Our Strategic Plan

GBA is proud of the work we’ve accomplished over the last 22 years and we plan to increase the momentum well into the future. With your help, we updated our strategic plan to incorporate the best thinking of our members, partners, board, staff and stakeholders. As architects, engineers, builders, property owners, facility managers, government, financiers, tenants, community planners, and community members, you all contributed.

Take a look at the highlights of our 2015-2017 Strategic Plan (below) to see what GBA plans to accomplish and how you can participate. For even more details, click here to view an abbreviated version (4 pages) and here for the full version (10 pages).


Building on Our Success >>>

Green Building Alliance is a nonprofit organization that inspires the creation of healthy, high-performing places for everyone. One of the oldest regional green building organizations, GBA was founded in 1993, was the first U.S. Green Building Council affiliate, and is now a USGBC aligned chapter. Headquartered in Pittsburgh and serving the 26 counties of western Pennsylvania, GBA has been a national leader in healthy and high-performing buildings and places. We have built upon our exceptional track record, renewed our focus on program innovation, and continued moving beyond just buildings to expand our work’s impact on a community scale. GBA demonstrates the value of “going green” to an increasingly broad market, advancing the goal of making healthy, high-performing buildings available to everyone. Our recent successes have expanded our impact in the Pittsburgh region, strengthened the organization, and enhanced GBA’s legacy as a national innovator in the green building sector.

2015–2017 GOALS >>>

  • Advance the region’s standing as a green building leader with GBA as the “go-to” provider for green building education, knowledge, and support.
  • Provide leadership by integrating issues of health, resiliency, and building product innovation into GBA’s key initiatives (Green & Healthy Schools Academy, Pittsburgh 2030 District, Knowledge Network, Policy & Advocacy).
  • Increase our effectiveness by expanding the scale of GBA’s impact from buildings to neighborhoods, communities, cities, and regions.
  • Influence the development of local and statewide policies and the direction of local projects by renewing GBA’s policy and advocacy efforts.
  • Innovate within the context of Pittsburgh’s sustainability and resiliency efforts by elevating one of GBA’s early-stage projects to a larger aspirational effort.
  • Develop a systems- and community-level vision with organizational partners centered around common goals and strategic alliances.

We advance our mission through four main initiatives: Knowledge Network (Education, Networking, Support), Pittsburgh 2030 District, Green & Healthy Schools Academy, and Policy & Advocacy (newly revived in 2015).

Knowledge Network >>>knowledgenetwork

GBA always intends to be the go-to organization for all things related to healthy and high-performing buildings in western Pennsylvania. Over the next three years, GBA will rebrand and strengthen the offerings (educational events, Inspire Speakers Series, technical assistance, and original content development) to achieve the same recognition as other core GBA programs, while continuing to support those initiatives with excellent operations, logistics, and communications.


  • Place a greater focus on reaching out and going to where our stakeholders are instead of expecting them to come to us.
  • Increase the frequency and variety of engagement targeted to building owners and developers.
  • Serve as a trusted guide for a range of quality, third-party, effective building certifications, providing knowledge and technical support regarding LEED, Living Building Challenge, Passive House, Energy Star, WELL Building Standard, SITES, and other such programs.
  • Increase information about and educational events centered on health, resiliency, and green building products.
  • Evolve and improve GBA’s Inspire Speakers Series (ISS) as a platform to grow GBA’s audience, reach underserved populations, and publicly demonstrate GBA’s leadership position. Use ISS to drive action related to green buildings, healthy communities, and sustainability.
  • Bring GBA’s building expertise to the conversation regarding community/neighborhood projects on a more regular basis.

2030 DistrictPittsburgh 2030 District >>>

The Pittsburgh 2030 District’s 436 buildings representing 65.5 million square feet of real estate in Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland are actively working to achieve 50% reductions in energy use, water use, and transportation emissions by the year 2030. These dramatic reductions will be made in conjunction with improved indoor air quality and increased returns on investment. GBA will expand District participation, develop new tools and baselines, and leverage collected data into actual decision-making, while continuing to share best practices and helping to expand the worldwide 2030 District network.

  • Expand District offerings to motivate long-term participation and inspire building investments beyond low-hanging fruit.
  • Finish and publish transportation benchmarks and surveys for use as a city and regional planning tool.
  • Expand programmatic services to support growth of the Pittsburgh 2030 District as a community of high-performing building owners; specifically investigate joint purchasing strategies for District Partners.
  • Develop additional educational events to equip District Property Partners (and interested parties) with the best available information about building performance, technology, products, design, and financing.
  • Use the indoor air quality pilot and developing standard to identify, publicize, and increase investment in health-related efforts.
  • Transfer best practices developed by Property Partners beyond the boundaries of the Pittsburgh 2030 District to inspire buildings throughout the region.
  • Identify, create, and disseminate more financing tools for Partners.

green schools academyGreen & Healthy Schools Academy >>>

GBA assists schools with integrating sustainability into their buildings, curriculum, and culture through inspirational, comprehensive, and transformative education. GHSA will explore ways to reach schools “where they are” with a variety of programming approaches and active working relationships, while continuing to align with the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program for sustainable and healthy schools.

  • Continue GHSA School Sustainability Culture Program, including the launch of a third schools cohort; document and publicize impact.
  • Deliver new environmental impact and technical assistance offerings to reach and inspire schools not participating in the School Sustainability Culture Program.
  • Create a fund/develop alternative financing mechanisms to support better design and implementation first costs.
  • Use schools as a form of community acupuncture. Build a stronger network to take advantage of the reciprocal relationship between thriving schools and thriving communities.
  • Expand GHSA technical assistance and develop expanded program support focused on healthy and high-performing school environments.
  • Use GHSA results and school participants to influence state curricula
    and standards.
  • Replicate the GHSA model in other regions and establish GHSA as a leading national example.

green-building-advocacyPolicy & Advocacy >>>

Policy describes municipal, county, and statewide legislation and regulations. Advocacy defines GBA’s voice in important regional projects. GBA believes in the long-term impact that results from successful policy and advocacy efforts, and will assert its influence as the “go-to” organization for healthy and high-performing buildings, neighborhoods, and the highest-quality development projects in western Pennsylvania.

GBA will engage its members and community stakeholders to develop a shared policy agenda and active participation among the local green building community. Based on national best practices, local need, and coordinated community/stakeholder input, GBA will work with other agencies to create state, county, city, municipal, and project policy agendas with clear vision, priorities, and measurable standards of successful impact.

GBA will emphasize the following across all scales (building, neighborhood/ community, and city/region):

  • Stronger building codes.
  • Third-party verified healthy and high-performing building standards.
  • Active engagement with local development and planning efforts.
  • Greater access to financing for healthy and high-performing investments.

aspirational projectAdditional Aspirational Projects >>>

GBA aspires to boldness and thought leadership. We want to have impact locally, regionally, and nationally. We want to embrace positive change. To do so, we will explore one or two large initiatives that will challenge both the region and GBA with new behaviors, uncertain outcomes, and potentially exceptional results.

While working on our four main initiatives, GBA will pursue one or more large, aspirational projects. Possibilities include:

  • Green Bank/Cleantech Greenhouse
  • Healthy Building Initiative
  • Pittsburgh Building Performance Institute
  • Merger/Consolidation with Complementary Organization

You can further establish your green building leadership role by sponsoring GBA. More importantly, you will join some amazing companies and organizations that constantly work with each other and our network to create a community based on health and high-performing.