Verdical Group Mark 302 Project Featured in The Los Angeles Times

Photo courtesy of Mark 302.

The Los Angeles Times has published an article featuring Verdical Group’s Mark 302 project — for which we worked with House & Robertson Architects to provide LEED v3 BD+C Core & Shell project management, LEED Energy Modeling, LEED Fundamental Commissioning, CALGreen Commissioning, and a Fitwel Feasibility Assessment.

“The ambitious project is intended to be a showcase for how to reuse obsolete department stores in urban areas. Its owners predict it will turn out that way, but their timing has run into a global catastrophe. Now that the complex, renamed Mark 302, is ready for tenants to build out their own spaces, the pandemic has knocked the office and restaurant rental markets on their heels.”

Located in “the tech corridor of L.A.,” the approximately 120,000-square-foot former Sears department store is owned by Seritage Growth Properties and being reused and transformed into a vibrant retail, office and food complex – featuring an atrium and landscaped rooftop deck.

“The pandemic-related slowdown in the office market prompted Seritage to focus on health safety measures in the updated building, such as touchless elevators and a virus-trapping air filtration system. Tenants will have outdoor workspaces and exclusive use of a landscaped roof deck, which has views of the Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica Mountains and downtown Los Angeles.”

Read the full LA Times article here, or find the project on our website here.


Photo courtesy of Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times.

Photo courtesy of Neoscape.

Photo courtesy of VCC Construction.

VG Lake Forest Project Wins USGBC-LA Innovation Award

Verdical Group is pleased to announce that the City of Lake Forest Civic Center — for which we worked with Bernards to provide LEED v3 Project Management, CALGreen Commissioning, and LEED Fundamental and Enhanced Commissioning — has won a Sustainable Innovation Award.

The tenth Annual Sustainable Innovation Awards were announced at USGBC Los Angeles’ Green Gala on December 9, 2020. The ceremony recognized eleven exceptional projects that went above and beyond to achieve sustainable goals.

“Our members, who design, build and operate the environments where we spend nearly 90% of our time, do an amazing job of pushing each other to go further each year. These projects and the people who made them happen deserve to be honored to bring more attention to the work they are doing and to drive others to go even further,” USGBC-LA Executive Director Ben Stapleton said.

The 53,265-square-foot Civic Center achieved the LEED Silver level of certification under the LEED v2009 BD+C New Construction rating system.

The project met 10 out of 10 available Water Efficiency credits, plus 2 Exemplary Performance credits, plus 2 Regional Priority credits. Lake Forest, like most of southern California, is an arid region where the need to reduce water demand is essential. Water efficiency landscaping, innovative wastewater technology, and water use reduction strategies were applied to reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems.

The project selected drought-tolerant and native species where possible and 75% of the plant species are rated as either low or very low by WUCOLS standards including California’s official state grass, Nassella Pulchra “Purple Needlegrass” and the critically endangered species Pinus torreyana “Torrey Pine.” The irrigation drip and bubbler systems are only operated between the hours of 9:00pm and 6:00am to prevent water evaporation loss. The irrigation schedule operates on a weather-based controller which automatically adjusts based on the local weather conditions. One hundred percent of water used for landscaping is non-potable treated recycled water from the municipality.

The municipal plant generates 155,727.25 gal of treated non-potable water which is equal to the captured site water. It fulfills the demand for the flush water. The flush water demands equals the water generated with 100% of demand of flush fixtures is through municipal treated wastewater. An extra credit was earned for exemplary performance since the reduction doubled the required percentage.

Innovative wastewater technology uses municipal treated wastewater to supply 100% of demand from flush fixtures. Low-flow indoor water fixtures were installed. The prerequisite only requires a 20% reduction from the baseline and the project almost quadrupled the requirement by achieving 79% indoor water savings.

The project selected a variety of materials to create a positive environmental impact and healthy environment for the occupants. To reduce the heat island effect products with high solar reflectance index (SRI) values were installed on the ground level and roof to reflect heat away from the building. Regional (10%) building products with recycled content (49.94%) and wood certified (10%) by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) were selected and installed. Low emitting materials with low to no VOCs for adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings were applied to protect the indoor environmental quality.

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GreenBiz Publishes VG Article on Net Zero Energy & Carbon

GreenBiz recently re-published an article written by Verdical Group’s Sustainability & LEED Intern, Kate Zeile.

