Green Tech

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The Hills are Alive with Solarize Allegheny!

These nonprofit solar experts are making your community greener. Find out if your roof can gleam with new solar panels. Summer is a time for sunburns, sunporches, and, of course, photovoltaic cells. For those of us living in one of Pittsburgh’s charming (read: hilly and tree-lined) neighborhoods, going solar may seem like that European getaway you’ve been pining for […]

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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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Technology in the Race to Zero Energy: Identifying Energy Inefficiencies

Session 2 of “The Race to Zero Energy” series, on June 23, was held at Carnegie Robotics in Lawrenceville. The state-of-the-art facility, formerly a warehouse from the steel era, houses the design of robotic products with heavy commercial and research applications. Here, attendees gathered to learn about new technologies impacting energy use in the building sector. This month’s session […]

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living expo 15

Notes from the field: Biomimicry session at the Living Product Expo 15

The definition of biomimicry is the act of using nature as a model for human inventions. Here is something I learned from the recent Biomimicry session at the Living Product Expo 15 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center here in Pittsburgh on September 17. James Kraus, Vice President and Senior Project Designer at HOK, described […]

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Call for Presentations: MBA Green Builders Symposium

The Master Builders’ Association will host its Green Builders Symposium this year on Thursday, October 15 at the MBA headquarters. As a popular event for constructors with green credentials who require continuing education credits, this is a great opportunity for a professional to present and to demonstrate their knowledge of green construction to their peers. MBA […]

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hand reach the sun concept renewable, alternative solar energy,

Is Solar “Fair” ?

As a board member of the Friendship Community Group, I’ve been helping to lead the Solarize Friendship – Highland Park – Morningside effort in collaboration with Solarize Allegheny. Several people have asked whether solar is actually “fair” to all the consumers who do not deploy solar. The thinking goes that when someone deploys renewable energy […]

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New York offers several examples in this series. Photo: Luca Sartoni on Flickr

Local Policy Best Practices for Healthy and High-Performing Buildings: Part 3

Throughout my series of Local Policy Best Practices for Healthy and High-Performing Buildings, we’ve looked at examples of mandatory green building criteria and expedited reviews in other municipalities. My hope is that we can adapt some similar practices right here in Pittsburgh. To drive this home, let’s take a look at direct financial incentives. PennSTAR: Implement […]

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In Chicago, green roofs, PV systems and wind turbines go through a special permit process (Photo: YoChicago)

Local Policy Best Practices for Healthy and High-Performing Buildings: Part 2

Mike here again. In this short series, I offer up several ideas for how Pittsburgh could craft policies and legislation relating to healthy and high-performing buildings. In Part 1, I explored mandatory green building criteria. Here, I want to take a look at another common method I’ve seen municipalities utilize: expedited review and other indirect […]

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Passive House Science

NOTE: the following article originally ran in BreakingGround Magazine – http://www.mbawpa.org/breaking_ground.asp Odds are very high that if you are a reader of BreakingGround Magazine that you are familiar with green building certification programs. After all these sustainable programs have been around for decades and heck one could debate that we live in the birthplace of […]

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