Newsletter Winter 2016

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Okapi eNews Forum, the Okapi Architecture eNewsletter.

Hello everyone.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Okapi eNews Forum, the Okapi Architecture eNewsletter.

A little bit about us: Okapi Architecture was founded in 2011 by Ying Wang in association with Lance Williams. Okapi’s primary mission is to provide sustainable solutions to energy efficient projects. We also conduct outreach and education programs that help to develop and expand the sustainability mindset.Since 2013, we have operated the Savings By Design program partnership between SoCalGas and LADWP. In late 2015, Okapi also began a project in support of the Codes and Standards division of the Statewide Investor-Owned Utility Consortium.With this eNewsletter, our intent is to utilize our many relationships to stimulate informative and interesting discussions about sustainability and energy efficiency. We want the valuable time that you spend reviewing this eNewsletter to be worthwhile.This edition’s topics include:· The Road to Greenbuild 2016, in recognition of Los Angeles serving as host city for the first time, and accompanying photos of past conferences.· A conversation with three LA-based experts who discuss the institutional challenges of implementing energy efficiency programs from an insider’s perspective, complete with photos and renderings.· Q&A with Aravind Batra of P2S Engineering regarding institutional energy efficiency strategies.· Energy Code ACE and its role in helping professionals navigate Title 24 mandates.· Book Reviews of topics of interest to our readers.We welcome your feedback. We also invite submissions on topics related to sustainability and energy efficiency.

Please send your comments or articles to


USGBC – LA’s Road to Greenbuild 2016 img1
Spread the word: Greenbuild is coming to Los Angeles this year. Under the auspices of the U.S. Green Building Council, an estimated 25-30,000 attendees from all over the world will encamp between October 5th-7th at the Los Angeles Convention Center for a diverse menu of seminars, professional demonstrations, high-level deal-making, schmoozing, building tours, and gawking at the variety of products and information assembled on the vast exhibit floor. Oh, and then there’s the parties…
In keeping with the attention focused on the city, USGBC’s Los Angeles chapter plans to maximize the opportunity to present a broad view of how sustainability is playing out locally. Read More

Emily Sumner, Co-Chair Local Partners & Regional Outreach
Mahesh Ramanujam, COO USGBC, President GBCI & Incoming CEO USGBC Kate Hurst, VP Community Conferences & Events, Hilary Firestone, Co-Chair Ambassadors, Julie DuBrow, PR & Media (L-R) ,
Drew Shula, Greening Committee Co-Chair, Emily Hand, and JD Balzli from Verdical Group (L-R),
Dominique Hargreaves, USGBC-LA Executive Director, Fernanda Zuin, Sustainability Program Specialist (L-R)
    Photos from Greenbuilds Past img1
   The Challenges of Energy Efficiency on Campus: Three Expert Viewpoints img1
Whether in an academic setting or in a large-scale commercial/industrial project with a large energy footprint, the challenges of convincing decision-makers
with spending responsibility of the value of investing in energy efficiency strategies can be a daunting task. Though all roads lead back to cost, the pathway to developing a continuous energy efficiency mindset has been hastened over time by a variety of factors including a convincing business case; as well as policy mandates that are both intra-institutional and also spurred by progressive legislation that reaches to the federal level; and economic incentives such as Savings By Design.
We spoke with three professionals who spearhead energy efficiency initiatives in the construction programs at three such settings: Nathaniel Wilson, Campus Architect at California State University, Northridge; Todd Lynch, Principal Project Development Planner, Capital Planning and Finance at UCLA; and Carey Mcleod, Principal and Director of A. C. Martin’s A/E Studio who is attached to the massive downtown Los Angeles Wilshire Grand project. Each respondent has been engaged in his respective career for twenty years or more. Read More
  CSUN img1

Platinum Sustainability Center
Project Plan, Existing Site Photo, Rendering of New Building
 Wilshire Grand img1

Attached are two renderings and one construction photo.
All are rendered/shot from the south looking north.
 UCLA img1

1-Hitch Suites and Commons (LEED NC Platinum) as viewed from the northwest
2-Saxon Commons Building and Suites (LEED NC Platinum Group Certification)
3-Engineering VI Building – Phase I (WIN-GEM) – Western Institute of Nanotechnology on Green Engineering Metrology
   Q&A with Aravind Batra, Vice-President, P2S Engineering img1
1. Your client base includes clients in large institutional settings, including campuses. What are some of the challenges you face in achieving client buy-in regarding energy efficiency goals?
• All clients in our large institutional settings do embrace and buy in on the energy efficiency goals. The major challenge faced by us however is in
implementing these energy efficiency goals due to limited or lack of budgets to undertake capital upgrades and renovations. Most of the existing buildings
inventory has ageing infrastructure and systems, inefficient equipment and require a sizeable budget to undertake replacement of systems/envelope/fenestrations
to make them efficient. For all projects that are funded either by the state or through bonds passed by the institutions, we have no challenge in
getting a buy in and implementing energy efficiency goals from our clients. Read More

Free trainings offered by the program target a wide range of “hot topic” measures and audience groups, and are provided in a variety of formats, including:• Traditional classroom – available through sponsoring utility energy centers or at a location of your request;
• Virtual classroom – delivered online in real-time by an instructor;
• Online self-study – allows you to take trainings at your convenience; and
• Decoding Talks –online facilitated discussions with industry professionals.


Energy Code Ace is here to help you prepare with our new free offerings focused on what’s new in 2016. Read More
 Book Reviews img1

Grid Connected Solar Power Generation
Engineering Economics, and Risk Management

Peter Gevorkian
Cambridge University Press, 510ppIf I were a municipal, county, or regional administrator charged with the responsibility of recommending where to invest millions of dollars in a far-reaching energy efficiency program to a body of elected officials, Peter Gevorkian’s Grid Connected Solar Power Generation would be my go-to reference guide. Given the breadth of subject matter and depth of thought within this work, I wouldn’t need any other source material. Read More

A Natural and Cultural History

Cynthia Barnett
Crown Publishing, 355 pp.Through ever-evolving geological conditions, rainfall has been both our worst enemy as well as a saving grace. And in this tumultuous time of water scarcity and the attendant consequences on man and nature, environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett’s book offers an interesting perspective of the impact of rainfall throughout the ages.There are a number of compelling reasons why Rain – the book… Read More

All-Electric America
A Climate Solution and the Hopeful Future

S. David Freeman and
Leah Y. Parks
Solar Flare Press, 215 pp.This book is the result of a collaboration between Freeman, a pioneer in energy policy and certainly well-known to environmental advocates of all stripes. Parks is an associate editor for, a journal and newsletter that examines current events and the state of the electricity industry. She is a Stanford and University of Wisconsin graduate and serves on numerous energy policy advisory committees. Read More




Energy Code ACE

Lance A. Williams, Ph. D., LEED AP
Okapi Architecture
Elizabeth Wilkins
Wilkins Communications

Web Master

Graphic Design and Layout

Drew Li
Okapi ArchitectureGail Oliver

The Okapi team includes Stan Klemanowicz, George Hron, Chin Li, and Sally Norgren
© 2016 Okapi Architecture, Inc.