The Greenbuild Tours Get You Out n’ About in the Host City: Los Angeles

Greenbuild International Conference & Expo will be held at the L.A. Convention Center Oct. 5-7, 2016. There are 100s of educational sessions and the expo floor has 100s of companies and organizations, both established and new, to explore.

But every year, the hosting city chapter—in this case, the U.S. Green Building Council-Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA)—develops a Greenbuild Tours Program that helps attendees learn outside the convention center walls and presents the best of the area’s sustainable buildings and neighborhoods.

This year is no exception, with tours ranging from downtown to each corner of the vast and highly diverse L.A. region. To view all the tours and register (tours are sold separately), please visit Three featuring a residential focus will take tourgoers to Pasadena, Venice Beach, and, via the new Expo Line, to Santa Monica:

Monday, Oct. 3 / 8am-12pm
Expo Light Rail Phase II: Completing the Light Rail to the Sea
Just opened in May, this line completed the long-awaited public transit connection between downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, representing a major (sustainable) shift for Angelenos. Its nearly seven miles of light rail and seven at-grade stations—with landscaping, public art and canopy design—are designed to minimize environmental impact and exceed community expectations. The project is pursuing Envision® Gold Certification (Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure) to reflect this accomplishment. The Expo Line integrates light rail, bikeway facilities and pedestrian linkages. Attendees will ride from Downtown Los Angeles to the end of the line in Santa Monica—with periodic stops—hearing an overview of Envision and the experience working with it for this project.

Friday, Oct. 7 / 2pm-6pm
A fun tour of the sustainable residential and hospitality sectors in LA’s uber-hip Venice Beach. The tour will start at the LEED Platinum v4.0 Brooks Residence with a graywater system and active cistern. This house functions at 53% more efficiently than Title 24 – California’s leading energy standard, and has a 4kW solar array system that produces a power surplus 10 months of the year. Next is Californication House (from TV show of the same name – sorry, no David Duchovny) to see passive solar orientation, water Trombe walls, passive and active ventilation strategies. Final stop, the oceanfront Hotel Erwin will demonstrate how a high-end boutique hotel maintains sustainable practices for their employees and guests, with further discussion on hospitality industry issues, and the best 360-degree view from its rooftop deck.

Saturday, Oct. 8 / 1pm-4pm
This tour heads to Pasadena with stops at the 1909 Shift House, upgraded to meet the Passive House Standard, demonstrating heat recovery ventilation, tilt/turn windows, tight air sealing, a cool roof, photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting, FSC wood, and native landscaping. Hudson Oaks, a 45-unit affordable senior housing development, is the first residential building in the City of Pasadena to achieve a LEED® for Homes Platinum certification. This was a fire-ravaged infill site that is now a beautiful, service-enriched facility addressing the great demand for seniors earning at-or- below 30% Area Median Income. The last stop is Eagle Vista, a 56-unit mixed population affordable housing for seniors, homeless veterans and the developmentally disabled. Located on a long narrow site along Eagle Rock Boulevard, the design of the project takes into account the natural topography of the site, as well as the neighboring context.

The Greenbuild Tours Program makes eash host city that much more intimate, and is a chance for visitors and locals to L.A. through a unique lens. For more information, please click on the above links, or contact Dominique Hargreaves, Executive Director for USGBC-LA, at


Julie Du Brow is the principal of dubroWORKS.