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Please note, ticket sales closed on March 24.

About the Awards

The Sustainable San Mateo County Awards Event is an inspiring evening that pays tribute to those working to make our region truly sustainable. Attendees are treated to a networking hour, sustainable dinner and wine, entertaining live and silent auctions, and video presentations of our winners. Proceeds from the evening support SSMC’s general operating funds and programs.

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Since 1999, SSMC has presented the annual Sustainability Awards program, an event that heightens community awareness about sustainability. The awards recognize San Mateo County businesses, community groups, and individuals that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to bringing sustainable practices to their work. In addition, SSMC, San Mateo County RecycleWorks, and the San Mateo County Chapter of the American Institute of Architects present a Green Building Award. To date, over 100 Sustainability and Green Building Awards have been given among hundreds of worthy nominations. The goal is to inspire and support sustainable design in architecture and to recognize the designers, builders, and owners of green buildings in San Mateo County. More than 350 community leaders, volunteers, interested citizens, and local media representatives attend the awards event.

2016 Awardees

Ruth Peterson Award:


David and Nancy Crabbe of San Carlos have been active with SSMC since its inception. David was one of the original seven founding members of SSMC along with Marcia Pagels, who conceived the idea. He served on the original steering committee, helped to define what sustainability meant for our county, wrote articles for our early newsletters, researched and edited indicators, and helped with a series of local issues forums for the public. It was at the Crabbes’ home that the idea for Sustainability Awards was born. David has been Chair of the Indicators Committee for 15 years and presently serves on the Programs and Communications Committees as well. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors on two different occasions, including the first years after incorporation.  A licensed architect, David promoted the first Green Building Awards program and has dedicated his professional career to the design of affordable housing, including Habitat for Humanity and HIP Housing. He is currently a member of the Sierra Club’s Sustainable Land Use Committee. When working as a librarian, Nancy volunteered with SSMC when her schedule permitted. After retiring, she extended her time to help with a variety of activities, primarily on the Awards Committee. She was Chair of the Awards event for several years and remains essential to the program today. Her special talent is to think broadly and clearly about the organization and involve others in decisions. Besides SSMC, Nancy is an area group leader for a national health-related foundation. The Crabbes have also made generous and sustained financial contributions to SSMC.

Sustainability Awards:


Julia Bott, both professionally and as a volunteer, has promoted the quality of life locally and globally; and our community is notably better because of her work. Recently retired after 17 years as founding Executive Director of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation, Julia’s successes stem from her inclusive and clever fundraising, team building, professional expertise and determined spirit. Highlights of her contributions include spearheading the building of the Bill and Jean Lane Educational Center at Edgewood Park and improvements to the Coyote Point Recreation Area, Captain’s House, County trails and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve interpretative developments. A Sierra Club Chapter Director and Legislative Committee Chair, she received the Sierra Club Founders’ Award. Understanding the value of training future county leaders, she has also been Co-Chair of San Mateo / Foster City / Burlingame / Hillsborough’s Leadership Program’s Curriculum Committee and Environment Day. She knows, too, that personally setting an example is essential for a community-based life.


Kepler’s Books was established in 1955 by peace activist Roy Kepler and became a renowned institution as a bookstore, a community gathering space, and the intellectual and cultural hub for our community. Kepler’s survived a highly competitive market and economic downturn thanks to a team of “community champions” stepping up to forge a new independent bookstore model. The resulting program, Kepler’s 2020, is shared in open-source fashion for bookstores around the world and has been called a “prototype of the future” by Publishers Weekly. The bookstore operates in tandem with a new non-profit, Peninsula Arts & Letters, which offers lectures, panel discussions, on-stage interviews, and educational workshops with a goal of supporting lifelong learning and literacy. In 2015, over 30,000 people attended 200+ literary events, and 10,000 young students in under-served schools in Belle Haven and East Palo Alto participated in new programs and received book donations.


