With unprecedented legislation, forward-thinking design and standards, and many active supporters, one might say that California is a leader in the green building charge. Friday’s 3rd Annual Green Building Super Heroes Award Gala, hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council – Northern California Chapter (USGBC-NCC), honored the achievements of the green building community. Eight hundred people gathered for the event, including an illustrious cast of politicians including Nancy Pelosi, and green building all-stars like Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of the USGBC.
This year’s awards gala was held in the LEED Platinum certified California Academy of Sciences (my most favoritest building ever, and a shining example of California leading the charge). The Academy is the world’s largest public Platinum-rated building, and also the world’s greenest museum. It boasts 1.7 million native plants planted on the 2.5 acre living roof. Not too shockingly, it took 10 years and $500 million to develop.
Assembly member Nancy Skinner made my favorite observation of the evening: “Waste is a verb not a noun.” Why are we throwing out so many of our resources?
The gala honored forward thinkers and “heroes” of green building:
- The Community Service Award went to Green Building in Alameda County, a program of StopWaste.org.
- The David Gottfried Special Achievement award went to Anthony Bernheim of AECOM Design.
- The Green Team Award went to the David Brower center, another phenomenal building made possible by the collaboration of 10 groups of designers and contractors.
- The Green Groundbreaker Award went to Integrated Design Associates (IDeAs)
Galas are all good and well for recognizing achievements and raising funds, but it’s clear we have plenty of work to do. The evening ended with a keynote from Steve Westly, former State Controller and Chief Financial Officer of California and Managing Partner of The Westly Group, a clean tech investment firm. He called for the need to pass climate change legislation and “usher in a whole new world.” He postulated that we are capable of regenerating building and communities such that they can sustain the health and vitality of all life, withing one generation. What do you think?