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Networking for the Holidays

Alicia Chu, a LEED consultant with Healthy Buildings, had a chance to network with associates at a holiday networking event hosted by Urban Land Institute.

This is the time of year that landscape and industry professionals have a chance to gather together to share ideas along with some festive foods. On December 5, Urban Land Institute (Orange County/Inland Empire) hosted a holiday networking event along with ASLA and U.S. Green Building Council at Andrei's Conscious Cuisine in Irvine, Calif. The mixer supported the local community, helped build bridges for a common cause and planted ideas for a better Orange County.

"I think we're going to see more transportation oriented development," said Alicia Chu, a LEED consultant with Healthy Buildings in Irvine. "There's nodes being built around mass transit, so I see more mixed use."

Chu said she imagined that water rates would continue to increase, until it gets to the point where it's unbearable for consumers. This is a perfect venue to make more efficient ways to use operations for water and energy.

"We need to build green homes with sustainable materials and use less energy," said Joe DiGrado, an architect for Daniellan Associates. "Solar panels are becoming more standard for single family dwellings. A lot of developers lease solar programs as there have been technological advances all over the place."

DiGrado said that after California Title 24 was passed most builders do more than the minimum requirements. Homes are built with better windows and insulation to cut down on heating and air conditioning. In Southern California, the most efficient direction for solar panels, is facing the south.

"I've seen an emphasis on best management practices for maintaining rainwater on site," said Phil Gallicchio, a representative for Belgard Oldcastle. "Laws maintain that a site has permeable pavers and we're a leader in that industry."

The permeable pavers are used in parking lots, driveways and roads within HOA developments, said Gallicchio. His company works with landscape architects, civil engineers, county installers and developers. They provide consultation for permeable solutions, design details with onsite water quality analysis.

"The sustainability movement has been less of a fad and more part of the mainstream in the past 20 years," said Phyllis Alzamora, executive director for ULI. "It's become a matter of fact with more aspects of our lives. It hasn't affected the average resident yet."

Young people understand sustainability has a way of life, said Alzamora. The older generation needs to understand the products such as solar generated power. Developers have found sustainability is affordable for homes. The goal is to get to Net Zero homes.

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October 13, 2019, 6:52 pm PDT

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