Sustainability is best defined as creating and maintaining the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations. As the population continues to grow, so does our need for new places to live, work, and play. Finding a balance between economic expansion and protecting our natural resources has breathed new life into many industries and their respective markets.
Harbor UCLA Medical Center is a 570 bed teaching facility that serves the 700,000 people of the South Bay. The medical center has begun the process of overhauling its master plan in an attempt to improve overall performance. And with the 2028 Olympic games on the horizon — the facility will act as the health center for the 2028 Olympics — the medical center has decided to expedite this process.
RBB architects will be teaming up with your friendly neighborhood Verdical Group to tackle this undertaking. As part of the update, UCLA’s medical center is seeking to obtain certification in LEED v4 and Envision v3. Principles from SITES and WELL will be incorporated into the design, but certification for these will not be pursued. Each of these certifications and considerations will offer various benefits to the hospital’s performance, preparing it for the games and long after.
In May 2012, McKinsey came out with an article recognizing health and wellness as the next trillion-dollar industry. Additionally, findings from the 2015 CogFx Study from Harvard University suggested that employees show higher cognitive function scores when working in green and healthy office environments. On an average people spend 90% of their time indoors, therefore, it is essential to emphasize improving the health and wellness of building occupants.
Verdical Group became a certified B Corporation in 2017.
It may seem that every day there is a new designation for products and companies that go above and beyond what is required of them. At Verdical Group, we think that is a good thing. B Laboratory, the nonprofit organization responsible for certifying B Corporations (B Corps), claims “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.” B Corp stands for Benefit Corporation, and B Lab strives to prove that businesses can pursue social justice, benefit the environment, and create an equitable organization, all while improving their financial success.
As the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) implements the California Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategy Plan, a foundational goal is ensuring all new residential buildings be Zero Net Energy (ZNE) by 2020, and all new commercial buildings be ZNE by 2030. Additionally, 50% of existing commercial buildings will need to be retrofitted to ZNE by 2030.
As part of our natural evolution as a firm, we’ve been leading the charge to build connection within the green building industry. Our passion and purpose have driven us to produce the nation’s largest net zero building conference for five years running and, while we never initially set out to be in the business of events, it has become a large part of what we do based on our corporate principles and, frankly, sheer demand. Since 2014, the Net Zero Conferences have been our cathartic passion project towards connecting, educating, and inspiring an industry towards a purpose – to create a healthier, greener, cleaner built environment. Maybe it’s because we’re a certified B Corporation that we feel compelled to do this – or maybe it’s why we’re a B Corp.
If you missed the Net Zero 2017: Energy + Water + Waste Conference on August 24th, 2017, you missed a day of thoughtful, solutions-based thinking and progressive case studies. Speakers presented on zero waste manufacturing, zero net energy facilities, and ZNE community development. The audience learned about successes, challenges, and lessons learned; if you did miss it, you can review the presentation slides here.
We live in a changing world. The planet, and our communities, continue to fundamentally change as temperatures rise and the atmosphere contains higher concentrations of greenhouse gases. Shifting weather patterns present new challenges, and vulnerable populations become increasingly more at risk as additional challenges pop up faster than we can come up with individual solutions. How can we respond to the positive feedback loop of new challenges? How can we adapt for the future, and protect ourselves now?
Part III: Perlita House Green Building Certification
While we’re out here trying to beat the heat, construction on the Perlita Passive House continues on schedule. By now you’re familiar with the Perlita Passive House design process (and if not, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 to catch up) and have read that Verdical Group is leading the charge on the Project’s Living Building Challenge (LBC) Energy Petal Certification. But what does that really mean?