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The 2009 Sustainable San Mateo County Awards winners represent the forefront of those who are making positive contributions to San Mateo County’s economy, environment and social equity. The winners were honored at the 10th Annual Awards Event held on March 18, 2009 at the South San Francisco Conference Center.

Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance (Click to watch video Watch Video)
The mission of the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance is to “reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles traveling in, to and through San Mateo County, reducing vehicle emissions resulting in improved air quality.” Since 2000, the Alliance has reached more and more commuters through a diverse host of programs. More than 5,000 individuals have participated in carpools or vanpools and 17,000 have tried public transit through the Alliance’s Try Transit program. In 2008 alone, the Alliance’s shuttles carried roughly 430,000 passengers on its 19 shuttle bus routes, connecting commuters to/from BART and Caltrain stations to their places of employment. Nearly 300 employers representing 103,000 employees actively support Alliance’s programs.

City of Redwood City’s Civic Engagement (Click to watch video Watch Video)
The core purpose of City of Redwood City’s Civic Engagement efforts is to “build a great community together.” For Redwood City, this includes bringing people into the decision-making process and engaging them to address issues that the community faces together. Redwood City’s environmental initiatives offer a variety of ongoing public participation opportunities focused on sustainability. One of the City’s pioneering engagement efforts was a special World Café discussion on climate change, in which nearly 100 people participated in this innovative conversational methodology. Other examples of Redwood City’s civic engagement efforts include: the “Hoover Area Connection” study sessions, which brings under-served communities into the discussion; the Cool Campaign “YO” (Youth Outdoors) initiative; and a series of workshops and study sessions that brought together hundreds of interested people to discuss the development of Redwood City’s Downtown Precise Plan.

Webcor Builders (Click to watch video Watch Video)
When it comes to green building, Webcor Builders is among the best. Webcor is responsible for the construction of many sustainable buildings and LEED certified projects, including Phase II of the Electronics Arts Campus in Redwood City and the new California Academy of Sciences, which is the largest public Platinum-rated building in the world. Webcor’s environmental contributions have been recognized by Engineering News Record (ENR) Magazine which ranked Webcor as second of its Top Green Contractors in the U.S. for 2008. Webcor is the first general contractor to voluntarily report its companywide greenhouse gas emissions with the California Climate Action Registry. In addition to its environmental leadership, Webcor is dedicated to supporting the communities in which it operates by encouraging its employees to get involved with local charities.

Yerba Buena California Native Plant Nursery (Click to watch video Watch Video)
Established in 1960, Yerba Buena California Native Plant Nursery is California’s oldest retail nursery business specializing in native plants and ferns. Located in the coastal hills above Woodside, over 600 species of plants, representing all regions of California from the beaches to the Sierras, are grown here. In addition to being a business, Yerba Buena is an educational center for native plants, with a mission to get these plants into local gardens, thus, reducing water consumption for landscaping. In 2008, the California Native Plant Society named Yerba Buena’s Native Plant Garden as one of the top five native plant gardens in California.

Reece Computer Systems (Honorable Mention)
Reece Computer Systems of Half Moon Bay provides computer sales and support to businesses and non-profit enterprises in the Bay Area and is this year’s honorable mention. As one of only 130 certified “B” Beneficial Corporations in the United States, Reece Computer Systems encourages energy reduction, recommends recycling and accepts e-waste at no charge every day. In addition to their environmental achievements, they purposely employ disadvantaged and/or at risk individuals. Reece Computer Systems was named 2008 Small Business of the Year for District #8 by Senator Leland Yee.

Sustainable San Mateo County, RecycleWorks, and the San Mateo County Chapter of the American Institute of Architects sponsor the Green Building Award to support sustainable design in architecture and to recognize the designers, builders, and owners of green buildings in San Mateo County. We are happy to announce the winners of the 2009 Green Building Awards.

Winner: Skillman Residence, San Carlos (Click to watch video Watch Video)
Owner: Peter and Laurel Skillman
Architect: Freebairn-Smith & Crane
Builder: CEO Construction, Inc.
“The Skillman residence is an exemplary residential project that demonstrates innovative reclamation of materials from other projects along with extensive innovative applications of sustainable design strategies. The house is beautifully sited on the hill and blends into the landscape with the green roof planted with native species. In addition to the green roof, the innovative design strategies include LED lighting, daylight harvesting and passive solar design which results in extremely low energy usage.”

Honorable Mention: Reyering/Walker Residence, Woodside
Owner: Marty Walker & Nancy Reyering
Architect: Hermannsson Architects
Builder: Storey Builders, Inc.
“The Reyering & Walker Residence is a project that is disciplined in its design approach to renovation and expansion of the existing buildings. The extensive use of salvaged materials along with design sensitivity towards maintaining the open space produced a unique, warm and inviting home.”

Winner: Portola Valley Town Center, Portola Valley (Click to watch video Watch Video)
Owner: Town of Portola Valley
Architect: Siegel & Strain Architects/Goring & Straja Architects
Builder: TBI Construction Management
“The Portola Valley Town Center demonstrates to the community the town’s leadership role in sustainability design. The extensive use of natural ventilation, daylighting and shading, plus the use of recycled and reclaimed materials give the three buildings a comfortable and natural feeling while accomplishing energy conservation. The site was carefully designed with sensitivity to stormwater management and the preservation of old growth redwood trees. Their application for LEED certification shows qualification for a Platinum rating and the photovoltaic cells on the roof demonstrate a commitment to trying new technologies to reduce carbon footprint.”

Honorable Mention: Joseph A. Fernekes Recreation Building, South San Francisco
Owner: City of South San Francisco
Architect: Wong & Logan Architects
Builder: RGM Construction Management
“The daylighting, use of natural materials and flow of the interior to exterior are sustainable strategies implemented in the Recreation Center that will have direct benefits on the community as they use this center for years to come.”