Sustainable Design

Education Session - Panel Format

SAT-B03 - Site Commissioning: Verifying Performance in an Era of Assumptions

Saturday, October 21
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM


The future of our profession hinges on the social, environmental, and economic performance of landscapes. As one of the largest public landholders globally, GSA collaborated with Andropogon to investigate the feasibility of applying a commissioning process—to verify site performance during design, construction, and management—for GSA’s future developments.

Learning Objectives:

José Almiñana

Andropogon Associates

José Almiñana, FASLA, PLA, LEED AP joined Andropogon in 1983 and has been a principal since 1995. Trained as both a landscape architect and architect, José excels at thinking outside the box while unearthing the realities of innovative construction techniques. With a passion for detail, he strives to create sensitive, sustainable designs that respond directly to each site’s unique environmental conditions. José has directed a diversity of projects, from restored urban waterfronts to SITES- and LBC-certified developments. José is a visiting lecturer at Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his Master of Landscape Architecture.


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Maureen C. Alonso

Regional Horticulturist, GSA National Capitol Region
U.S. General Services Administration, Landscape Management and Design Program

Maureen C. Alonso is a Regional Horticulturist with General Services Administration with thirty years of experience in landscape management, design and maintenance. As a Regional Horticulturist she has the unique experience of overseeing large scale landscape installations on Federal sites in Washington DC. Maureen’s work involves design reviews, plant procurement, plant installation for sustainable landscape installations and maintenance on federal projects. Her work with the GSA Landscape Program involves contract oversight on over 70 federal sites in the National Capitol Region. She received her BS in Ornamental Horticulture from University of Maryland.


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Christian Gabriel

National Design Director for Landscape Architecture
U.S. General Services Administration

Christian Gabriel, RLA, ASLA is National Design Director for Landscape Architecture with the U.S. General Services Administration. Christian is an innovative landscape architect working at the intersection of design, policy and performance as the federal agency's first National Design Director for Landscape Architecture. Christian serves as design curator and policymaker and is responsible for setting design standards in the realm of public space, landscape, site security, sustainability, and resilience for over 9,000 GSA-managed public properties. As a public leader he has sought to deliver inspiring, high-quality public landscapes that maximize ecological function and social impact.


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Lauren Mandel

Landscape Architect + Integrative Researcher

Lauren Mandel, PLA, ASLA is a landscape architect and integrative researcher at Andropogon, where she pursues her passion for productive infrastructure through design, research, and writing. Lauren has published articles in popular and peer-reviewed journals in an effort to bridge the communication gap between scientists and practitioners. She is a contributing writer for Landscape Architecture Magazine and Urban Farm, and authored “EAT UP: The Inside Scoop on Rooftop Agriculture” (New Society Publishers, 2013), the first full-length book about rooftop food production. Lauren holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Environmental Science.


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SAT-B03 - Site Commissioning: Verifying Performance in an Era of Assumptions

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