Past Meetup

Green Buildings: Financing, LEED, Net-Zero and Smart Grid Integration

This Meetup is past

14 people went


The commercial green building sector has grown dramatically in size and importance over the last decade. From LEED Platinum to net zero energy buildings to sophisticated energy monitoring systems, green building has many different facets.

Panelists from property management and development, architecture, Cleantech and financing will engage in a lively discussion on the significant opportunities and challenges facing this sector going forward.

Join us to talk green buildings with these fantastically knowledgeable panelists:

The panel currently consists of:

Sara Erickson, Sansome Pacific Partners (developers) Abby Johnson, Abacus Property Solutions Sandra Kwak, Powerzoa Clare Malone Prichard, Licensed Architect, LEED-AP, Stoecker and Northway Architects Inc. Agenda:
6:00pm-6:45pm Networking, Food and Exhibits
6:45pm-7:00pm - Announcements and Introductions
7:00pm-8:00pm - Panel discussion
8:00pm-8:30pm - Networking, Food, Exhibits and Clean up

Special thanks to our exhibitors CompoClay ( and PowerZoa (!

CompoClay offers stylish, eco-friendly home accents, garden decor and building products, made entirely from CompoClay, a cutting-edge raw material, mainly made up of minerals, sand and water. CompoClay is a green alternative to hazardous materials, such as resin and polyurethane foam, commonly used in the home décor and building industries. CompoClay has the ability to emulate everything from wood and metal to stone and ceramic without sacrificing safety and durability.

Appliances are continuously drawing unnecessary electricity. Powerzoa's smart system enables automated, enterprise-wide control of energy down to the appliance level, stopping vampire power waste. Through a personalized web portal energy managers can schedule plugs to turn on and off regularly and view patterns of electricity use in your organization both in real-time and historically. Powerzoa starts saving electricity immediately and sends recommendations for energy efficiency and sustainability best practices that further enhance the triple bottom line.

Our Panelists:

Sara Erickson, Associate, Sansome Pacific Properties

At Sansome Pacific Properties, Inc. Sara participates in all aspects of the business, from the life cycle of real estate investments, acquisition through disposition, to marketing and operations. Her responsibilities include project coordination with ground-up developments and value-add renovations/ retrofits; working with contractors for "scope of work" project bidding, as well as managing/ inspecting work completed; coordinating with utility companies on new construction implementation; working with architects to facilitate project timelines; working with City agencies for approvals and entitlements; working with corporate tenant lease administration departments; interacting with tenants directly at the property level and vendors on the property management side; and working with lenders, title companies and insurance brokers behind the scenes. She is also heavily involved with financial analysis, and engages in marketing efforts when time permits.

Prior to joining Sansome, Sara worked with Somera Capital Management, a private real estate investment company, for five years as an Assistant Asset Manager and an Investor Relations Assistant. Sara received a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Global Studies, with a Socio-economic and political emphasis specializing in Latin America, from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has been trained in Argus and has taken numerous UC Extension classes in real estate finance, valuation and accounting. Sara is a LEED Accredited Professional (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) through the USGBC and is a Certified Property Manager through IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management). Sara is on the Board of the US Green Building Council, Bay Bridge Branch and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity - East Bay, training to be a Crew Leader. She is also a member of ULI, CREW and ICSC.

Abby Johnson, President, LEED AP & LEED AP O&M, Abacus Property Solutions

Abby has over 15 years of experience in commercial real estate and architecture/engineering. Prior to forming Abacus, Abby worked for nearly 12 years in commercial real estate, specialized in the analysis and valuation of properties for acquisition, disposition and financing purposes. Abby honed her analytical skills while working as a director for Johnson Capital, a well-respected national commercial mortgage-banking firm, and as an underwriter for large banks, institutional lenders and owners. Abby’s real estate background is complemented by her work as an architect in a large-scale urban redevelopment project in Rome, Italy, and as an environmental policy consultant in Brussels, Belgium. Abby has authored numerous articles on green building topics and has published in real estate journals in Europe. She is both a LEED AP and LEED AP O+M. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Architectural History and from L'Universita' SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy with a Masters in Business.

Sandra Kwak, Co-founder, President and COO of PowerZoa

Sandra Kwak is Co-Founder, President and COO of energy efficiency company Powerzoa.

She has also served as CEO of a software company producing the world’s first mathematically lossless video codec: SheerVideo and founded PresidioSpace, a co-working and event space for sustainable ventures. Sandra was on the team at PG&E that implemented the ClimateSmart program, which offsets carbon emissions associated with electricity generation. By moonlight, in addition to teaching Strategic Management and Culture Values and Ethics, she is a sustainability consultant with clients ranging from Mitsubishi to Recurve (a residential efficiency company).

Previously, Sandra opened and ran several studios providing the first all-digital photography experience in the US. She established and directed arts non-profit, Deconform and served as Stage Manager for international award-winning, site-specific dance troupe Blue Lapis Light and as Board Member and Marketing Chair for the first Bioneers conference in the Southeast.

Clare Malone Prichard, Associate, Stoecker and Northway Architects Inc

Clare Malone Prichard, AIA, is an associate with Stoecker and Northway Architects in Palo Alto. She has extensive experience leading project teams in commercial, institutional, and single-family residential work. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, Clare is a LEED-accredited professional. She is a member of Palo Alto’s Architectural Review Board, and has served since 2008 as a judge in the Sustainable Built Environment category of Acterra’s annual Business Environmental Awards program.