Southern California's premier sustainable building conference benefits both municipalities and private developers
Southern California Gas Co.
LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2006 – To help meet the growing interest in sustainable building, Southern California’s premier “green building” conference has expanded to two days – April 20 and 21, 2006. The 5th Annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo will share the latest knowledge and experience on successful sustainable building practices for builders in both the municipal and private sectors.
Attendance is free for both days of the expo, to be held at Southern California Gas Company’s (The Gas Company’s) Energy Resource Center at 9240 Firestone Blvd. in Downey. The first day of the conference will focus on municipalities and the regional design community; day two will emphasize the needs of developers and the private sector.
Registrations can be made online at www.socalgas.com/erc or by calling (800) 427-6584 (select option one).
The conference, co-sponsored by The Gas Company and the Los Angeles Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, will address such topics as ethics and values of sustainability, policy and planning, regional issues, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, integrated technology, sustainable software, and the cost and payback of sustainability.
Last year’s conference attracted more than 300 people, including city planners and managers, public works directors, elected officials, architects, engineers, developers, and consultants in the energy and environmental fields.
The keynote speaker for the first day will be Kenneth Geiser, Ph.D., an internationally recognized specialist in pollution prevention, clean production and industrial chemicals policy. Geiser is a professor of Work Environment at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Co-Director of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, a center that promotes sustainable solutions in chemical management and product design.
The keynote speaker for the second day will be Tom Cody, principal of The South Group, a downtown Los Angeles collaboration between Portland’s Gerding/Edlen Development Co. and Williams & Dame Development. The South Group promotes smart-growth, environmentally friendly, high-density neighborhood developments and has several projects in downtown Los Angeles.
“We want to provide a forum for people working within city and county governments to see what’s new in the sustainable movement, and give them tools to achieve their goals of building sustainable projects in their own communities,” said Mark Gaines, The Gas Company’s director of customer programs. “We’ll also have case studies and dialogue sessions where private developers can talk to local government officials about their concerns.”
One of the recurrent goals of the conference is to help cities across California incorporate sustainability through LEED, a voluntary, nationwide program recognizing buildings for significant environmental benefits. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council, a coalition of industry and community leaders promoting buildings that are environmentally responsible.
The Gas Company has shown a strong commitment to LEED – both by co-sponsoring the conference since 2001 and by building energy-efficient facilities. The Gas Company has completed three LEED-certified buildings, including the first LEED building in California – The Energy Resource Center, where the conference will be held.
“The company has a standing policy that all new buildings will meet the energy-efficiency and environmental specifications of the LEED Silver standard,” Gaines says. “We have a wealth of in-house knowledge and experience that can help others create environmentally sound, energy-conscious buildings.”
The Gas Company’s Savings by Design program is directly linked to green building design. The program offers design assistance and incentives for integrating energy efficiency into designs of new non-residential buildings and major renovation projects. The incentives can be up to $150,000 per building for eligible owners and up to $50,000 per building for eligible design teams.
The Gas Company is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 19.8 million consumers through 5.6 million meters. The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in most of central and Southern California. The Gas Company strives to provide exceptional customer service to enhance the quality of life in the community. The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.