The San Mateo County Resource Conservation District (SMCRCD) is honored for its work providing hands-on and practical solutions to farmers, ranchers and landowners to make improvements that benefit soil, air, water, wildlife, fisheries, and reduce greenhouse gases. Founded in 1939, the SMCRCD was the first Resource Conservation District in California and was District of the Year in 2012. Leveraging its tax base to secure grants and partnership resources, the RCD provides services that are free and non-regulatory, enabling them to become trusted advisors to further the voluntary stewardship of both public and private lands. Their conservation measures make business sense, and are designed to build economic strength and improve environmental quality in communities that often face economic challenges. Protecting water quality, enhancing recovery of endangered species, restoring habitats and ecosystem function, reducing dependence on energy and water resources, and building resilience to climate change are just some of the ways the RCD provides comprehensive, total resource protection.

Green Building Awards:

HALF MOON VILLAGE • Owner: MidPen Housing; Architect: Herman Coliver Locus Architecture; Builder: Segue Construction, Inc.

Half Moon Village in Half Moon Bay is part of a Senior Campus that represents a collective vision to build an integrated, services-enriched, affordable housing campus for low-income seniors. The campus vision is to create an innovative community where social and health services are delivered onsite or in very close proximity to senior housing while creating a cost-effective and sustainable model for helping seniors successfully live their lives. The Senior Campus includes: Half Moon Village- senior housing; Coastside Senior Housing; Coastside Adult Day Health Center, a new senior center; and Lesley Gardens – affordable senior rental homes, as well as proximity to many amenities and community services including a public library, supermarket, pharmacy, walking and bicycle pathways and two Sam Trans bus lines. The project has received a green point rating of 181, putting the project in the platinum category. Key features include water efficient fixtures, drought tolerant landscaping, high efficiency mechanical systems and use of indoor materials that support a healthy living environment. Energy STAR appliances, solar hot water and upgrades to the wall, floor and ceiling insulation all contribute to energy conservation, and the integrated campus plan has good solar site orientation. From planning to implementation the Half Moon Village project is an excellent example of sustainable design.

WOODSIDE PRIORY SCHOOL BENEDICTINE CLASSROOMS • Owner: Woodside Priory School; Architect: Goring & Straja Architects; Builder: W.L. Butler Construction, Inc.

Woodside Priory’s vision was to create a new classroom facility and community gathering space while being a steward for the environment and future generations. The building is well sited in the context of the existing campus and hillside topography. The architecture is warm and attractive, blending well with the adjacent student center. The existing faculty building in the square was demolished, and the exterior siding was salvaged and re-used on the new faculty building as a tribute to the history of the campus. The warm natural building materials and newly planted native trees create a welcoming environment. Over 98% of demolition debris was diverted, along with 78% construction debris, much higher than the local requirements. The energy efficient mechanical system utilizes 100% outside air and energy recovery ventilators, resulting in energy use that is 48.8% better than Title 24 requirements. Point of use water heaters at sinks avoid the need for a recirculating hot water system. The design utilizes daylighting,sensors, and high efficiency lights. The roof is covered with photo-voltaic cells which will contribute to a net zero or negative carbon footprint.

Thank You to our Generous Sponsors

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Community Sponsors: Bohannon Development Company, Brisbane Baylands, David Crabbe Architect, Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company, Recology San Mateo County, San Mateo County Community College District, South San Francisco Scavenger

Neighborhood Sponsors: The Cox Family, Community Bank of the Bay, DES Architects + Engineers, Genentech, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Republic Services, RethinkWaste (SBWMA), SamTrans

Friends: Raj and Beth Bhatnager, Cargill, Inc., Highway 92 Succulents, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 617, Kaiser Permanente, Doug and Ricki McGlashan, MidPen Housing Corporation, REV, San Francisco International Airport (SFO), San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA)

Thank You to our Awards Committee and Volunteers

Joanne Bruggemann, Kara Cox, Nancy Crabbe, Tammy Del Bene, Adrienne Etherton, Lynn Forbes, Chelsea Howe, Ricki McGlashan, Dan Peterson, Afsoon Shahrdar

More: Sustainability Awards Criteria and SelectionGreen Building Award Criteria and Nomination Forms • Previous Award Winners • View 2015 Event Photos on Facebook

Updated 3/29/2016    Sign up for our email list to receive the latest news

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From the 2014 Indicators Report

The county has 16 organic farms

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Quotable Quote

‟We shape our buildings, then our buildings shape us.”—Winston Churchill