Passive House Training-01

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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passive house trainers

From Vienna to Pittsburgh: What’s the Fuss with the Passive House Movement?

In the past year or so you may have noticed that GBA has been quite supportive of the Passive House standard.  Why?  Well, designing and building buildings that use 1/10 the energy of traditional buildings is likely one of the best ways to reduce human’s contribution to climate change.  And as we are all about […]

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Green Building Ninja Style: How the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority Snuck into the Passive House Game

State agencies have not always been a friend to green buildings. There are outdated building codes, unpredictable defunding schemes, and of course garden variety bureaucratic inertia. But out of the ashes has risen a dark horse, an unlikely but stalwart advocate for healthy and high performing buildings: the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority (PHFA).  What exactly […]

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p4 Measures Compared to Green Building & Sustainable Development Certifications

At this point, almost everyone in the building world is familiar (if not intimate) with LEED, with emerging awareness of the Living Building Challenge, WELL Building Standard, and Passiv House.  BUT,  in Pittsburgh, there is a new framework in town, developed right here. You’ve heard “p4” tossed about as the next frontier of sustainable, urban […]

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John Mueller via Flickr

Why Traveling by Train is Your Greatest Productivity Secret

With the Pennsylvania Legislature studying the benefits of extended Amtrak service to Pittsburgh, it begs the question: Did you know there is Amtrak service to Pittsburgh? Pittsburgh is a city disconnected from the northeast corridor and notoriously out of the way for commuters from Boston, Philadelphia, and D.C. There are no high-speed trains, no state-of-the-art […]

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Updating Pennsylvania Building Codes

So. Building Codes. There it is, a title as unvarnished as its subject. There’s no dressing up building codes. They can’t be set to plucky music. So why are they worthy of your attention? Well to start, Pennsylvania’s inability to adopt up-to-date codes is costing you money. And I don’t just mean if you live […]

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Air drying your clothes saves a bunch of energy.  Flickr/Till Westermayer

Greenwashing* is Bad, but Green Drying is Good

We often discuss ways to help make our homes and offices more energy efficient, such as using air barriers, insulation, and triple-pane windows. But what are some of the loads that you can reduce yourself without a major cash outlay or disruption to your home? Recently, I investigated getting some drying racks for my own home […]

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Clean Power Plan Support in Op-Ed by Mayors of Pittsburgh & Philadelphia

Mayor Peduto of Pittsburgh and Mayor Kenney of Philadelphia have spoken out in support not only of a new federal power plan, but also a way to comply that puts those most vulnerable (those who spend the highest portion of their income on energy bills) first. The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce carbon pollution from […]

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Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Passive House Isn’t Just for Houses

The term “Passive House” has become more frequent in the green building industry, but there is often confusion about its application. Despite its title, the Passive House building standard can be applied to office buildings, schools, supermarkets, residences, and more. It’s becoming more popular and it’s happening here in Pittsburgh. What is Passive House? Passive House […]

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Costs & Benefits of a Green Roof: An Academic Study

There have been a number of incentive programs in various cities to encourage the implementation of green roofs. How cost effective is a green roof, from private costs and benefits to the building owner, to the public benefits? What is known about the reduced burden on stormwater systems, the impact on the heat island effect, and the reduction in greenhouse gas […]

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