The piece, entitled “Navigating net-zero energy and net-zero carbon building certifications,” compares certification systems for net zero buildings, weighing cost against stringency for various goals and building types.

You can read the original version on our website and the GreenBiz coverage here.

Drew Shula Featured on Green Building Matters Town Hall

Verdical Group’s Founder & CEO recently joined a Town Hall webinar, hosted by the GBES Green Building Matters podcast, to discuss the unbelievable year 2020 has been and forecast the year in 2021.

He was joined by podcast host and LEED Fellow Charlie Cichetti, as well as Michael Strong of Charles Pankow Builders. The wide-ranging conversation covered a variety of pressing issues impacting the green building industry, including the US Presidential election, the Paris Agreement, COVID building re-entry and the new LEED COVID response credits, diversity and inclusion, B Corporations, the buzzword of the year “carbon,” the climate crisis, California net-zero legislation leading the way for the country, and recaps of the nationally leading green building conferences — the Net Zero Conference and Greenbuild.

You can listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or view the webinar recording below.

VG Releases First-Ever Net Zero Conference Transparency Report

Introducing the Net Zero 2020 Transparency Report

As a B Corp and 1% for the Planet Member Company, Verdical Group seeks to transparently share our environmental and social performance.

We’re committed to making a positive impact within our community through the Net Zero Conference as the energy and momentum around the event continue to grow. In line with that goal, we are pleased to introduce the first annual Transparency Report!


Read more

Verdical Group Civic Alliance Commitment Featured in USA Today

Verdical Group’s Founder and CEO joined more than 500 CEOs who signed Civic Alliance’s “100% In for democracy” joint statement, committing to promoting fair and transparent elections, safe access to the polls, and recognizing state and local election officials as the trusted source for certified results.

We joined the other signatories in celebrating a record number of Americans voting in the 2020 election. Thank you to poll workers, the essential workers for our democracy.

The signatories appeared in a two-page centerfold in USA Today on October 27, 2020:

(Click to enlarge.)

Shula Featured on Greenbuild Carbon Roundtable

“The COVID19 pandemic has cut down emissions by about 6-8%. Although a start, that means 92% of emissions are still happening even with a complete global shutdown. It really shows how much work we have to do.” — Drew Shula, VG Founder & CEO

Carbon emissions have far-reaching impacts on the planet. In this spirited Carbon Roundtable hosted by UL at Greenbuild, Verdical Group’s Founder & CEO Drew Shula discussed the impacts and innovative solutions being created to address carbon emissions in the built environment.

Shula was joined by a group of international panelists including Josh Jacobs (UL) in Atlanta, Dana Schneider (Empire State Realty Trust) in New York City, Shaun McCarthy (Action Sustainability) in London, Shawn Jang (BEE) in Tokyo, and Joseph Marfi (Turner Construction) in Los Angeles. They covered topics from building design and construction to carbon metrics and tracking.

“There are so many parallels between the COVID19 pandemic and the ClimateCrisis,” said Shula. “The climate crisis, like this pandemic, is something that ties everyone in the world together. It’s going to require a global response. It’s going to require every person and every country in the world. It will require us to move more quickly than we have in the last couple of decades but we’ve got to do it now as a collective.”

To see more from the UL Sustainability Talks, Carbon Series, visit their website here.

Verdical Group Signs USGBC Healthy Economy Commitment

We’re proud to join more than 200 green building professionals and companies who have voiced their support for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Healthy Economy Commitment. USGBC is encouraging elected leaders to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to build a better future for all.

“Today’s global economy is rapidly evolving. Gone are the days where businesses are valued only on their economic performance. Positive environmental and social impact are now just as important as profit. At Verdical Group, we’re harnessing the power of business to compete with the market to do the most good. We’re proud to join USGBC in our ongoing commitment to building a healthy economy that works for all people,” said Drew Shula, Founder & Principal at Verdical Group.

The commitment asks leaders to take action to mitigate climate change, promote health and wellness for all, protect our natural resources, enhance biodiversity, connect people to nature, promote sustainable materials, and building a greener and more equitable economy.

Learn more and see the full list of signatories here. 

Drew Shula of Verdical Group Selected as 2020 LEED Fellow

LEED Fellows represent the top of their fields in green building design, engineering, and development. 

