7th Annual Sustainable Innovation Awards Announced at U.S. Green Building Council-L.A. Chapter Green Gala

 Awards Include New Categories, and Inclusion of Multiple Third-Party Certifications
Los Angeles, CA (December 1, 2017) – Last night at its 13th Green Gala, the Los Angeles Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC-LA) presented its 7th Annual Sustainable Innovation Awards (SIA) across eleven categories (listed below), with two Projects of the Year awarded: to the first Zero Net Energy multi-family, affordable housing project in Los Angeles, the Silver Star Apartments (New Construction), and to RDC-S111 Urban Office (Existing Building) that adapted an existing building to transform a company’s traditional office model into a WELLness-focused transparent workspace. L.A.’s “Oscars” of green building, the awards affirm a project team’s commitment to a sustainable built environment, and reflect the Chapter’s emphasis on energy & water savings, air quality, good design, and community engagement. As of this year, the SIAs are also now open to projects certified under any sustainability rating system.

Silver Star, a newly-constructed LEED Platinum project of 49 apartments for former homeless veterans is also becoming Living Building Challenge Energy Petal Certified. Expected to be a benchmark for high-performance affordable housing, Silver Star demonstrates how exceptionally high-performance, high-quality homes can be achieved on budget and on schedule through thoughtful design with attention to detail. Highlights include:
  • First Commercial On­Site Greywater System to be permitted in the City of Los Angeles
  • Carbon Neutral Building
  • Implemented stormwater quality infiltration feature to capture 100% of stormwater
  • PV system designed to offset 105% of all site energy use and has the resiliency of battery storage if power from the grid is lost.

The adaptive-reuse RDC-S111 Urban Office, LEED Platinum certified and Gold WELL certifying, shifted its location and design concept to allow creative teams to utilize one shared space and to align their values of connectivity to local community.  Highlights:

  • Repurposed a vacant Nordstrom Rack into their workspace, leaving behind a corporatetower, now provides connection to the neighborhood and community.
  • Design features include daylighting, low water consuming fixtures and landscaping, smart material selection, and indoor/outdoor gardens.
  • Multiple exercise and team activity options, along with bikeshare, are part of the expanded wellness program, and participation has increased from 15% to 35%.

The WELL certification has also encouraged staff to collaborate on initiatives such as a Monthly Book Club, a Biggest Loser (weight loss) program, a Garden Club, etc.
“The Sustainable Innovation Awards recognize projects that go above and beyond credit achievement. The project teams honored this year employed creative strategies that we hope will inspire the design and construction community to push the limits of standard practice. Thank you to all who submitted projects for consideration,” shares SIA co-chair Patti Harburg-Petrich of BuroHappold.

The awards also featured a new category, Social Equity, which was presented to L.A. County’s Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center for patients with spinal cord and brain injuries, along with a community wellness center. The Center has served 1000s of the underserved since 1988, and has become a premier stop for such injuries.

The project team’s theme, “Architecture that cares” is reflected in the resulting supportive natural and human environments.  The design/build highlights include:  Replacing underperforming buildings and hardscape to increase the open space to 40%; a perforated metal scrim to protect the southern façade from direct heat gain and provide a protected pathway for users; natural and intuitive wayfinding to reduce stress; color­enhanced lighting in patient rooms and therapy spaces; operable walls open to the outdoors; and public art to serve as a healing mechanism and enhance the communal and familial culture.

The project will result in a total of four LEED buildings and a campus that is certified LEED­NC for Healthcare under a LEED Master Site.

Additionally, two special awards, selected by the Board of Directors, made their debut: Carlos Herrera, President of Interior Removal Specialists, Inc. was presented with the new Visionary Business Leader of the Year award, recognizing outstanding leadership by an individual who is leveraging his or her influence, power, position, or purchasing power to increase the prevalence of sustainable business practices. 2017 Legacy Project Partner, Community Services Unlimited, Inc., earned the new Partner of the Year award, recognizing outstanding leadership by a partner organization of the USGBC-LA that is leading the way to a more sustainable future through its dedication to serving its community through programs, education, and support for their members and/or employees.

“The projects and people honored by the Sustainable Innovation Awards exemplify thought leadership and creativity in their design solutions to site and building challenges,” says SIA co-chair Amelia Feichtner of Cuningham Group. “It is inspiring that our community is advancing sustainability in a wide range of project scales, from small home preservation to large public facilities.”

