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Year: 2002
Award Type: Award of Merit
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
Owner: South Coast Watershed Resource Center
Developer: South Coast Watershed Resource Center
Architect: Blackbird Architects, Inc.
Market Segement:
Adaptive Reuse / Renovation
Type of Building:
Award Credit:

Mechanical Engineer

MEC Mechanical Engineering Consultants

Plumbing & Electrical Engineer

JMPE Electrical Engineering


South Coast Watershed Resource Center

South Coast Watershed Resource Center

This project is a rehabilitation/restoration of a vacant former ranger residence and grounds in a county park containing a heavily-visited public beach.

Designed by Blackbird Architects, the Center educates school groups and the public about the role everyone plays in reducing pollution of creeks and oceans. The building and land space are programmed and designed to showcase green building principles and serve as a model for the public. The project was designed to be extremely energy efficient from the start, to reduce the load that the integrated solar roof shingles could offset. It also features on-demand water and space heating, efficient lighting, salvaged materials, drought-tolerant native planting, and a bioswale that filters runoff.

The jurors awarded the Center a Citation of Merit for being a small but very important energy and sustainability project that is readily available to the public. “This is a wonderful demonstration project that took responsibility for everything possible on its site,” they commented. “It went beyond the Savings By Design goals of saving energy and resources to saving the environment. It made energy efficiency and sustainability seem like effortless pursuit, regardless of the nature of the original building or site.”

    Notable Accomplishments

  • Designed to showcase green building principles.
  • Extremely energy efficient from the start.


  • James Weiner, AIA

    Title: Senior Associate and Director of Sustainable Architecture
    Company: Fields Devereaux Architects & Engineers
    Location: Los Angeles, CA

    James Weiner, AIA

    In addition to guiding the greening of clients’ projects across his firm’s business lines, Mr. Weiner is responsible for civic building project design and planning. He has worked extensively on the implementation of sustainable design in a wide variety of projects, including civic, institutional, commercial, residential, and hospitality facilities. He has worked with several city governments including Los Angeles and Santa Monica on the development and implementation of sustainability, and has provided master planning for CSU libraries at Los Angeles and Pomona.

    Mr. Weiner has authored several publications on sustainable and LEED-evaluated library design. He has also presented workshops and seminars on sustainable design, lighting, and energy efficiency at venues including the American Library Association’s national conferences, the University of California campuses at Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Occidental College, Pitzer College, the Southern California Gas Company’s Energy Resource Center, and Southern California Edison’s CTAC facility. Mr. Weiner is a member of the Education Committee and LEED Faculty of the U.S. Green Building Council and serves as co-chair of the organizing committee of the Council’s Los Angeles Chapter. He is also a board member of the Sustainable Policies Institute in Los Angeles.

  • Alison M. Whitelaw, AIA

    Title: Principal-In-Charge
    Company: Platt/Whitelaw Architects, Inc.
    Location: San Diego, CA

    Alison M. Whitelaw, AIA

    During her 25 years of architectural experience in the San Diego region, Ms. Whitelaw has become well respected for her work on projects for private, governmental, and institutional clients. During much of her career, Ms. Whitelaw has worked to refine her knowledge and skill in the field of sustainable design. She has taught many classes and seminars on green building and sustainable design and has served as a trainer for City of San Diego project managers (implementing the City’s Green Building Policy) and for High Performance Building Envelope Seminars through San Diego Gas & Electric.

    Ms. Whitelaw believes that buildings should be designed to sustain their users, our communities, and the environment, and that they should be a reflection of and a catalyst for cultural definition.

    She currently serves as president of the San Diego Architectural Foundation, and in the past has served as the director of the AIACC and on the advisory boards of the Schools of Architecture for several San Diego-area colleges and universities.

  • Hofu Wu, ArchD, FAIA

    Title: Professor of Architecture
    Company: Cal Poly Pomona
    Location: Pomona, CA

    Hofu Wu, ArchD, FAIA

    Dr. Wu has devoted more than 25 years to teaching advanced energy efficient technologies and their integration in architectural design and currently serves as director of Cal Poly’s Environmental Design Technology Unit. In addition to his involvement in committees that generate national energy standards, he has always been an advocate of the USGBC’s LEED program. As an environment and energy consultant, his clients include utility companies, private corporations, state and federal governments as well as national and international research laboratories. His research papers have been published widely in conference proceedings. Dr. Wu holds a B. A. in Architecture degree from Tamkang University in Taiwan, an M. A. in Architecture degree from University of Illinois, and a Doctor of Architecture degree from University of Michigan.

Award Credit

Mechanical Engineer

MEC Mechanical Engineering Consultants

Plumbing & Electrical Engineer

JMPE Electrical Engineering

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