LA’s NPR Radio Station Interviews Drew Shula

Frances Anderton, host of DnA: Design and Architecture, a weekly radio show broadcast on Los Angeles’ National Public Radio (NPR) station, KCRW, interviewed Verdical Group Founder & Principal, Drew Shula, during the Net Zero 2018 Conference, a Verdical Group produced event. Drew spoke about electric vehicles (EV’s) and the fact that they are paradoxically purchased by drivers who want to do the right thing for the environment, but are plugging their electric cars into a largely dirty electricity grid that still generates much of its energy from coal powered plants. While California is heading in the right direction with Governor Jerry Brown signing State Bill 100 in September 2018 which requires the entire State to run on 100% clean electricity from renewable energy sources by 2045, there is still a long way to go. You can read the article on the KCRW website and listen to a recording of the radio segment that aired on September 12, 3018 here.

AHBE LAB Net Zero Water At An Eco-District Scale

Verdical Group’s Net Zero Conferences attract the brightest minds in the industry to share their sustainability success stories.  This year, we were joined on stage by AHBE’s Gary Lai who gave a comprehensive presentation on net zero water and the benefits of resource management in California.  Before presenting, Lai published a write-up that you can view here, or below:

Water conservation is an ongoing topic of discussion and exploration here at AHBE. From simple water-saving tips to broader statewide drought-related issues, our staff and AHBE Lab contributors have advocated for smart water habits and policies.

Net Zero Water is the next step for water conservation supporters and serves as a concept and framework for water self-sufficiency. Simply put, Net Zero Water practices could help us achieve independence from the water grid and get all the water we use from nature and treated greywater.

In Southern California, achieving Net Zero Water is very difficult unless you have a huge parcel of land with a tiny house. A building-by-building solution is impractical. A household would have to implement the equivalent of a wastewater treatment plant in its garage, which is not economical for most people. Water independence through Net Zero Water strategies is possible for Californians if we think about them in terms of a collective achievement at the neighborhood, city, or county level.

I have become fascinated with the thousands of man-made lakes we built in our state in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Although they are lovely private and public amenities, these lakes were being supplied by millions of gallons of expensive imported water from the Owens Valley and Northern Sierra Nevada. At one point, the make-up water from private man-made lakes ranked number one for water usage in our state. Consider the impact on our water supply if the lakes were taken off the grid and used instead to supply treated drinking water to a whole community or eco-district.



Graphic by Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Works for Magic Johnson Park Phase 1A project.


I am currently working on a project in the South Los Angeles area. The project calls for improvements to an existing park called Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park which serves LA’s Willowbrook community. Among the new and improved park amenities, we are taking the 8-acre south lake off its current domestic water source and replacing it with treated recycled stormwater. We will then use the lake water to irrigate the remaining 120 acres of the park. Consider the following:  how much more effort would it really take for the next step toward Net Zero Water at an eco-district scale? The recycled irrigation water we are generating is almost at drinking water quality now. What if we treat the lake water for drinking quality and use it to supply the neighborhood?

California’s population is projected to grow to 50-60 million by 2050 and, according to the most recent climate models coming out of Lawrence Livermore Labs, the state will have 10-15% less water. We must explore options that will allow us to live, grow, and prosper with these challenges.

If you are interested in learning more about Net Zero Water, please join me at the 2018 Net Zero Conference on September 13. I have more to share on this subject and I look forward to meeting you at the conference!



Image: prepared by Gary Lai for his presentation at the Net Zero Conference.

Alex Spire, VG Marketing & Events Coordinator, Speaks at YPE

Verdical Group’s Marketing and Events Coordinator, Alex Spire, spoke at a recent event put on by Young Professionals in Energy in Downtown Los Angeles. The event featured a panel of professionals from municipal government and utilities who discussed the recent history and impact of natural disasters in California. Before the panel, Alex spoke about VG’s Net Zero 2018 Conference, the nation’s largest net zero building conference, to the nearly 40 attendees, delivering insights, information, and invitations.

NZ18 highlighted in ILFI’s Zero Energy Leader

Verdical Groups’ fifth annual Net Zero Conference was highlighted in June 2018 edition of the International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Zero Energy Leader, a prominent publication within the building industry. ILFI is a major partner of NZ18, the nation’s largest net zero building conference, and we are glad to have the conference highlighted as a leading event in the sustainability space. Read more

NZ18 Speaker Lineup Announced!

Verdical Group’s fifth annual Net Zero Conference announced via email blast an extensive lineup of the 70+ speakers that will be presenting on stage at the conference on September 12th, 13th, & 14th, 2018. World renown speakers from firms like Hathaway Dinwiddie, Southern California Edison, Uber, Google, Integral Group, and many others will be delivering insights into the industry’s most cutting edge practices. The full email blast contains other conference details as well and can be viewed here in its entirety.

NZ18 Workshops Announced: ILFI, NBI, USGBC & More!

Verdical Group’s fifth annual Net Zero Conference announced an extensive lineup of 9 workshops that will take place on September 12th and 14th, 2018 around the conference in a recent email blast. Prestigious industry-leading organizations like the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), International Living Future Institute (ILFI), New Buildings Institute (NBI), and others have partnered with the Net Zero 2018 Conference to create two full days of workshop content on a broad range of subjects from biomimicry to resilience to zero waste. The full email blast contains other conference details as well and can be viewed here in its entirety.

Net Zero Conference takes Front Page in Energy Design Update

Wolters Kluwer’s latest Energy Design Update newsletter features Verdical Group’s Net Zero Conference and insights into the ZNE movement from Founder & Principal Drew Shula.  The article, entitled “2020 is Around the Corner. How Close is California to Meeting its Net Zero Energy Goals?” explores California’s readiness to meet upcoming ZNE design, construction, and operation mandates that are scheduled to go into effect in 2020.  Check out the full PDF of the article here.

VG’s Net Zero Conference leads the ZNE Movement in ProudGreenHome Spotlight

VG’s annual Net Zero Conferences and Founder & Principal, Drew Shula, were featured in a recent article published by ProudGreenHome.  The article presents a case study of the Jacobson House, a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) single family residential project in Northern California, and focuses on the growing ZNE movement. ProudGreenHome also highlighted VG’s annual Net Zero Conferences as the nation’s premier and largest annual ZNE event, which many organizations, like the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), have partnered with.  The article can be viewed on ProudGreenHome’s website here, or in .PDF format here.

VG’s Greenbuild Party & Net Zero 2018 Details

In a recent email blast, Verdical Group announced its sponsorship of the official Greenbuild: Boston afterparty. Greenbuild is the industry’s largest event, drawing nearly 20,000 attendees. Verdical Group also released preliminary information on its upcoming Net Zero 2018 conference, announcing the event’s September 13th, 2018 date along with the release of the official conference website and sponsorship prospectus. View the entire email blast here.