About the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge

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20% savings in 30 million ft² of buildings

The Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) is an innovative utility-funded initiative to support property owners and managers in executing cost-effective building performance upgrades to achieve 20 percent energy and water savings by 2020. The LABBC serves as an unbiased guide to help you take advantage of all available resources and incentives, and maximize the ROI of your energy and water efficiency upgrades.

We are at the forefront of the evolution of high performance buildings. Specifically, we are in-the-know when it comes to energy efficiency case studies, incentives and rebates, policy drivers, industry trends, technology, financing programs, and the ways in which energy performance impacts a building’s competitiveness in the market.

The objective is part of the Better Buildings Challenge, a national leadership initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy that calls on public and private sector leaders to demonstrate the benefits of modernizing America’s existing buildings. Achieving this goal will significantly reduce partners’ operating costs while freeing up capital for more productive uses, enhancing tenant comfort and productivity, and boosting market competitiveness. It is also estimated to create over 7,000 high-quality local jobs and avert annual CO2 emissions equivalent to taking over 18,000 cars off the road.

Los Angeles is proud to be one of the first cities selected to participate in this important initiative. Should you choose to take on the Challenge, you and your company will be among a select group of visionary leaders propelling Los Angeles toward its goal of becoming the most economically competitive, most sustainable large city in America. LABBC Brochure.

Meet the LABBC Team

David Hodgins, MBA / MRED / LEED AP
Executive Director

After three and a half years as Commercial Sector Project Development Manager with the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program, David founded Sustento Group, LLC, a consultancy offering strategic advisory services to public, private, and institutional clients interested in rolling out large-scale energy efficiency programs. David currently manages the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge and is working with Los Angeles County on the development of its Commercial PACE Financing Program.

David has been involved with the establishment of over 50 million square feet of resource efficiency projects on 6 continents. He is currently consulting with various government agencies to develop and implement financing programs that will accelerate the commercial efficiency retrofit market. David’s areas of expertise include resource efficiency retrofit finance, retrofit and retro-commissioning project development, portfolio strategy development, and environmental policy. David is a LEED Accredited Professional and member of both the USGBC Los Angeles Commercial Real Estate and Finance and EBOM sub-committees. David holds a Master’s of Business Administration and a Master’s of Real Estate Development, with an emphasis in sustainable development, from the University of Southern California.

Ben Stapleton, MBA / LEED AP O+M
Managing Director

A native of Los Angeles, Ben brings over 11 years of business and real estate experience to the LA Better Buildings Challenge Team. Ben incorporates a creative mind and a consultative approach to strategic planning, real estate development, and project management. His expertise allows him an in-depth understanding of the financial implications of real estate decisions, while also providing insight into the sustainability issues that contemporary businesses must deal with.

In 2008, Ben founded Jones Lang LaSalle’s global Cleantech Practice Group, which is focused on representing renewable energy and clean technology companies in addressing their real estate needs. This only fueled his passion to explore the nexus of energy and real estate and helped him to adopt the belief that increasing the energy efficiency of our buildings is one of the most powerful tools in creating a truly sustainable society.

He is a recipient of Jones Lang LaSalle’s distinctive Da Vinci Award for Innovation and CoStar’s Power Broker designation in the Los Angeles market. He is a member of the American Industrial Real Estate Association, the National Geographic Society, and the Sierra Club. Ben also serves as a Mentor and Advisor for the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. With a (sometimes conflicting) educational background as a UCLA undergrad and a USC MBA, Ben is a true believer in the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.

Jeff Gould, LEED AP / CCIM

Jeff’s background is in finance and transactional real estate, where he has spent over 10 years in leasing, investment sales, and consulting on commercial real estate projects throughout Los Angeles County. Jeff has also been extensively involved in sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives throughout his career. In his current position at the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge, he works to implement high-performance and energy efficiency initiatives into Partners’ portfolios and assist these owners in assessing the payback and financing of these initiatives.

Jeff is a LEED Accredited Professional, Certified Commercial Investment Member, a founding Board member of The San Fernando Valley Green Team, past Board Member of USGBC Los Angeles, and a founding member of the Real Estate Finance Committee at USGBC Los Angeles. Jeff is also a frequent speaker on high-performance property investment opportunities and value proposition in green building investment.

Drew Shula, Assoc. AIA / LEED AP BD+C / ID+C / GGP
Marketing & Operations Manager

Drew is an experienced green building consultant with experience on more than 60 LEED certification projects nationwide. Drew has worked across a variety of project types, including portfolio programs, existing buildings, tenant improvements, new construction, and core and shell projects. He has also consulted on a wide range of vertical real estate markets, including commercial office, public sector, healthcare, laboratory, hotel, historic preservation, multi-family residential, museum, restaurant and education buildings.

Drew’s past experience includes project management work at Fortune 1000 firm, Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL), sustainability consulting firm Brightworks, and full-service real estate development company, Thomas Properties Group (TPG has since been acquired by CommonWealth Partners). At TPG, Drew worked toward greening the company’s 15 million square foot national portfolio through the LEED EBOM Program. Drew began his career as an Architectural Designer at The Jerde Partnership, a multidisciplinary architecture and urban planning firm. A U.S. Green Building Council Los Angeles (USGBC-LA) Chapter Leader, Drew was honored with the Chapter’s Agent Green Award in 2011 and a USGBC National “Above & Beyond” Volunteer Award in 2014. He holds a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.

Emily Hand, LEED AP BD+C
Marketing & Operations Associate

Emily is a green building consultant with experience on LEED for new construction and interior design projects. Emily completed a B.S. in Natural Science with a minor in Environmental Studies at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles, where she was a leader in the university’s Office of Sustainability. Emily brings her social networking platform and web-based content management expertise to the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge. Emily has served as past President of the LMU USGBC Student Group, spearheading the 2013 Green Apple Day of Service event on campus. Emily holds a LEED AP BD+C credential and is a member of the USGBC Los Angeles Chapter.

Lester A. Rosenberg, PE
Construction & Technical Advisor

Les Rosenberg has been active in the design and construction of projects for large commercial, institutional, and industrial clientele for more than 30 years, including both new buildings and remodel projects.  His education and background bring unique engineering expertise and board-level familiarity to the team.

Les has engineering systems for more than 10 million square feet of projects, nation-wide. His utilities-planning experience includes establishing utility systems design standards for 4 foreign nations, and for more than 20 large central utilities plants and distribution systems nationwide. In addition, Les has developed master planning documents for the largest institutional, higher-education campus, and entertainment industries in the area.

He currently serves as the Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors Building Committee at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, overseeing an annual construction budget of approximately $100,000,000. He is also a member of the Board of Directors Finance Committee at Cedars Sinai. Les received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the City University of New York.

Hailyn Chun

Hailyn is assisting in the development and preparation of essential groundwork for the next phase of the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge program. She is also responsible for generating and compiling reports to overview the Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge processes and procedures. She will play a critical role in analyzing data for our Partners. Prior to joining LABBC, Hailyn worked as a business development analyst at HSL Ventures and Ameritech Construction. She is currently attending UCLA as an Economics major.

Chloe Woodruff
Digital Media & Communications Associate

Chloe helps the LABBC work with Partners to develop press releases and project case studies, facilitates LABBC webinars and events, and maintains the LABBCs online and social media presence. She brings several years of experience working with public relations, news publications, and design. Chloe is currently majoring in Urban and Environmental Policy at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Contact us to find out how to get involved!