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40th annual Los Angeles Architecture Awards
Recently, the 40th annual Los Angeles Architecture Awards took place, sponsored by the Los Angeles Business Council. The awards are a great opportunity to witness how certain building codes and mandates are being pushed further in terms of innovation and design. As discussed in yesterday's article covering CalGreen, the danger of government controlled green certification is in its potential to only encourage the minimum, rather than rising above. The selected projects from the 40th annual Los Angeles Architecture Awards recognize all aspects of sustainable design—the site, contribution to the community, innovation, scale, materials and more—not just energy use.

The awards cover 20 separate categories, depending on the building's occupancy, such as dwelling, retail, renovation, housing, and more. Awards are also given to the "Best of LA Architects", a category which recognizes Los Angeles based architecture firms which perform work outside of their county. One Grand Prize is also selected, which was awarded to the Los Angeles Police Department Administration Building. The 50,000 square-foot building, designed by Roth Sheppard Architects, contains a one acre park, a rooftop garden, and more.

Other notable awards were the Community Impact award, the Green Building award, the Education Award, and the Landscape Architecture aware. L.A. Live, a large entertainment complex which was originally designed as an extension to the pre-existing Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles was awarded the Community Impact Award, while the Hollenbeck Area Community Police Station, as well as three other stations, took home the Green Building Award. The recent Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech was awarded the Education award, while the Fanfare Fountain and Thomas Bridge earned the Landscape Architecture award for revitalizing the port of Los Angeles.

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