CREW Washington DC Members Collaborate to Achieve DC’s First Ever Net Zero Energy Building Renovation

July 10, 2017
Written by: Sydney Wickliffe, CREW Network
Photo courtesy of American Geophysical Union

Nine CREW Washington DC members representing seven area firms are collaborating to deliver a $40 million Net Zero Energy renovation project for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) headquarters—the first of its kind in Washington D.C. 

A core AGU leadership goal is serving as a role model for the earth and space science community through the renovation of its 62,000 sq. ft. building. To achieve this, AGU hired project management firm MGAC to work with them to assemble the right team and turn its vision into a reality. 

Greta PerryGreta Perry, Vice President of MGAC, serves as project manager for the renovation, working with AGU leadership in managing and executing AGU’s design and construction goals. 

“AGU leadership knew they would need contractors who were both experts in their fields and leaders in sustainable development,” said Perry. “Their selection garnered a core group of CREW members representing each of the prime service providers.”

Elizabeth PyeElizabeth Pye, Business Intelligence Director at MGAC, researched sustainability grants and other financing opportunities to help fund the project. 

Karyn Le BlancKaryn Le Blanc Senior Vice President of Stratacomm, LLC leads project communications on behalf of AGU, assisting with strategies that elevate the project’s visibility. Le Blanc cited CREW members’ use of thorough and consistent communication and the team’s understanding of how to leverage each other’s strengths for their client as pillars of the project’s success. 

Yolanda ColeHolly LennihanOwner/Senior Principal Yolanda Cole and Associate Holly Lennihan at Hickok Cole Architects, Inc. worked to create an iconic structure that will host the building’s photovoltaic array, while also preserving the historic nature of the original building. 

Allison PrinceAllison Prince, a real estate and zoning attorney with Goulson & Storrs, P.C., aided in the renovation efforts by gaining unanimous approval from the city’s historic preservation and zoning boards.

Kodi ColeThe team also includes Kodi Coe, Director of Interiors/SPG at Skanska USA Building Inc., tasked with overseeing the renovation’s construction efforts.

Samantha PatkeAs Senior Mechanical Engineer at Interface Engineering, Samantha Patke helped identify 50 strategies that could achieve the net zero goal. A total of 26 strategies were selected to ultimately make AGU’s vision a reality. 

Sally WilsonThe ninth and newest addition to the team was Sally Wilson, Executive Managing Director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Sally is a LEED fellow representing AGU as the leasing broker for future tenant spaces available in the building. 

AGU Executive Officer and CEO Chris McEntee attributed the values of dedication, innovation, sustainability, and passion to the CREW Washington DC members on this team. 

“The CREW members on this team emulate these principles every day in their interactions… AGU is thrilled to have this CREW representation as a part of our team,” said McEntee. 

The American Geophysical Union Headquarters project is currently under construction, and scheduled to open in fall of 2018. For more information on the project and its progress, visit

About AGU

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity through its scholarly publications, conferences, and outreach programs. AGU is a not-for-profit, professional, scientific organization representing more than 60,000 members in 137 countries. 

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