Drew Shula Attends Living Future 2017

VG’s Drew Shula had a great time attending the Living Future 2017 Conference this past week. The annual event, put on by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), featured keynotes from Van Jones, Naomi Klein, and Kirsti Luke. Topics such as renewable energy grids, net zero energy buildings, and the living product challenge were discussed. Mohawk Group, one of the conference’s leading sponsors, announced that their newest “Lichen” carpet line will be Petal Certified under the Living Product Challenge — a first of its kind for the flooring industry.

Drew was happy to be accompanied by friends from Glumac, Pankow Builders, EcoDistricts, Hathaway Dinwiddie, and of course LA’s local Living Building Challenge Collaborative team. Check out some photos below that were taken at the event, and don’t miss out on the full Facebook album here.

VG’s Martin Smith Wrote LEED Pilot Credit

Throughout the past year, VG’s Associate Project Manager Martin Smith has been writing and developing a LEED Pilot Credit with the U.S. Green Building Council that focuses on energy disaggregation. This pilot credit initially stemmed from his final capstone research project for the Masters in Sustainability Solutions program at Arizona State University he was enrolled in between August 2015 – August 2016. Upon entering work at Verdical Group, a USGBC member organization, Martin was able to submit the Pilot Credit proposal along with his compiled research to USGBC for potential adoption. After 10 months of back-and-forth discussions with USGBC staff and various LEED committees, and subsequent credit iterations, the Pilot Credit titled “Residential Energy Submetering and Real-time Usage Data” was published early May 2017. The Pilot Credit is available for the following rating systems: LEED for Homes, LEED for Homes Mid-Rise, LEED BD+C, and LEED O+M. Read more about this credit here and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions! For more information about energy disaggregation technology and the types of software currently available, check out Martin’s blog post here.

VG’s Holly Hill Selected as Greenbuild Speaker

VG’s Director of Sustainability, Holly Hill, has been selected to speak at Greenbuild 2017,  the largest green building conference in the world with 20,000 attendees. It will be held in Boston this year from November 8th – 10th. Holly will be presenting alongside Eera Babtiwale, VP of Sustainability at HMC Architects, and Nicole Isle, Chief Sustainability Strategist at Glumac. This one-hour presentation, titled “Linking the Science to Design for Our Children,” will review cognitive research and discuss how it is informing design for healthy schools, and will finally tie it all together with the LEED v4 and WELL rating systems. For more information on this exciting presentation, check out the full abstract below!

“Using evidence-based design, living laboratories and virtual simulations, the design community is gaining insider knowledge into how the brain reacts to simulated and real environments. For too long, research and design worlds have been isolated entities; now the communities must be integrated to better understand how the built environment affects cognitive function and enriches lives. Join this fascinating presentation, as science is linked to school design, and to the building certification systems which support healthy buildings.

With more than 50 million enrolled K-12 students, it is imperative that design addresses this critical time of physiological, social, and emotional growth and development. The COGfx Study by Harvard, SUNY Medical and Syracuse University Center of Excellence investigated the impact of ventilation, chemicals, and carbon dioxide on cognitive function, an objective measure of productivity. Researchers found that cognitive performance scores for the participants who worked in the green environments were, on average, double compared to when they worked in conventional environments. This work is a foundational component of a new ‘Schools for Health’ report that explores the methods in the which the school building influences a student’s ability to think well, feel well, and learn well.

How does the COGfx Study then influence design work? With a passion for student success, HMC Architects will demonstrate how ventilation systems, material selections, daylight design and acoustical treatments positively impact students. Case studies include a STEM elementary school which uses daylighting and water demonstration gardens to preserve students’ connection with nature; a performing arts high school with a host of passive design techniques to inspire its students; and a living lab at a high school which implements an active green roof to teach students about the impact of regenerative design on human comfort.

Lastly, how can certification systems enforce the COGfx Study findings and promote the science behind the intuition? LEED for Schools, LEED for Healthcare and the WELL Building Standard have elements which directly correlate to scientific study findings. LEED v4 has taken a heavier stand on interior environments with the Materials and Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality credit categories weighted heavier than previous versions. The WELL Building Standard is based entirely upon building features that impact health and well-being. All seven categories and 102 features correlate to body systems, and conversely, the COGfx study further supports the cumulative research which established the WELL Building Standard.”

