live / 2016

A conference inspiring LA professionals toward a net zero future; hosted at a nonprofit facility

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Verdical Group

We will bring the nation's largest net zero building conference to IBEW Local 11's Net Zero Plus building to connect LA building industry professionals and inspire them ahead of 2020/2030 code changes


Please describe your project proposal.

Verdical Group has been hosting L.A.’s annual Net Zero Conference for three years with the help of gratuitous venue sponsors. While this has been great, and has helped to garner interest, we would like to host the conference with IBEW Local 11, L.A.’s electrical construction union. IBEW’s Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute is the perfect venue for this conference to inspire L.A.’s building professionals into action and prepare for California’s net zero code changes together.

Which of the live metrics will your proposal impact?​

  • Self-sufficiency
  • Resilient communities

In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • East LA
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

Describe in greater detail how your proposal will make LA the best place to live?

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) launched a Zero Net Energy Action Plan that states all new homes must be net-zero energy by 2020 and commercial buildings by 2030. A zero net energy (ZNE) building must provide on-site renewable energy sources equal to the amount of energy used by the building annually. In order to achieve the ZNE target, a building must be designed with super-insulation, daylighting, natural ventilation, and many other energy-efficient passive strategies. Only after a building first reduces energy demand should it be fitted with solar, wind, or even geothermal on-site energy sources to take care of its remaining cooling, heating, and lighting needs. California’s future ZNE homes, and commercial buildings will produce energy savings that the CEC estimates will also reduce about 160,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year. By reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and increasing our use of renewable on-site energy sources, we will stop polluting our climate with dirty fuels and will create more resilient, self-sufficient communities that will help to reduce strain on the grid and prevent future blackouts.

California’s current goal for reaching their 2020 and 2030 ZNE targets is to educate builders and engineers and to have some of the energy efficiency techniques that have been in development, such as high performance windows and better insulation, become part of the building code in 2019. In order to prepare our local builders, engineers, electrical workers, and architects for net zero building code changes, a net zero conference held at a local union’s training facility is most pertinent–specifically IBEW Local 11’s Net Zero Plus building, which is a ‘living laboratory’ dedicated to advancing energy efficiency technologies.

Verdical Group has already built the nation’s largest net zero building conference, with attendees nearly doubling each year since its inception in 2014. If this momentum can be brought into the Net Zero Plus facility, L.A.’s local union dedicated to advancing high-performance energy efficiency, then building industry workers will be able to connect and collaborate together all in one location. This collaboration will inspire and jump-start the much needed push towards a net zero future, one in which L.A.’s communities will be run by clean, renewable energy.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.​

The success of the Net Zero Conference held at IBEW Local 11’s Net Zero Plus building will be measured by attendee numbers, participants that are engaged and inspired to work on net zero buildings, and feedback given from IBEW Local 11.

Specifically, success will be measured based on the following:

  • Number of participants who attended (totals will be tallied from sign-in sheets at event)
  • Responses from attendees who filled out survey questions (see below)
  • People who contacted IBEW Local 11 post-event that were interested in training or wanted additional information
  • Newsletter outreach metrics tracking number of recipients of targeted email marketing blasts

We will have physical sign-in sheets for all attendees at the event to calculate total number of participants. Additionally, there will be an easy-to-use real-time survey given to attendees during the last hour of the conference, with survey questions that can be answered via live texting. These questions will ask attendees to rank on a scale of 1-5 how much they learned at the event, whether it impacted their motivation to work on net zero projects, and other related questions.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money
  • Volunteers
  • Publicity/awareness
  • Education/training
  • Community outreach