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Pittsburgh, PA 15217
LEED for Homes (LEED-H) • Registered
Project Name: 2975 Beechwood Boulevard
2975 Beechwood Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Project Types(s): Residential, Single-family
Certification Status: Registered
Rating System: LEED for Homes (LEED-H)
Part of the Beechwood Flats Conservation Area, this once debris filled site was beautifully transformed into a modern single family accomodation. The house was deisgn by Hugh Newell Jacobson. The design was part of Life Magazine's Dream House series that challenged architects to design a house that could be affordable for a middle class family. Overlooking the Monongahela River Valley, this single family home sits high on top of the hill radiating itself as a model for future home renovations and construction.
Key Green Features: Brownfield Redevelopment, Certified Wood, Composting, Greywater System, Local Materials, Native Landscaping, Natural Ventilation, On-site Wind Power, Salvaged Materials, Water Harvesting
This former brownfield site was once contaminated with debris from the lower Hill District's construction waste from when the Civic Arena was construced. Now, the site is part of the Beechwood Flats Conservation Area, an easement which has been donated to the North America Land Trust. Special excavation and re-compaction was needed to form a feasible foundation for a house. The easement preserves the site, protects natural species and creates a trail connecting to historic Frick Park. A bike lane along Beechwood Avenue allows residence to safely ride outdoors without a motor vehicle. A steel roof helps reduce heat absorption and is predicted to last for the next 100 years. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and stored in an underground river rock water cistern. Raised garden beds, made of cement window lintels, provide food for the family. A composting area is used to produce organic soil for the garden beds. All landscaping around the house is permeable to reduce the site's stormwater runoff.
Harvested rainwater is used as part of a greywater system that provides water for use in toilets, hoses and drip irrigation. Two water meters- one for water and sewage, the other for sewage only, measures and verifys the house's use of municipal water. Indigenous and drought resistant plants have been chosen to reduce the amount of water needed for exterior landscaping. No-mow grass has been installed.
Energy & Atmosphere
A windmill provides power, through storage batteries, for exterior lighting of the house and to also pump water into the outdoor water feature. Solar energy is being considered to add to the house's energy features. Bayer Material Service provided open and closed cell spray foam insulation which seals the house to reduce the needs and costs of heating and cooling. Heating is provided by a 2 Carrier Infininty heat pump system which has a SEER raing of 19 and are 96.6% efficient. The heating system uses 10 zones throughout the house to allow for temperature comfort in only places with occupants are residing. Hot water is supplied by a Tannai tankless water heater on one side of the house and a heat pump water heater on the other. LED and fluorescent bulb lighting help maintain energy efficiency throughout the house.
Material & Resources
The Follansbee, a Pittsburgh regional steel roofing manufacturer, steel roof is recycled and recyclable in the future. The design team used local recycling facility, Construction Junction, to claim recycled lumber for baseboards, door trim and railing caps. The standing seam steel roof is expected to last 100 years, reducing the need for replacement materials. Wool, a rapidly renewable resouce, carpet by Bentley Prince Street covers some of the floors in the house. Expanko 2x2 square floating cork, another renewable resource, flooring covers the lower level of the house. Bioglass countertops are cradle to cradle and are simply made of 1080 glass bottles per slab. Terrazzo slab countertops are made of recycled marble and granite chips. Aluminum splash tiles in the kitchen have been fabricated from former aircrafts. Hotdoor furniture in the rear of the house is made from recycled milk bottles.
Indoor Environmental Quality
Fresh air enters the house at the rate of 3,000 CFM.
Dreher Garden Design
Seigle Solow Horne Architects
Tour Available? Yes
Advanced Scheduling Needed? Yes