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Forest Hills Municipal Building Tour

April 11 @ 8:30 am - 10:00 am EDT

$15.00 – $20.00
Register Now


Join Green Building Alliance for a tour of the Forest Hills Municipal building which features passive solar design, geothermal energy, and on-site solar energy all combined to create more energy on-site than the building uses.



The Borough of Forest Hills has built a net zero energy municipal facility that houses the Borough Council and administrative activities as well as the Police station, Library and a Community Room.  The building has a passive solar design, requiring several zoning variances to allow orientation of the south-facing roof to permit installation of a photovoltaic solar system to provide electricity onsite. The basic heating and cooling system comes from geothermal energy and a heat pump circulation throughout the building. The net-metering arrangement with the local utility company offers a pragmatic and cost-efficient interface for electric service. Provision was made for a future installation of a photovoltaic canopy for parking and charging future electric powered vehicles. The building – which has a high profile on a well-traveled road – has become a beacon and example of community action that forward-thinking boroughs can take to provide durable, long-lasting, healthy, cost-effective, and efficient spaces for community activities and services.

We’ll tour the building, learn about decision-making, design and construction, and lessons learned. The tour will also include coffee and breakfast refreshments.

The following companies contributed to the Forest Hills Municipal Building project as project team members and contractors:

  • Pfaffmann + Associates
  • Common Ground
  • Volpatt Construction
  • Iams Consulting
  • Schneider Engineering
  • EIS Solar
  • SEECH Industries
  • Porter SIPS
  • Zottola Landscaping
  • PELLA Windows
  • Eastern Architectural Products


About Our Tour Guides

Patricia M. DeMarco is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. with a doctorate in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. She has spent a thirty -year career in energy and environmental policy in both private and public sector positions, including Commissioner of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and Demand Side Manager for the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative. She was the Executive Director of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and Director of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University. Patricia is also a Forest Hills Borough Council Member, a Senior Scholar at Chatham University, a Visiting Researcher and Write at CMU’s Institute for Green Sciences, and serves on the Battle of Homestead Foundation and the Phipps Conservatory Board of Trustees.

Rob Pfaffmann is an architect and planner with over 35 years of diverse experience leading the design of key architecture, preservation, sustainability and planning projects. He has developed a broad, diverse approach to architectural and planning practice that embraces past, present and future. His early career focused on research buildings for higher education and technology resulting in collaborations with higher education (Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Building Performance & Diagnostics) and Government (City of Pittsburgh’s Rehab Building Codes and early brownfield sites (Washington’s Landing and the Pittsburgh Technology Center). He has been deeply involved in a wide range of range of cultural and community based projects that have contributed to the City of Pittsburgh’s rebirth and resilience.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain insight into specific goals and priorities of a municipal building seeking net-zero energy.
  • Hear about decision-making processes, challenges, and opportunities of municipal buildings pursuing innovative green design.
  • Discover green features of the municipal building and understand policy and zoning challenges and solutions.
  • Gain an understanding of how building envelope, efficient systems, and renewable energy systems combine to achieve net-zero energy buildings.


This event is approved for 1.0 GBCI CEU and for 1.0 AIA LU|HSW.

Partnering with USGBC and AIA, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits. Please provide your GBCI and/or AIA number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events). Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.


Register Now


April 11
8:30 am - 10:00 am
$15.00 – $20.00
Event Category:


Leslie Montgomery


Borough of Forest Hills Municipal Complex
4400 Greensburg Pike
Pittsburgh, PA 15221 United States
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