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Home > Feature Articles > Sustainable Development Best Practices for Community Sustainability

Emerging Green Builders Los Angeles Create Sustainable Designs

Students and young professionals were given the objective of designing an adaptive reuse program for the existing Historical Lincoln Heights Los Angeles City Jail, taking into account environmental, social and economic elements.

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The Emerging Green Builders Los Angeles held its annual Design Competition Awards celebration on September 4th, 2008. Around 80 people attended and were able to view over 20 of the top entries on display at Farmlab. The Green Truck on the Go supplied the party with organic food, local beer came from Angel City Brewery, and DJ Kenefunkport spun the music.

Students and young professionals were given the objective of designing an adaptive reuse program for the existing Historical Lincoln Heights Los Angeles City Jail, taking into account environmental, social and economic elements.

The First Place Award went to the team of Brandon Ro and Lang Lor (both architecture students at Cal Poly - Pomona) whose entry will move on to compete at this year's GreenBuild in Boston in addition to earning them a $1000 prize.

Their entry, entitled Inter_Cambio, transformed the jail into an immigration transitional center incorporating several strategies for sustainability including skylight atrium spaces using a transparent film technology to redirect sunlight down to all floors in order to reduce lighting costs, green roofs, passive solar heating, and hydro turbines for energy production from the nearby LA River. They also incorporated several water conservation measures including a rainwater collection system, pervious paving, and a grey water re-use system.

According to Brandon, they are "extremely thrilled to be able to attend GreenBuild and anxiously look forward to this event! It will be a priceless opportunity to learn, network, and meet top professionals of the green industry!"

The 2nd Place $500 Award was awarded to Joseph Wedding and Dana Nishimura Bryan. 3rd Place and $250 went to Eliza Frank and Garrett van Leeuwen, while Alexander Metzler and John Martin L. Tublesgot received 4th Place. Honorable mentions were awarded to Luis Gil and Aaron Locke, Marshall Ford and Justin Hebenstreit, and Matt Kizu.

Carol Armstrong from LA City Bureau of Engineering (who provided valuable insight regarding the design competition site), stated that "the City is delighted to see the kind of energy, creativity, and innovation generated by the EGBLA design competition focused on one of our most important natural and cultural heritage resources, the Los Angeles River, and, particularly, near one of its most sacred sites at the birthplace of the City - the Arroyo Seco Confluence.

As the competition demonstrated, engaging thoughtful, accomplished individuals from multiple disciplines and sectors can go a long way toward fostering the kind of cooperative and inclusive stewardship values that are needed to realize the vision of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan and to move toward a more sustainable coastal region."

The professionals who judged the event were Brenden McEneaney (City of Santa Monica), Claire Brown (LA City Planning), Dimitris Klapsis (HMC Architects) and John Zinner (Zinner Consultants).

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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