2008 Awards | SSMC

2008 Awards

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Congratulations to the 2008 Sustainable San Mateo County Award Winners!

The recipients of the 9th annual Sustainability Awards truly reflect the three-part message of Sustainable San Mateo County: to advocate and support programs within the county centered on the environment, economy and social equity. Of the 27 outstanding award nominees, the four winners and one honorable mention covered an array of sustainability values, including education, public health and human rights. Whether it’s a nine-acre goat farm or a local website with a global impact, this year’s winners have clearly made a positive difference within the county and beyond:, Inc. (Click to watch video Watch Video) is a Redwood City-based company that has used its website,, to garner attention to world problems such as AIDS, deforestation and human rights abuses. This unique site empowers its members to start and sign petitions, create networks between non-profit groups and causes, post news articles, send eCards (each of which generates a donation by Care2 to save one-square foot of rainforest), and much more.
Through its network of more than 350 partner non-profit groups, it has flexed its muscle for various causes. Read More…

Catalino Tapia (Click to watch video Watch Video) is an extraordinary story of perseverance and giving. Tapia came to the United States from Mexico at the age of 20 with merely $6 in his pocket. He worked as a baker and a machine operator and, with his wife, bought a home in Redwood City. After watching his son graduate from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Law School, Tapia, now 63, established a nonprofit group called the Bay Area Gardeners Foundation, which provides scholarships mainly to Latino students in need as they enter college. Read More…

Community Gatepath (Click to watch video Watch Video) is the largest non-profit group in the county serving people with disabilities, reaching more than 6,700 people. Gatepath is the leading agency providing early intervention services for kids with developmental disabilities. They also offer job placement assistance and help transition disabled people to live independently. As a result, businesses like Safeway, Longs Drugs and Marriott heavily rely on Gatepath to provide people in search of work. Read More…

Harley Farms Goat Dairy (Click to watch video Watch Video) in Pescadero started 16 years ago with six goats and has since grown into a 200-goat operation as the only dairy farm in San Mateo County. The nine-acre farm is a “farmstead dairy,” meaning the cheese produced comes directly from the farm’s animals. It has received six national cheese awards and was the recipient of this past year’s San Mateo County Farmer of the Year award. It also was featured in a February 2007 New York Times article about “agri-tourism,” a concept in which small farms open up to curious visiting urbanites. Read More…

u>Honorable Mention: The Solar Our Schools program (SOS) a partnership between Owens Electric and Solar and Hillsdale High School’s Environmental Club represent this year’s honorary mention. Through the SOS program, up to 20 students from the school’s Environmental Club completed four educational sessions that covered solar technology, energy conservation and solar design and installation. Owens Electric and Solar, based in San Mateo, implemented the SOS program to use school districts to not only teach students the many benefits of solar, but also install solar in school facilities for cash-strapped districts. Hillsdale High School now is in the process of installing solar panels.

Tribute: The San Mateo County Community College District (Click to watch video Watch Video) received a special tribute for exemplifying all three E’s of sustainability–economy, environment and social equity. Not only does the District provide a solid education at a relatively low price, it supplies the local workforce with skilled and educated people and provides housing to its faculty and engages in environmentally-friendly projects with new facilities.

2008 Green Building Award Winners

Single-Family Residence Winner:
TAIJI House (Click to watch video Watch Video)
119 Laurel Avenue, Menlo Park
Owner: Scott and Jackie Wood
Builder: Drew Maran Construction
Architect: Osborne Architects
A wonderful example of how attractive a functional green home can be. The responsiveness to the site, the consideration of the relationship between the interior and exterior spaces, and the aggressive use of sustainable and recycled materials set this project apart.

Honorable Mention:
Bier Residence
934 Paloma Avenue, Burlingame
Owner: Aline Bier
Builder: Spectrum Development
Architect: Jack Matthews Architects
A truly innovative reuse of an existing house. The extensive amount of material recycled from the previous house, the respectful approach to the site, and the high use of new green materials create a remarkable project.

Commercial Winner:
Nueva School Hillside Learning Complex (Click to watch video Watch Video)
6565 Skyline Boulevard, Hillsborough
Owner/CEO: Shirley Doxtad, Business Manager
Builder: Herrero Contractors, Inc.
Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
The commitment of the entire team to a sustainable building is apparent in every aspect of this project. The owner, the design team, the administration and the students all have a role not only in building a green building but also – and perhaps more importantly – in operating a green building. The project works on all levels, from the energy efficiency of natural ventilation to the use of the existing trees on the site for amenities such as benches. It sets a high standard for the aspirations of other buildings in the county.

Honorable Mention:
Villa Montgomery
1540 El Camino Real, Redwood City
Owner/CEO: Jeff Oberdorfer, Executive Director
Builder: Branagh Construction
Architect: Fisher Friedman, FAIA
The location of the project on a transit route, the multi-story solution for a reduced footprint, and the use of a brownfield site are all positive features of this project. Additionally the educational aspect of programs implemented at the facility, such as green housekeeping and communications about the choices and materials used in the design, is admirable.

Honorable Mention:
San Mateo County Youth Services Center
222 Paul Scannell Drive, San Mateo
Owner: County of San Mateo, Capital Projects Manager, James Sowerbrower
Builder: Turner Construction Company
Architect: KMD Architects
The layout of the plan really respects the young people’s needs for as much normalcy as possible. The sensitive site plan allows for an educational atmosphere as opposed to an institutional feel, and the material choice and color allow for joy. The San Mateo Youth Center is a good example of executing sustainable goals in a public project.

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