MGBCE 2017: VG Speaks, Produces & Exhibits

2017 marks the fourth consecutive year that Verdical Group produced the annual Municipal Green Building Conference & Expo (MGBCE) with the USGBC-LA and SoCalGas team, planning programming content and creating the conference website. USGBC-LA, where Holly Hill and Drew Shula both serve on the Board of Directors, organized the 16th annual MGBCE —  SoCal’s largest and longest running green building event. On April 20th, 700 attendees enjoyed keynote presentations by Antwi Akom, George Bandy Jr., Gabrielle Bullock, Heidi Creighton, and Caroline Kreiser. Closing out the conference with a humor-filled mixer, Eric Corey Freed presented on organic architecture and his new “X-Prize.”

The VG team was proud to play a significant role in this conference. Drew Shula served as Event Chair and kicked off speaker sessions for the day, Martin Smith served on the Planning Committee, and Holly Hill delivered a speaker session with Memo Cedeno Laurent of Harvard, and Eera Babtiwale of HMC Architects titled, “Physiology to Rating Systems: Linking Science to Design for Our Children.” The entire VG team attended the conference and VG sponsored with an exhibitor table at the event. For more photos, check out our Facebook album here.

GB&D Magazine Article on USGBC-LA Award

As noted in the April 20, 2017 GB&D Magazine, “10 Things You Need to Know Today” newsletter, The U.S. Green Building Council – Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA) was awarded a 2016 County of LA Green Leadership Award for its “Road to Greenbuild” initiatives. The International Greenbuild Conference and Expo was held in L.A. for the first time in 2016, which gave USGBC-LA the opportunity to showcase environmentally sustainable buildings, educate businesses on greening their operations, and connect women leaders through the Women in Green Forum. Verdical Group’s Holly Hill and Drew Shula served on the Greenbuild 2016 LA Host Committee for which the award was given, and currently serve on the USGBC-LA Board of Directors. To read more about this award and the “Road to Greenbuild” project, check out the full GB&D article here. For more photos, you may view our Facebook album here.


VG’s Teknion Project Nominated for Calibre Award

We’re proud to announce that Verdical Group, along with our entire LEED Gold Teknion Showroom project team, has been nominated by Vanderbyl Design for a 2017 Calibre Design Award. The Calibre Design Awards recognize and honor the excellent work of design firms and project teams that have exceeded the expectations of our profession to bring interior design to life. Winners will be announced and presented at the 29th Annual Calibre Design Awards Gala at the Beverly Hilton on Friday, May 19, 2017. To find out more information, visit iida-socal.org/calibre-awards

VG’s Holly Hill Presents at AIA Inland California

Verdical Group’s Director of Sustainability, Holly Hill, presented a Green Building Market Update for the AIA Inland California Chapter on April 18th. The presentation was held at the LEED Platinum Frontier Project Foundation building in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Holly covered topics such as LEED v4 vs. CALGreen, the LEED, WELL, and Living Building Challenge certification systems, net zero energy, and more. Check out photos below taken from her talk.

VG’s Holly Hill Presents at EBEWE “First Fridays” Session

As first mentioned in our December 2016 post here, VG’s Director of Sustainability, Holly Hill, was selected as a speaker in the USGBC-LA Existing Building Speakers Bureau (for a helpful recap on what the Los Angeles Existing Building Energy & Water Efficiency (EBEWE) Ordinance is, check out this video here). Holly’s presentation on April 7th, 2017 was the first in a series of sessions called “First Fridays,” which the City is hosting to educate the market on the requirements of the new ordinance. The first energy and water reporting deadline for building owners of 100,000 square foot buildings and larger is July 1st, 2017. Check out some photos below from the first session!

Net Zero Buildings Magazine

Check out the Net Zero 2017 Conference mentioned below in the March issue of Net Zero Buildings Magazine!