Very Venice Tour

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Interested in checking out the eco-side of the hippest town in Los Angeles – Venice Beach?  Want to see what a LEED v4 Platinum home looks like?  How it functions?  Then join me!  Friday, October 7 from 2 – 6pm on the Very Venice Tour! (Sign-up details at bottom of blog.)

The US Green Building Council’s Annual Green Building Conference and Expo is going to take place here in Los Angeles this October (week of October 3).  Greenbuild is such a great time to attend educational sessions and learn about new and innovative ways people are implementing sustainability in their buildings.  You can meet like-minded folks from around the world, learn about the various challenges they face in achieving sustainability, and attend tours throughout the local community to see and learn about LEED and environmentally focused projects first hand.

I will be the tour manager on two tours this year!  The first tour is called the Very Venice tour.  We will take you through three different sustainable buildings in Venice Beach, CA.  The first stop is a LEED v4 Platinum home, Brooks Watershed and Green Residence:

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For those not familiar with LEED, this is the highest level of recognition – a huge feat to achieve!  It will be fun to see all the features they were able to implement – such as 100% of stormwater collected on site, a greywater system, and recycled materials.  This home also runs at 53% better than California’s stringent Title-24 Energy Code.  Pretty amazing!

The second stop will be the Californication House – as seen on the famous tv show:

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The Californication house isn’t just a pretty face…while on the tour you’ll see how they used recycled materials, installed a photovoltaic system, and the awesome way they designed the home to blend indoor and outdoor living – something we’re lucky enough to be able to do here in California throughout most of the year!  Btw, for those wondering, NO – David Duchovny will not be at the Californication House (unfortunately).

The last stop on the tour will be at Hotel Erwin:

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Hotel Erwin is a lovely hotel on the Venice boardwalk with a deck overlooking the water.  We will learn about the challenges they faced building so close to the ocean, the locally produced organic food they serve, and how they are working each day toward being a more sustainable hotel.

Each site has unique features, so I’m looking forward to seeing them in person and also finding out what challenges they faced along the way and what they did to remedy them.

More on my other tour soon…

How to sign-up for tour without buying a full pass:

Visit and select 

On the left-hand side, provide first/last name, zip code and email address, plus your code HOSTCITY16 then select “Start New Registration.”

Complete the personal info and demographic pages

Reminder: Enter your member company name – this will allow you to access national member discounts on any additional items you may purchase during registration that you are not already receiving complimentary.

When you reach the Registration Packages page, select the option for “Expo Hall Pass.” (There should be a $0 balance associated) then click Continue.

If you are purchasing any additional items please add them, then click Continue.

Confirm your details are correct and then Submit.

Etsy’s New Headquarters

<p>"We’ve formulated all our [design] decisions, to be values driven based on the Etsy ethos," Justine Chibuk, a project manager at Etsy, says.</p>


What a great way to kick off my first “official” blog post by posting about this beautiful office space – I’m OBSESSED!  Etsy recently built out their new headquarters in the Dumbo area of Brooklyn, with the help of international powerhouse Gensler (  Not only did they build a gorgeous space with daylight, views, and eco friendly furniture, but they built a Living Building! ( by achieving Petal Certification.  Building a Living Building is a difficult task and typically more stringent than the LEED ( standard.  Living buildings not only consume less, but they actually produce energy and can send it back to the grid.  (More about smart grids another time.)


Etsy pursued eco friendly materials for their build out and furniture.  They also included rainwater irrigation, rooftop solar panels and occupancy sensors.  They also have bike storage, showers and a breathing room, where employees can take meditation and yoga classes.

This space is a perfect example of giving back to the environment while also benefitting the people inside.

[All Photos: © Garrett Rowland/courtesy Gensler]