Author Archive | Kristen Osterwood

Construction worker standing on scaffold thermally insulating house facade with glass wool and black foil.

Updated Buildings Codes in Pennsylvania

Exciting news for Pennsylvania: 2015 ICC Codes will be effective (in almost their entirety) on October 1, 2018! There were certainly some compromises made, but compared to the stalemate that has plagued PA building codes, this is amazing! Well, what do we mean in almost their entirety? This is a document of the Review and […]

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105 solar panels are installed at Littlestown Veterinary Hospital in Littlestown, PA. Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Updates on Pennsylvania Building Codes and Solar Borders

A brief update on Pennsylvania Building Code and Solar Borders policies this week as a couple good things have been happening. Building Codes: On Tuesday the Review and Advisory Council voted on the last section of the 2015 codes for adoption – the International Energy Conservation Code, the most contentious section.  Fortunately, I was able […]

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Comments to Adopt Energy Efficiency Codes Submitted to the State of Pennsylvania

First: A huge thank you!  The participation in the commenting process on building codes was outstanding: there were over 50 comments submitted commenting on the 2015 ICC Codes in General and over 160 comments submitted concerning the International Energy Conservation Codes. What did all of these comments say?  Well, since you took the time to […]

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Campers enjoy some water play time at a Frick Environmental Center summer camp. Photo: Green Building Alliance

Pennsylvania’s Schools Have A Lead Problem, But There’s a Solution

Whether you have kids there, work there, or were recently there yourself: daycares and schools are where we spend a substantial amount of our lives — 1,000 hours for the average child per year to be exact. These places should be safe to spend time in — and free from the risk of lead contaminating the drinking water. In partnership with Women […]

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Passive House Tradesperson Training is Coming to Pittsburgh

The designs are in. But how do you actually build a Passive House building? It’s a need we hear from many architects and engineers in Pittsburgh. Such is the success of the local Passive House push that there simply aren’t enough builders with knowledge of Passive House to complete the construction. So we’re hosting Pittsburgh’s first […]

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PACE-ing Energy Efficiency In Pennsylvania

A barrier for many businesses considering energy efficiency retrofits is upfront capital.  Even if there is institutional will, a business owner must first and foremost meet daily expenses, and then consider the commitments throughout the entire period of repayment.  But what if the debt were tied to the building in question? How would the financial […]

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The new Cornell Residence building is the largest Passive House building in the world

Cornell’s newest Residence building The House is the largest Passive House building in the world at 26 stories and 272,500 square feet. As a large residence hall, there were unique challenges encountered, such as ensuring the most efficient appliances were used in every installation and minimizing penetrations through the exterior building wall (i.e. dryer vents). […]

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The Pennsylvania Building Code Needs You!

Seriously.  We need you.  We, those who want to improve the health, safety, and energy security of all Pennsylvanians, need you.  In order to update the Pennsylvania building code from model codes published in 2009 to the current 2015 version – we need you to submit a public comment to the Review and Advisory Council (RAC) […]

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Passive House Signed, (Thermally) Sealed, and Delivered

We did it (insert exuberant emoji here)! In collaboration with our amazing set of partners, GBA has successfully delivered the first locally taught Passive House training in Western Pennsylvania–40 hours and five jam-packed days taught by Western Pennsylvanians themselves. Before we do a little horn tooting, a huge thank you goes out to the organizations […]

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