Five Reports, Five Hundred+ Buildings: Pittsburgh 2030 District Progress Report

The Pittsburgh 2030 District published its fifth annual Progress Report at a reception celebrating years of encouraging and tracking reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions, in addition to improving indoor air quality in the built environment.

The largest of the 19 established 2030 Districts in North America by committed square feet, the Pittsburgh 2030 District supports 102 organizations representing 506 buildings that are actively working to achieve 50% reductions (below baselines) in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by the year 2030. In 2017, Property Partners avoided 1.1 billion kBtu of energy and nearly doubled their water use reduction, leading to a combined $26.7 million dollars in savings.

Cover of the Progress ReportThe District’s effectiveness stems from its diverse network of partners and sponsors. Spanning more than 25 professional disciplines, this collaborative brings unprecedented transparency and connectivity to the city’s most influential sectors. Partners convene monthly in a closed-door meeting featuring presentations from technical experts, service providers, and building owners. The sessions provide space for peer inquiry and analysis, allowing partners to share challenges and best practices with others who might normally be competitors. In more than 15 events throughout the year, partners also gain direct access to policymakers, utility companies, and financial organizations.

Building on the quantifiable successes of participating organizations, the District also launched the city’s first indoor air quality (IAQ) survey. In partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, the District recorded the design, construction, operations, and maintenance practices of more than 300 buildings. These results will be used to support the development of a measurable IAQ metric for 2018 and beyond.

Beyond building-scale, the Pittsburgh 2030 District continues to define building standards throughout Pittsburgh’s diverse communities. Both the Uptown EcoInnovation District and Pittsburgh riverfront zoning overlays base their development incentives on the 2030 Challenge energy metric, while the City of Pittsburgh’s Climate Action Plan 3.0 calls out the 2030 Challenge goals for energy, water, and transportation emissions reductions.

The District’s peer-to-peer network laid the groundwork for regional collaboration. Through the newly launched District Affiliate program, the Pittsburgh 2030 District invites all property owners and managers in Western Pennsylvania to join the 2030 Challenge. Six partners have already committed, including Hazelwood Green, Chatham University, Community College of Allegheny County, Hill House Association, Huth Technologies, and Oxford Development Company. Want to learn more and join this growing group? Contact us to get started.

Chatham University’s director of sustainability, Dr. Mary Whitney, explains, “Even though Chatham is located outside the boundary of the original Pittsburgh 2030 District, the new District Affiliate program allows Chatham’s commitment and progress toward our carbon neutrality goals.”

“Businesses from more than 25 different sectors are joining together to advocate for healthy places,” explains 2030 District Senior Director Angelica Ciranni. “By combining measurable goals with extensive resources and financial opportunities, the District Affiliate program leverages six years of progress, and provides an avenue for everyone to improve their impact.”

In addition to participation by District Affiliates, the official boundaries of the District are expanding yet again. As one 2030 District with two boundaries in 2017, the addition of the commercial portion of Uptown between the Central Business District and Oakland boundaries creates one contiguous District. This expansion adds a potential of 77 buildings and 1.1 million square feet eligible to participate as Property Partners.

Want to keep in touch with the Pittsburgh 2030 District all year? Sign up for the quarterly newsletter and stay current on news and events. Newsletters include updates on the District, training opportunities, relevant regional information, and more.



Total Energy Use Avoided

Energy: 12.0% reduction below baseline

  • 1 billion kBtu avoided and $22.7 million savings compared to baseline.
  • Equivalent to the annual energy use of 13,628 homes; 27,386 passenger vehicles; 302,520 barrels of oil: or 2,534 flights between Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

Water: 14.5% reduction below baseline

  • 164 million gallons avoided and $3.9 million savings compared to baseline.
  • Equivalent to the annual water use of 1,120 homes.

Transportation emissions:

  • 2018 Make My Trip Count commuter survey coming later this year.
  • Survey will track commuter choices and new trends in mobility, including ride sourcing, bike sharing, electric vehicles, and traditional transportation methods.

Indoor Air Quality:

  • Representatives of more than 300 buildings provided responses to the 2017 IAQ survey.
  • Survey results are being evaluated in conjunction with results from past District-led IAQ testing to generate a performance baseline and a corresponding reporting mechanism for annual performance.

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