Los Angeles, CA – (October 20, 2020) – Verdical Group’s Founder & CEO Drew Shula has been named a 2020 LEED Fellow by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI). Shula is among 25 professionals who represent exceptional practitioners and leaders within the green building community and have demonstrated mastery of the technical application of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building rating system. The first class of LEED Fellows was announced in 2011, and the 2020 class is the tenth class, with a total of 341 LEED Fellows including this year’s class. Shula is one of just six individuals ever to receive both the LEED Fellow and Living Future Hero Award.

Verdical Group’s mission is to build an equitable net zero future for all people, now. A highly proficient LEED practitioner with a deep understanding of all rating systems, Shula has proudly worked on more than 100 LEED projects throughout his career. He leads multidisciplinary design and construction teams, effectively working with clients to customize a green building approach specific to each project.

Shula embraces his role of inspiring the team at Verdical Group — the firm he founded in his Pasadena garage in 2012 — and the firm’s clients to push the envelope of what sustainability goals they thought might be possible. Verdical Group is a certified B Corporation, as well as a 1% for the Planet member company, and hosts the world’s largest annual conference dedicated to net zero building design, the Net Zero Conference. Shula often works with his team to recommend additional high-performance building strategies that enable projects to attain higher levels of LEED certification than the project team originally targeted. In all of his project work, Shula seeks to educate project team members that using LEED as a tool is not about checking boxes, but about the sustainability intent of each credit and working to achieve ever-higher levels of green building performance.

Shula is a frequent public speaker on LEED and net zero design and has spoken at events hosted by such institutions as Cornell, the AIA Los Angeles 2 Degrees Symposium on Climate Change, the Conrad Hilton Foundation, and the Living Future unConference. In 2016, he served as a speaker at Greenbuild giving a tour of his hometown host venue, the LA Convention Center. A past Board Member and long-time volunteer with the U.S. Green Building Council Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA), Shula has dedicated hundreds of hours of service to further USGBC’s mission. He has received numerous leadership awards for his service from USGBC-LA and USGBC National, including the Green Agent Award in 2011, the Above & Beyond Volunteer Award in 2014, USGBC Leadership Award in 2015, and Certificate of Appreciation Recipient in 2016. Shula has been featured or published as a green building expert in media including USA Today, Forbes, and USGBC+ Magazine. He holds a 5-year professional degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.

Shula has also worked with his team and clients to pursue multiple innovative LEED pilot credits, including the Local Food Production credit and, more recently, the new Safety First pilot credit to help owners and occupants stay safe during pandemics like COVID-19. In 2017, Shula worked with a Verdical Group team member to submit a new pilot credit, “Residential Energy Submetering and Real-Time Usage Data.”

“As a social entrepreneur and environmentalist, it’s been my privilege to provide leadership on energy and environmental design, using the LEED rating system as a primary tool throughout my career” said Shula. “I’ve made it my personal mission to create a built environment that functions more like our natural environment.”

LEED Fellows are nominated by their peers and must have made at least 10 years’ worth of exceptional impact on LEED and hold an active LEED AP with specialty credential, among other requirements. The evaluation process includes extensive portfolio review and is carried out by the LEED Fellow Evaluation Committee and supported by GBCI. The LEED Fellow program was established in 2011 to recognize outstanding LEED APs who have demonstrated exceptional impacts with LEED in key mastery elements related to technical knowledge and skill; a history of exemplary leadership in LEED; significant contributions in teaching, mentoring, or research with proven outcomes; and a history of highly impactful commitment, service, and advocacy for LEED.

“The green building industry plays a critical role as we look toward rebuilding our economy and our communities in the months and years ahead,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of GBCI and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). “Our LEED Fellows are on the frontlines of that work helping to ensure our buildings and spaces are healthy, resilient and sustainable places for us all to enjoy. LEED Fellows have made substantial contributions to the green building community and their commitment to LEED will continue to help us shape a better living standard for all.”

The 2020 LEED Fellows will be recognized at this year’s Greenbuild Virtual conference during the USGBC 2020 Leadership Awards on Thursday, November 12 at 5 p.m. EST. Visit to register for the conference and for more information on professional credentialing opportunities.

Watch Mahesh Ramanujam, President & CEO of USGBC and GBCI, give the 2020 LEED Fellow awards including Verdical Group Founder & CEO, Drew Shula.

Read the press release from the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC) here: