VG’s Emily Hand Discusses the LABBC 2016 Tech Showcase

VG’s Emily Hand Discusses the LABBC 2016 Tech Showcase

By Martin Smith

With the rapid rate at which sustainable building technologies surface into the market, how can building owners and property managers possibly know what to choose from? Where can busy engineers, facility managers, and real estate professionals get a quick download of the latest energy and water efficiency building products? The annual Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) Building Technology Showcase is the answer to these questions and more. VG’s Project Manager Emily Hand, who planned and managed this “Real Estate & Technology Event” was asked a few questions regarding their 4th Annual Tech Showcase on August 26th.

What is the main focus of the LABBC 2016 Tech Showcase, and what do you hope to accomplish?

Emily: “The main focus of the technology showcase is to bring a diverse audience together to learn about innovative energy and water efficiency technology solutions for buildings. Our goal is to have leading technology companies that were selected for inclusion in LABBC’s SoCal Edge initiative give a fast-pitch presentation on their technology. This allows attendees to get a quick download of solutions on the market today, so that they can implement them in their buildings, or introduce them to clients, and hopefully scale up technology deployment.”

Who was the main audience at this event?

Emily: “The audience spanned a diverse mix of professionals, including property owners and managers, technology companies, utilities, City staff, and sustainability professionals.”

What was the most inspiring building tech that you saw presented?

Emily: “One great piece of technology presented was from SLOAN – it was a toilet that uses reclaimed water for flushing. This is an excellent water solution, especially for Los Angeles facing serious drought conditions.”

The SLOAN Royal utilizes a “reclaimed water flushometer,” which includes critical components engineered to withstand the harsh conditions reclaimed water presents. Reclaimed water often comes with higher chemical concentrations which can damage plumbing components, so devices that help decrease problems associated with maintenance, such as this Royal flushometer, are proving more and more important.

Emily: “Another really cool product I saw was from the company Xelnt. They are a Portfolio Company at the LA Cleantech Incubator (LACI). Their technology is called NanoTec-ERA, and can reduce HVAC&R energy use by 35%.”

Xelnt makes a “biomedical coating” that lines HVAC system pipes to protect them from contamination and reduce oil buildup. Their website states, “When used as an additive and injected into the refrigerant lines of any HVAC&R system, it rides along at speed in the thermal transfer lines and cleans, by dislodging all the inside tube surfaces of gunk / oil fouling.”

How can L.A’s existing and future building owners get started with energy efficient upgrades?

Emily: “The first step is really contacting the LABBC at to discuss your goals, objectives, and learn more about our free services. Join the LABBC and we will work with you to establish a project development plan to meet your objectives. LABBC will support you with tools, resources, and special incentives to help you reach 20% energy and water savings by 2020.”

If you’re a building owner, commercial real estate professional, or developer, it would only benefit you to get in touch with Emily and the LABBC. Just looking at their Tech Showcase’s metrics alone—which showed over 120 attendees and 20 exhibitors—should be enough to spur any building owner into action. The market is transforming very rapidly toward complete mass adoption of energy and water efficiency products—there are almost too many building products to choose from (that’s a good problem to have). And if you’re located in the Los Angeles area, the best part is that you don’t even have to worry about choosing the right products yourself. Be a smart investor and contact LABBC to give you free advice and help identify market-ready, best-in-class solutions that are the right fit for your building. As Marc Gittleman, the Tech Showcase’s keynote speaker and noted expert in real estate innovation, exclaimed, “We have an opportunity to tell a phenomenal story here in LA… We need to be more aggressive in how we’re going to be using technology when underwriting buildings.” The time is now to initiate smart investments in next-generation, innovative building technologies.

The 4th Annual Building Technology Showcase featured over 120 attendees, 20 exhibitors and 16 fast-pitch presentations.