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USGBC-LA’s 19th Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo Hosts 1100+ Attendees Nationwide, Focuses on Equity, and Announces Annual Civic Awards

Assemblymember Laura Friedman, ‘Elected Official of the Year’, Addresses 19th Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo

LOS ANGELES (August 27, 2020)  The U.S. Green Building-Los Angeles Chapter’s (USGBC-LA) 19th Annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) on August 21st-22nd, hosted over 1200 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 (COVID-19, wildfires, economic disparity, healthy spaces, climate change, etc.) with speakers from LA to Chicago to Australia. MGBCE also expanded to two days this year–Municipal Green (Day 1) for the trade, and Community Green (Day 2) for anyone interested in a more sustainable built environment.

The equity-themed program featured 11 sessions, 9 workshops, 3 virtual tours, and 6 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,” says 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 recognizes exceptional efforts in sustainable buildings within city or county government, and the Special Awards, recognizing various top state and local officials for their work on impactful policy.

This year’s Special Awards list:

  • California Assemblymember Laura Friedman (43rd District) 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. During her time in the Assembly, she has secured $20 million in funding for the completion of the Glendale Riverwalk Project, and authored a package of bills to create new avenues for communities to tackle the affordable housing crisis, encourage water conservation, strengthen environmental sustainability, protect communities against devastating wildfires, and more.
  • County of Los Angeles received the “Policy Leadership Award” for the release of the OurCounty Sustainability Plan, an incredibly bold and detailed sustainability plan, based on an innovative, community-based approach including collaborative workshops and meetings that stands as a model for many around the nation. Overall, the Sustainability Plan proposes to make Los Angeles County a more equitable, prosperous and resilient region in the years ahead. LA County Chief Sustainability Officer Gary Gero accepted the award.
  • As the largest community college district in the nation, LA Community College District received the “Municipal Innovation Award” for passing zero carbon goals and for establishing ambitious long-term clean energy and sustainability targets. These goals will reduce the district’s carbon footprint and support some of California’s most vulnerable communities impacted by climate change, many of which are served directly by LACCD. Following these goals LACCD has recently received LEED Gold Certification for new construction for the East LA College – Physics & Earth Sciences Building on July 10, 2020. LACCD Board President Andra Hoffman and Vice President Steve Veres accepted the award.

The awarded Municipal Buildings were:

LADOT Bus Maintenance Facility. Courtesy GGA and City of Los Angeles; photo by Paul Vu Photography.
  • LADOT Bus Maintenance Facility, 2020 MGBCE “Project of the Year” – LEED Platinum. The facility was designed to reduce GHG by fueling the vehicles with electricity generated by rooftop solar panels strategically placed above the parking structure and within the bus parking area. Some of the highlights of the project are: ability to channel development to urban areas with existing infrastructure and increase community connectivity; brownfield redevelopment; 48% improvement on baseline building performance rating; 75% diversion of construction and demolition debris; 50% reduction in potable landscape water use and 35% reduction in baseline indoor water use. Mahmood Karimzadeh, City of LA, Deputy City Engineer, Departmental Chief Sustainability Officer, accepted the award.
    • La Kretz Innovation Campus (LA) – LEED-NC v2009, Platinum
    • Field Services Building 3 (Van Nuys) – LEED-EB v2009, Silver
    • Valley Headquarters Admin. Office (Van Nuys) – LEED-EB v2009, Silver
    • Valley Headquarters Training Facility (Sun Valley) – LEED-EB:OM v2009, Silver
    • Palmetto Construction Headquarters (LA) – LEED-EB:OM v2009, Certified
    • Central Distribution Headquarters (LA) – LEED-EB:OM v2009, Certified
  • Metro
    • Westside Subway Extension, Section 1 – ISI Envision, Platinum
    • C1078 Building 61S (LA) – LEED-NC v2009, Gold
    • Metro Division 16 Crenshaw Rail Facility (LA) – LEED-NC v2009, Silver
  • City of Long Beach
    • Long Beach Civic Center  – Registered LEED EB v4 O&M, Gold
    • Billie Jean King Main Library  – Registered LEED EB v4 O&M, Gold
  • City of Los Angeles
    • LADOT Bus Maintenance / CNG Fueling FAC – LEED-NC v2009, Platinum
    • Van Nuys Fire Station 39 – LEED-NC v2009, Silver
  • City of Santa Monica
    • GoSaMo Center – LEED v4 ID+C: CI, Gold
    • Clean Beaches projects – ISI Envision

“I’m incredibly honored to receive this award. The US Green Building Council has shown what is possible in terms of sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings in homes and neighborhoods with an emphasis on equity,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman. “I’m proud to partner with the Council and our allies in the work to not just build greener, but also healthier and more resilient communities.”

The conference attracts a wide variety of building industry disciplines, including municipalities, utilities, public agencies, architects, engineers, building owners, contractors, non-profits, and manufacturers. USGBC-LA thanks MGBCE Gold sponsors Southern California Edison and SoCalGas, Silver sponsor LADWP, and Bronze sponsors Metropolitan Water District and the Clean Power Alliance.

For more information on USGBC-LA, please contact Ben Stapleton at

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. (

About Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE)
Since its inception in 2001, MGBCE has become the longest-running and largest gathering of leading sustainability and green building advocates within both the public and private sectors in Southern California. This annual conference and trade show provides cutting-edge thought leadership, education, and networking opportunities to inform local government agencies, building industry professionals, and the general public about the principles, practices, and products associated with green building. (