On Aug. 21-22, the U.S. Green Building-Los Angeles Chapter’s 19th Annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo hosted over 1,200 attendees virtually from around the globe, doubling the attendance from years past. While its attendees and speakers are typically from Southern California, the pandemic has sent everyone online, and the programming addressed issues both regional and global, including COVID-19, wildfires, economic disparity, healthy spaces, climate change and more, with speakers hailing from around the globe.
The equity-themed program featured 11 sessions, nine workshops, three virtual tours and six keynote addresses covering topics spanning gender equity, diversity in sustainability careers and workforce development, how to integrate the Black Lives movement into greening the economy, frontline workers, climate resilience, building codes, electrification, building with nature and more. The event also welcomed over 60 businesses and community groups as exhibitors, several of which also featured their own online programming.
“To be honest, I was surprised by our conference this year in many ways. Surprised that even after spending months developing the content, I was so moved by many of our speakers, still learned so much from our workshops, and despite it being virtual, felt so connected to our community during the event,” said Ben Stapleton, USGBC-LA executive director. “I am incredibly grateful to our team who worked so hard, to all of the speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors who dared to try something new, and to all the attendees who took the time to share in this moment.”
A key portion of MGBCE each year are the Municipal Building Awards, which recognize exceptional efforts in sustainable buildings within city or county government, and the Special Awards, which recognize various top state and local officials for their work on impactful policy.
The awarded municipal buildings included the LADOT Bus Maintenance Facility, which was named Project of the Year. The LEED Platinum-designated facility was designed to reduce greenhouse gases by fueling the vehicles with electricity generated by rooftop solar panels strategically placed above the parking structure and within the bus parking area.
This year’s Special Awards list included Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), who was presented the Elected Official of the Year Award for her ongoing work on behalf of the environment, and specifically the green building movement, including her focus on water quality, energy efficiency, homelessness, affordable housing and wildlife.
For information, visit usgbc-la.org/programs/mgbce.
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