The 17th annual Municipal Green Building Conference and Expo (MGBCE) will return on April 19 at the SoCalGas Energy Resource Center in Downey, California. MGBCE, hosted annually by the Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), Los Angeles, and the U.S. Green Building Council-LA Chapter (USGBC-LA), is offering 27 panels and three keynotes that aim to share usable ideas and processes across the green building sector that touch upon community projects and residential and commercial properties. The no-cost event runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“This year’s theme is Innovative Cities Leading the Way to a Sustainable Future. But innovation can only take place when fresh ideas and practices can be discussed with those who will be implementing them in their cities,” Dominique Hargreaves, USGBC-LA executive director, says. “This year’s panels do just that, through some of today’s touchpoints as ZNE [zero net energy], distributed energy, waste, transportation and health and wellness. We also address developing the vital next generation of thought leaders.”
The event will also introduce a new Sustainable Cities Tech Challenge for startup companies to present future usable products or ideas for municipalities. Organized by USGBC-LA and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), the awards are divided into three categories of Smart Infrastructure, Energy and Water Efficiency and Waste. Finalists will receive the chance to win $15,000 as the overall challenge winner, $3,000 per category winner, in-kind support from sponsors or partners and the opportunity for membership to LACI’s business incubation program, access to LACI’s La Kretz Innovation Campus and Advanced Prototyping Center. Winners will also receive pitch prep and mentorship from LACI’s executives-in-residence team leading up the conference.
Attendees will hear from three keynote speakers. Seleta J. Reynolds, general manager, LA Department of Transportation (LADOT), will begin the day with her talk, titled “Drones, Loops, and Robotaxis: A Sustainable City Roadmap to Our Hyper-Uber Future.” Gary Gero, chief sustainability officer for Los Angeles County, will speak in the afternoon to the importance of regional approaches and local leadership in addressing sustainability challenges. Scot Horst, CEO of Arc Skoru Inc., a green building performance measuring software developer headquartered in Washington and formerly the chief product officer for the national USGBC, will also speak at the event.
SoCalGas and USGBC-LA say the conference attracts municipalities, utilities, public agencies, architects, engineers, building owners, contractors, nonprofits, manufacturers and students. USGBC-LA is working with the Zero Waste Co. to encourage zero waste practices at MGBCE. The 2017 MGBCE has achieved a 91 percent diversion rate.