SAN MATEO, California—December 12, 2012—The American Institute of Architects (AIA) San Mateo Chapter awarded Christina Agudelo, DES Architects + Engineers’ Sustainability Coordinator, with the honor of 2012 Emerging Professional Award.

The Emerging Professional Award recognizes rising stars in the architectural industry that have already made a significant impact with less than 10 years of experience. Agudelo is “really making an impact and understands the important of sustainability on our future,” noted the award jury.


Christina Agudelo, Associate
Green Building Coordinator

Hired as an architectural drafter out of California Polytechnic University in 2005, DES’ Principals challenged Christina with managing the green building coordination efforts for the firm. Over the course of the last five years, she coordinated the certification process for over 3.5 million square feet of LEED projects and over 120,000 square feet of CALGreen-only projects. She currently leads all sustainability efforts for the multi-disciplined firm.

“I think as architects we should have the drive to make our buildings green. It shouldn’t be an afterthought,” she said, with a smile, “that’s why I like to have the in-house seminars. It’s a big push but eventually the support will be there.”

Beyond coordinating clients’ green building projects, Christina has assisted the company in further embracing sustainability each day. When she started, only a handful of employees were LEED accredited; now over 50% of the professional staff is accredited. Implementing green practices internally has been another hallmark accomplishment for Christina, from promoting recycling and composting programs, switching to dual flush toilets to spearheading larger endeavors like creating a comprehensive sustainability program.

“She is extremely capable and smart, and driven to excellence in all she does… She became our LEED expert and in-house educator,” said Susan Eschweiler, a Principal who works closely with Christina.

Christina continues to present for clients and professional associations on the benefits to understanding, building and designing for LEED and CALGreen certification. In 2011, she spoke in the AIA SMC Forum Meeting on the importance of LEED certification and the implementation of green technologies. She actively participates in the USGBC Northern California Chapter and continually attends events to expand her knowledge including Greenbuild and Cleantech conferences.

Moving forward her aspirations are to become a licensed architect, expand her LEED accreditation to include LEED CI, continue promoting the integrated design approach to sustainability, and to further develop an in-house sustainability plan.

About the AIA San Mateo County:

Founded in 1983, the chapter’s primary purpose is to represent local architects in public affairs and to be an architectural resource to the community. By focusing on community involvement and member support, we work to make sure that your concerns and interests are reflected in public policy matters affecting communities in San MateoCounty.

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