LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Magic Johnson Park in South Los Angeles and the Billie Jean King Main Library in Long Beach are among the projects being recognized tonight at the 17th Annual Green Gala put on by the Los Angeles Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council.
The park and library have been selected as the group's Projects of the Year, and eight more individual projects, plus a portfolio of others, will also be recognized at the gala at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
``We are thrilled to physically come together with our community again after two long years to celebrate the people and projects who help create a more sustainable region for all here in Southern California,'' USGBC-LA Executive Director Ben Stapleton said in a statement. ``During this time, the world has shifted to further recognize the power of place in addressing issues around equity, occupant health and climate justice. Our two Projects of the Year exemplify that balance by providing healthy, and really necessary, spaces for entire communities to gather while being connected to and learning more about our natural environment.''
According to USGBC officials, the Projects of the Year embody not only premier green building practices, but reflect the complete spirit of the group's 11th annual Sustainable Innovation Awards. Both also exemplify model public-private partnerships and public engagement processes.
Highlights of the first phase of the 120-acre Magic Johnson Park include:
-- conversion of a brownfield site and artificial lakes into a social, cultural and recreation activity hub for the underserved community of Willowbrook;
-- a new 19,801-square-foot community events center to provide the community with a destination for conferences, weddings or other large meetings in a region with no other civic center or community facility;
-- a stormwater recycling system that collects runoff from both the park and adjacent 375-acre urban watershed;
-- a passive methane mitigation and monitoring system for ongoing remediation of existing petroleum hydrocarbon contamination from a former oil tank storage space; and
-- a lakeside loop trail with picnic areas, fitness equipment, and scenic viewpoints; a children's play area and outdoor classroom; a wedding area and native landscaping.
``ZCS is proud to be a part of this Project of the Year,'' Glen Boldt, CEO/partner and senior project manager for ZC Sustainability, said in a statement. ``It is satisfying to contribute to a model park that features our collective best in a revitalized public space that connects people to their neighboring green space while also giving back to the physical environment. It's a win-win for all involved.''
Highlights of the Billie Jean King Main Library include:
-- a sustainable, now LEED Platinum Certified, timber structure that provides a ``light-filled, open, warm and captivating interior environment'' with the glulam timber girders, joists, and plywood decking that comprise the superstructure, intentionally left exposed;
-- a building envelope, composed of a unitized curtain wall system, that is also designed to maximize daylight and views while mitigating glare and solar radiation;
-- a design that encourages the use of public transportation, bicycles, and walking;
-- a building surrounded by native California species that are waterwise and drought tolerant.
``We are honored to accept the Project of the Year Award for the Billie Jean King Main Library,'' said Jed Zimmerman, managing principal at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. ``The collaboration with the city of Long Beach made it possible to design a beautiful and dynamic structure of heavy timber, that is rooted in sustainability and now LEED Platinum certified.''
The following community awards will also be presented:
-- Kevin Devine Award (commemorating an individual who demonstrates ``true leadership in sustainable building operations, in the day to day, and setting an example for others''): Neal Perkey, GM, Transwestern Commercial Services.
-- Environmental Justice Award: LA County Parks and Recreation.
-- Corporate Sustainability Award: Hudson Pacific Properties.
-- Community Impact Award: Theodore Payne Foundation.
-- Partner of the Year Award: Fifth Wall.
-- Emerging Leader Award: Rebecca Ramsdale, senior project manager, Verdical Group, and Grant Waldron, head of sustainability strategy, Gaia.
-- Heart of the Chapter Award: Heidi Creighton, associate principal, Buro Happold.
Also at the gala, the new category of Portfolio of the Year will be presented to Kilroy Realty Corporation Full Service Portfolio.
All awards will be presented in front of a guest list of top industry professionals including real estate owners and developers, local government representatives, architects, engineers, contractors, sustainability professionals and other supporters.
Founded in 2002, USGBC-LA is a nonprofit organization committed to creating a prosperous and sustainable future within one generation.
Photo: Getty Images