The awards honor premier projects—COMPLETE LIST FOLLOWS BELOW—that have already been envisioned, designed and/or built, recognizing exceptional achievement and innovation in each category for Southern California certified projects from the previous year. Also new this year is an expanded invitation to multiple third party verified projects. Past awards were solely open for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) projects, followed by WELL when it came to market. The SIAs also now encourage Envision, EcoDistricts, PEER, SITES, Living Building Challenge, and Passivehouse projects to enter the competition and highlight their innovation approaches. The submissions attract project teams throughout Southern CA’s sustainable community and are awarded regardless of certification achieved.

“Innovation is part of our culture in Southern California. The design and construction teams that were awarded last night give me hope for the future,” states Dominique Hargreaves, USGBC-LA Executive Director. “What if all new residential projects strove to meet the high goals that were achieved by Silver Star Apartments? What if all vacant retail was reimagined into useful, productive, and community enhancing space? At USGBC-LA, we will continue to learn, share, and lead green and accelerate all aspects of sustainability in the built environment.”

The Awards were presented during the Green Gala at Los Angeles’ the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Hollywood in front of a guest list of over 400 top industry professionals from local government, real estate owners and developers, architects, engineers, contractors, and LEED professionals. USGBC-LA works with anyone who is interested and engaged in collaborative sustainable initiatives.

The Green Gala is supported through the donations of these corporate partners:  AECOM, Arup, Athens, Bernards Construction, Building Skills Partnership, BuroHappold, Egan Simon, FormLA Landscaping, Gilbane, Hathaway Dinwiddie, Howard Building Corporation, Interior Removal Specialist, Kilroy Realty, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Limbach, Lutron, Okapi Architects, Southern Ca Edison, Vons Credit Union, and Yardi.


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)


The 7th Annual SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION AWARDS: (Project Teams Follow)

Project of the Year
New Construction – Silver Star Apartments
Existing Buildings – RDC-S111 Urban Office

Excellence in Water Conservation
LADWP’s Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant

Sustainable Sites
Merit – California State Polytechnic University, Pomona – Collins College Phase III

Water Efficiency
Honor – Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center
Merit – East Los Angeles College Language Arts and Humanities Building
Merit – Expo Light Rail Line Operations and Maintenance Facility.

Energy & Atmosphere
Honor – New United States Courthouse – Los Angeles
Honor – Silver Star Apartments
Merit – East Los Angeles College Language Arts and Humanities Building

Materials & Resources
Honor – Santa Monica Preservation Resource Center aka Shotgun House

Health & Wellbeing
Honor – RDC-S111 Urban Office
Merit – Expo Light Rail Line Operations and Maintenance Facility
Merit – Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Social Equity
Merit – Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Green Business Leader of the Year
Carlos Herrera President of Interior Removal Specialists, Inc.

Partner of the Year
Community Services Unlimited, Inc. (2017 Legacy Project Partner)


Silver Star Apartments
Green Dinosaur Inc., A Community of Friends, FSY Architects, Dreyfuss Constructions, Promise Energy, AMJ Construction Management, Reiss Brown Ekmekji, SWCE Civil Engineering, JaycoCal Engineering, Yael Lir Landscape Architects,

Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center
BuroHappold Enginnering, City of Anaheim, Parsons Brinckerhoff, HOK, Clark Construction,

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona – Collins College Phase III
HMC Architects, Cal Poly Pomona Collins College, Glumac, Gilbane

East Los Angeles College Language Arts and Humanities Building
HGA Architects and Engineers, Inc., Saiful/Bouquet, Inc., FBA Engineering, Fundament & Associates, Inc., JMC2 Civil Engineering and Surveying, Veneklasen Associates, Katherine Spitz Associates, Inc., Guidepost Solutions, Davies Associates, Inc., Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc.

Expo Light Rail Line Operations and Maintenance Facility
RNL (now Stantec), Maintenance Design Group (now HDR | MDG), Nabih Youssef & Associates, Glumac, W2 Design, Inc., Ambient Energy,

LADWP’s Los Angeles Aqueduct Filtration Plant
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

New United States Courthouse – Los Angeles
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, General Services Administration, Clark Construction Group, LLC, AECOM, Syska Hennessey Group, South Coast Engineering Group, Psomas, Jensen Hughes, Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design, Mia Lehrer + Associates

Retail Design Collaborative, Studio One Eleven, Schnackle Engineers Inc., ETC Real Estate, John Labib and Associates, Oculus Light Studio,

Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center
SmithGroupJJR, Los Angeles County Department of Public Works/Health Services, McCarthy Builders, Taylor Design, Argento Graham, TTG Engineers, Psomas,

Santa Monica Preservation Resource Center aka Shotgun House
Zinner Consultants, Santa Monica Conservancy, Fonda-Bonardi & Hohman Architects, City of Santa Monica, Historic Resources Group, The Minardos Group, FormLA Landscaping, GBWorks, Brummitt Energy Associates, Engineering Economics, Inc., Spectra