Energy Efficiency Upgrade Challenges, Disclosure Legislation, and Indoor Air Quality Pilot

Each month, the Pittsburgh 2030 District holds a Partner Meeting convening Property Partners, Community and Resource Partners, sponsors and other stakeholders to discuss the latest relevant happenings and information. Meetings are held in a different location within the District’s two boundaries, Downtown and Oakland, giving building representatives an opportunity to share their successes and challenges, while additional speakers present industry information and opportunities on a variety of topics. It’s a great monthly forum for partners, sponsors and stakeholders to mingle, learn and plan for a sustainable and efficient future.

The December 2015 Partner Meeting was held at Bellefield Presbyterian Church on December 15th.

What We Learned

  • Rev. Josh Brown and Facility Manager Roberto Cantillo shared a number of significant challenges that Bellefield Presbyterian Church faces as they begin energy efficiency upgrades, including LED lighting and repairs to their beautiful stained glass windows. Four organizations came forward after the presentation to offer assistance, proving the value of connections formed at Partner Meetings!
  • Grant Ervin, Chief Resiliency Officer for the City of Pittsburgh, provided information about proposed building energy disclosure legislation slated in the coming year. The legislation would require energy benchmarking and public disclosure of energy used in buildings over 50,000 square feet. The policy is being developed specifically for the Pittsburgh marketplace and implementation will begin with the public sector. Of 12 comparable cities with energy benchmarking ordinances, reported compliance rates range from 76% to 93% with Seattle leading the way.
  • Energy benchmarking is critical to understanding your building portfolio, enables you to identify when things go wrong, and helps you make strategic decisions for improvement. As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Pittsburgh 2030 District Property Partners use Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager to trend their energy and water usage. This free online tool is available to any property owner or facility manager.
  • Melissa Bilec from the University of Pittsburgh, discussed the Pittsburgh 2030 District Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) pilot. Pittsburgh is ranked 6th out of 277 metropolitan areas for 24-hour particle pollution and for annual particle pollution according to State of the Air 2014 by the American Lung Association.
  • There are trade-offs to consider when evaluating indoor air quality. Running the fan continuously on air handling units improves air quality by filtering the air (particularly if using the best available filter) but uses electricity. Daylight cleaning by janitorial staff reduces energy usage by shutting down building systems or using setbacks for a longer period of time, but could reduce IAQ because of the re-suspension of particulate matter.

The Pittsburgh 2030 District’s goal is to have 100% property participation in the District’s Downtown and Oakland boundaries, so please consider joining us! Visit our FAQ page for more information and our Contact page to get in touch.

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