LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Projects developing sustainable buildings and water supplies created by students from Los Angeles Trade Technical College, University of California, Riverside and University of California, Irvine claimed the top awards today at Metropolitan Water District’s fourth annual ECO Innovators Showcase competition.
The contest was part of Metropolitan’s 9th annual Spring Green Expo, an educational event featuring more than 60 exhibits of sustainable products and services by students, businesses, conservation groups and public agencies at Metropolitan’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters building.
More than 30 projects from colleges, universities, and trade schools competed in individual and team categories. In addition, for the first time, three high schools participated in the event.
“While Metropolitan is in the water business, we’re also in the sustainability and resource management business. That means we work to not only conserve water, but also strive to save energy and protect watersheds and ecosystems,” General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger said.
“Climate change is bringing additional pressures to the environment and water resources. As rain replaces snow, droughts become longer and temperatures rise, we have to find innovative ways to protect our environment and water supplies,” he added. “Today’s ECO Innovators Showcase winners offer just that—ideas on how we can live more sustainably in the coming decades.”
Los Angeles Technical College’s Stephanie Green took home the top prize in the individual category for her project modeling a sustainable extension of the Santa Monica Pier. The design creates energy and water supplies through solar panels, wind generators, rain water collection and ocean water desalination.
A seven-member team from UC Riverside won first place in the team category for their project producing a wood plastic composite out of rice husk, recycled plastic and other affordable materials. The goal is to use the sustainable building material, which is termite and water resistant, in the Philippines.
The winner of the new ECO Spirit Award, given in memory of Metropolitan’s Spring Green founder Nancy Kavin, was a four-member team from UC Irvine. The team engineered a feasible water system in Choluteca, Honduras, which lacked clean water. Through Global Engineering Brigades, the team worked with local engineers to design a gravitational system bringing water to 160 homes.
Second place honors in the team category also went to a team from UC Riverside and third place went to Chapman University. In the individual category, second and third place went to Julia Altschul and Randi Robins, respectively, both from the Art Center College of Design.
In addition to the school teams earning the top awards, other universities and colleges participating in the ECO Innovators Showcase competition included Applied Technology Center High School; Art Center College of Design; Cal Poly Pomona; California State University, Los Angeles; Chapman University; Los Angeles Trade Technical College; NewSchool of Architecture & Design; Palos Verdes High School; Pasadena City College; The Archer School for Girls; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Irvine; University of California, Riverside; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Southern California; and USC Marshall School of Business.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.