Green California Summit and Exposition Addresses Prop 39

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Green builders and stakeholders attended the Green California Summit and Exposition at the Sacramento Convention Center April 8 and April 9 to share best practices and survey the latest technologies in sustainable building. The conference included more than 100 companies and offered green products and services, concurrent sessions addressing energy, water, transportation and other vital topics, as well as the Leadership Awards reception.

A wide array of green building topics was covered at the two-day conference. In total, 33 sessions provided insight and strategies to an assortment of green building subjects — especially for those involved in green school projects. The summit provided forward-thinking education programs through various education tracks. Several green school-related sessions covered how schools should make the most out of Proposition 39, which promises to bring more than $2.5 billion to California schools over the next five years for energy-efficiency projects.

On Day 1, Track 4 covered Green Schools (USGBC) with a variety of green session topics. The first was “Healthier Schools by Design: EPD and HPD for the Future,” which discussed a movement led by the USGBC, Living Building Institute and the Healthy Building Network to encourage builders to use healthier interior materials such as walls, floors and furniture in schools. The second session was titled, “Leveraging Prop 39 for Green Schools Forever: Smart Energy Investments.” The session was geared toward providing K-12 district staff with practical resources and strategies to leverage their Prop 39 funding and focused on smart finance and implementation investments of tracked avoided costs. The third session addressed recommendations for how schools can teach students to save water and energy.

On Day 2, Track 4 covered the USGBC, while Track 6 covered Green Schools, offering more green building sessions that relate to the green school sector. The sessions addressed Prop 39 again, as well as educational seminars on green building codes and water conservation, among others.

Prior to the two-day summit, a pre-summit workshop on April 7 included a daylong seminar, “Prop 39: Implementation Update,” which was also dedicated to providing education and resources on Prop 39. The initiative has the potential to enable every local education agency to progress toward more efficient and healthier facilities, and to help schools save money that can be invested in teachers, supplies and other aspects of program delivery, according to summit leaders.

The presentation detailed proposal preparation and submittal, what kinds of projects are most likely to be approved and best practices that will enable project leaders to make the most of their funds, among many other subjects. Speakers at the workshop included Marcia Smith, program director for Prop 39 Implementation at the California Energy Commission; Bob Chase, deputy state architect; Bill McNamara, director of Energy Programs at the California Conservation Corp; Tim Rainey, executive director of the California Workforce Investment Board; Jim Kelsey, founding principal of kW Engineering; and Ariel Dekovic, senior program manager from the Collaborative for High Performance Schools.