BOLD Awards

4 Sustainability Leaders Celebrated at the bold Awards 2015

In the entrenched commercial real estate industry, advancing change has been a particularly unique challenge. Luckily, green building leaders have worked tirelessly to create a better, more sustainable built environment for us all.

Aquicore partnered with Building Robotics, Enlighted, and View to create The BOLD Awards, recognizing Building Optimizers Leaders and Disruptors who are driving change and innovation in prestigious green building projects across the country. After nearly 100 nominations and 20 finalists, our esteemed panel of judges selected one recipient for each category based on extensive criteria, including environmental impact, human impact, and innovation.


The 2015 recipients for each category were:

The ChampionSara Neff, Vice President of Sustainability at Kilroy Realty Corporation

When Sara Neff first joined Kilroy Realty, there was no sustainability program. At such a large realty group, she thought a sustainability program was essential, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. In the 4 years since Kilroy first had a sustainability division, it has been named the top sustainability leader in North America 2 years in a row and #5 worldwide in 2015 by GRESB.

The Mentor – Russell Perry, Director of Sustainable Design at SmithGroupJJR

Russell Perry has dedicated himself to advocating sustainable, non-hazardous materials within his company, his community, and the entire building industry. He organizes workshops, speaking series, and organizations to spread information on sustainability and construction material best practices, which inspired new AIA guidelines for mitigating and managing risk.

The Inventor –
Davida Herzl, CEO & Co-Founder of Aclima

Davida Herzl kept her air quality mapping project in “stealth mode” for several years before the official launch of Aclima in 2015. With a commitment to big impact, Davida brought together public and private players, like Google and the Environmental Protection Agency, to harness the power of large-scale environmental sensor networks and develop air quality maps for major cities.

The Unsung Hero –
William (Bill) Updike, Chief of the Green Building & Climate Branch, Department of Energy & the Environment, Government of the District of Columbia

Bill Updike has spent most of his career working behind the scenes, but this year, we could not overlook his accomplishments. In 2015 alone, Bill worked tireless to launch the DC Green Construction Code, lead DC’s exploratory work into the Living Building Challenge and EcoDistricts, and he successfully implemented DC’s building energy benchmarking law and green affordable housing programs. In the same year, DC passed the 100 million square foot threshold for LEED certified square feet (one of only 3 cities to do so, and by far the smallest).


“With such a talented group of applicants, selecting the four BOLD Award recipients proved challenging,” said Elaine Hsieh, VERGE Program Director at GreenBiz Group. “But ultimately, the recipients demonstrated a unique and distinct dedication to innovation in sustainability, and we are proud to recognize them for their accomplishments.”

Judges for The BOLD Awards program included: Scot Horst, Chief Product Officer at USGBC; Elaine Hsieh, VERGE Program Director at GreenBiz Group; Kira Gould, Director of Communications at William McDonough + Partners; Cliff Majersik, Executive Director at Institute for Market Transformation; Mark Frankel, Technical Director at New Buildings Institute; Gary Dillabough, Managing Partner at The Westly Group; Phil Williams, Executive Director at Delos.

With over 300 attendees at the event last night, it’s safe to say the inaugural event was a success! Headed to Los Angeles for Greenbuild 2016? Look forward to the 2nd annual The BOLD Awards!

Missed the event? Check out our social media recap for photos, tweets, and celebratory selfies. 

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