medium sized businesses; displays of electrified construction equipment; art exhibits supported by microgrants; and a performance by producer, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and global sustainability advocate AY Young. The event also welcomed over 80 businesses and community groups as exhibitors.
Keynote speakers included Martin Muoto, Co-Founder and CEO, SoLa Impact; Cynthia McClain-Hill, Board President, LADWP Commissioners; and Liane Randolph, Chair, CARB, opening the day. The State of California Poet Laureate Lee Herrick read his poem “My California.” He was followed by Kirsty Jenkinson, Investment Director for the Sustainable Investment and Stewardship, CalSTRS, and Rhiannon Jacobsen, USGBC’s Managing Director, U.S. Market Transformation & Development, who led into the Awards, presented by USGBC-LA Vice Chair Christine Marez of Cumming Group, and Board Member Jessie Buckmaster of Hathaway Dinwiddie, the MyGBCE co-chairs. The esteemed Mary Nichols, Distinguished Counsel for the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, closed the day with words of action, inspiration and a reminder of what we’ve learned even in the last 15 years, understanding the more drastic percentage of emissions cuts required.
Additional highlights included the launch of USGBC-LA’s Net Zero Accelerator 2023 cohort; and a corporate sustainability panel with Google, NBCUniversal, Paramount Pictures and The MBS Group, moderated by USGBC-LA Board President Melissa Gutierrez-Sullivan of CIM Group.
“Our annual green building conference really felt like it delivered this year on providing a different, more engaging experience with innovative content, from speakers to art, making the connections between people, buildings, and environmental justice,” says Ben Stapleton, USGBC-LA Executive Director. “It was an honor to hear from both the current chair of the California Air Resources Board as well as from the past chair in luminary Mary Nichols, while immersing ourselves in the environment provided by a fantastic partner in SoLa Impact. This year we broke the mold for what this conference can be and we will only be moving forward from here.”
The conference had more than 1,100 registrants and 90 exhibitors, attracting a wide variety of those involved in the built environment, including architects, engineers, building owners, contractors, manufacturers, municipalities, utilities, public agencies, community groups / nonprofits, students/emerging professionals, and general public.
USGBC-LA thanks MyGBCE sponsors Consulate General of Canada, Howard Building Corporation, LADWP, SoLa Impact, Swoogo, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), Southern California Edison and Sunbelt Rentals.
THE AWARDS LIST
- California Air Resources Board (CARB) received the “Policy Leadership Award”. In September of 2022, CARB voted to ban the sale of gas furnaces and water heaters by 2030, driving the approach that new equipment and retrofits must be zero-emissions alternatives, like electric heat pumps..
- Ben J. Benoit, Outgoing Chair of South Coast AQMD, as well as Riverside County Auditor-Controller, was presented the “Elected Official of the Year Award”. He was recognized for his 10 very successful years of championing clean air and energy efforts throughout the region (February 2013 – February 2023).
- The “Energizing Efficiency Award”, to honor the product or service helping us best address reducing operational carbon, went to Channing Street Copper Company’s ‘Charlie’, an energy storage equipped (ESE) induction range coming to market this year. It offers an easy replacement for a gas range, as it can run using the standard 120v outlet that is already behind the stove. It also offers resiliency in case of power outage, with ability to loadshift and use clean renewable energy.
- The “Mighty Materials Award” was created to honor the material helping us best reduce embodied carbon in buildings. ByFusion was honored for developing an industrial machine that transforms 100% of non-recyclable plastic waste into an advanced new building material, without additives or fillers, called ByBlocks.
GREEN BUILDING AWARDS (Online tour of the green building winners via USGBC-LA EcoMapLA):
Project: CSULB – Admin + Commons
Project Owner: California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)
About: As a project that is LEED Platinum®, the Administration Building and Commons at CSULB is setting the tone for the future of the campus. The building is poised to achieve certification under the Institute for Living Future’s Living Building Challenge because of the integration of sustainable design strategies such as; reclaimed water, solar panels, natural light and ventilation, chemical-free construction materials, and other regenerative and net positive energy principles.
Project: CSULB – Parkside North Residence Housing
Project Owner: California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)
About: The Parkside North and Hillside Gateway residential structures, also LEED Platinum®, will be the first buildings in the California State University system to carry certifications under the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge Program. The building will save one million gallons of water yearly, and is net zero energy, featuring reclaimed water and a solar rooftop terrace that aims to reach CSU’s 2030 carbon neutrality goal.
Project: Rancho Los Amigos – RCC
Project Owner: Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
About: The Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center has developed an inclusive health center with a beautifully landscaped plaza that invites the neighborhood in. Earning LEED Gold® status, the center incorporates sustainable materials in its built environment, such as bamboo flooring and recycled-content carpeting. It also has a green roof, which helps to insulate the building and reduce the urban heat island effect
Project: Jet Propulsion Laboratory Building 180
Project Owner: JPL Facilities
About: Through practices such as retro-commissioning, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Building has achieved LEED Gold®. Building 180 has cut its energy use in half over the last five years. Additional upgrades that helped the building reach its LEED goals included installing drought-tolerant landscaping, waste audits that helped divert 44% of waste from landfills, and providing alternative transportation and hybrid working options.
Project: 201 N. Figueroa and 221 N. Figueroa – Recertification
Project Owner: City of Los Angeles
About: This 300,000 square foot pair of buildings, adjoined by a courtyard, was originally certified LEED Gold in 2016. The buildings were recertified in 2022, earning LEED Platinum® status, a difficult feat on a recertification to an updated LEED standard. The pair of buildings has achieved Energy Star certification and a perfect 100/100 transit score. These buildings are home to numerous LA City departments including the Planning Department, Building and Safety, and Parks and Recreation.
Project: SP7 Building 1
Project Owner: Skid Row Housing Trust
About: Described as having a “sleek, contemporary look with several shared roof decks and courtyards,” the SP7 Building 1 is a LEED Platinum permanent supportive housing complex. The 100% affordable, two-building complex includes a community room, recreation spaces, and on-site supportive services, and offers 99 total units for formerly unhoused persons – including veterans. The project features two community garden locations, low water landscaping, water efficient plumbing fixtures, solar thermal heating and photovoltaic panels, and a central stairway to promote social interaction, active lifestyle, and reduce energy use from the elevator. The goal is to provide a safe home where residents can thrive.
Project: Santos Manuel Student Union
Project Owner: California State University, San Bernardino
About: By earning LEED Gold certification, The Santos Manuel Student Union – North is the fifth building on the California State University, San Bernardino’s campus to be LEED-certified. The team focused on the use of high-performance insulated glass, and efficient mechanical systems to reduce energy. Climate-appropriate landscape and water-efficient irrigation systems were utilized to reduce the use of site-related water, in addition to measures to minimize stormwater runoff and allow stormwater to percolate into the natural soil to help it reach its certification goals.
Project: Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School
Project Owner: Santa Monica College for the Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School
About: A unique partnership between SMC, the City of Santa Monica, and nonprofit operator, Growing Place, the Santa Monica Early Childhood Lab School achieved LEED Platinum®, led by the building’s strong community focus. The building received high marks in innovation in design, energy, and atmosphere, resulting in a 44% improvement in the baseline building performance rating. It is also part of the City’s Cradle to Career initiative and its strategic goal to invest in projects that help everyone in the community Learn + Thrive.
Project: CSUDH Center for Science + Innovation
Project Owner: California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH)
About: Focused on minimizing the impact on current students and staff, the CSUDH – Center for Science + Innovation achieved LEED Gold®. The building design – which features provisions for smart controls for lighting and natural ventilation in non-lab spaces, as well as advanced energy metering, recycled and regional materials and water-efficient landscaping – leads the way for a strong LEED score. The façade features alternating blue and gray colored panels meant to convey a decoded DNA strand, while bamboo wood and metal panels line the interior, earning the building high scores in innovation in design.
Project: Sixth Street Viaduct Seismic Improvement Project
Project Owner: City of Los Angeles
About: The Sixth Street Viaduct, the largest bridge project in the history of Los Angeles, has earned an Envision Platinum award for sustainability, specifically for addressing community needs, adding significant public space and amenities, and improving community safety and resiliency. The new viaduct includes many character-enhancing architectural features, improves and encourages community access and mobility, and provides a range of public amenities, including: widened sidewalks on each side of the viaduct and protected bike lanes, and five sets of stairs connecting the viaduct to ground-level park and recreation facilities. (Night photo at top of release. Featured day photo, Photo courtesy of Skanska-Stacy and Witbeck (SSW))
About U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles
Founded in 2002, USGBC-LA is a 501(c)3 non-profit and member-based organization whose mission is to transform Southern California’s built environment into a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable region for all. We lead by inspiring leaders throughout our communities to take action on climate change, public health, and environmental justice while educating, developing, and empowering a diverse talent pipeline through our training, mentorship, and direct-to-community programs. We connect by merging interdisciplinary perspectives and collaborations to create positive systemic change. We advocate through promoting innovative, impactful policy solutions addressing the most urgent environmental and social challenges of our time.(www.usgbc-la.org)