Greenbuild 2015: Monumental Green, Washington DC

The Argento/Graham team had some amazing experiences this year at Greenbuild 2015: Monumental Green in Washington, DC! We attended valuable educational sessions, caught up with old friends, and made great new connections.

With the new LEED version 4 rating system mandatory implementation less than a year away, many educational sessions took a closer look at the new requirements, particularly with respect to sustainable materials and healthy indoor environmental quality strategies. For example, the session LEEDv4: Market Transformation in Action examined how new materials transparency standards are impacting materials manufacturers, and how LEED requirements can have a wide range of effects on different international markets.

As always, one of the top highlights of Greenbuild was this year’s Women in Green Power Breakfast. The fourth annual Women in Green event, The Challenge with Mentorship, featured an inspiring panel of women in sustainability who shared their gratitude for the people who supported and motivated their careers, and on what it means to them be a mentor. During the breakfast, USGBC unveiled its Bringing Up Girls initiative and challenged the attendees to make a commitment to mentorship in their own lives.

A/G stayed involved outside of educational sessions as well. A/G co-sponsored the highly anticipated Monumental Party reviewer’s party at Town Danceboutique, and Annie Argento helped run the Los Angeles Greenbuild host committee booth.

Greenbuild may be over this year, but we’re already looking ahead to Greenbuild 2016: Iconic Green in Los Angeles! As co-chair of the host committee, Annie Argento is working with USGBC LA to make next year’s event the best one yet. We can’t wait to see you there!

A/G at Engage LA with Mayor Garcetti: What It Will Take to Save the Drop

Eric Garcetti Save the Drop California Drought Los Angeles Engage LA

On June 5, A/G attended Drought LA: What It Will Take to Save the Drop, an Engage LA series event hosted at the Mayor’s residence. The Getty House set the tone for the event with new drought-tolerant landscaping in the parkway and front yard and dry fountain out back. Though the house still features some stretches of turf grass, posters displayed around the yard indicated that they are soon to be torn out in favor of citrus tress, herb gardens, and native vegetation.

At the event, Mayor Garcetti unveiled a new bilingual Save the Drop video promotion to raise awareness for water conservation by comparing every drop of water that we use to a friend that travels hundreds of miles just to help us wash our dishes or water our lawn each day. “The Drop” has already appeared on bus stops and posters all over the city and, the mayor said, is recognized by many Angelinos, even schoolchildren, as a water conservation mascot.

Garcetti was joined by Moby, who spoke to the crowd about “drought-shaming” in lawn-heaving neighborhoods and lifestyle choices such as eating less meat that can help conserve water. The event concluded with a panel style discussion with Garcetti and his Chief Sustainability Officer Matt Peterson, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board Felicia Marcus, and Executive Director of Urban Semillas Miguel Luna. The panel highlighted many of Los Angeles’s successes in the quest for water conservation, including the its steady progress towards meeting and exceeding incremental reduction goals, as well as upcoming challenges such as the rehabilitation of the San Fernando Valley aquifer. Marcus emphasized Los Angeles’s role as a leader in California that is paving the way for successful water conservation strategies, and Luna stressed the importance of involving Los Angeles’s diverse community groups and organizations, calling for “many messages from many messengers.”

The Save the Drop campaign is not just talk – the City is offering resources and incentives for all Angelinos to do their part. Programs include turf trade-in rebates, free low-flow showerheads and aerators, and incentives for smart irrigation controllers. To learn more about Save the Drop or find out ways you can get involved, visit