Green Building Alliance and Friends Sweep Energy Leadership Awards

What does an energy leader look like?  Scope out Green Building Alliance’s offices or events and you’ll spot a few!  Staff and friends of GBA swept the Pittsburgh Business Times‘ 2014 Energy Leadership Awards with FOUR winners!  Vivian Loftness, Volker Hartkopf, Sean Luther, and Mike Schiller were each recognized by these awards, which were publicly announced at PBT’s Energy Gala.

We’re delighted that Vivian, Volker, Sean, and Mike were celebrated for their leadership on issues such as energy efficiency, innovation, and demand reduction. Their work truly impacts our region’s energy industry and it’s just awesome that this prestigious annual award circuit has included them.  Read on for details…

Vivian Loftness with her award in the "Sustainability" category.

Vivian Loftness. Sustainability

Our region is incredibly fortunate to be home to Vivian Loftness and Volker Hartkopf of Carnegie Mellon University.  Vivian is an architecture professor and former head of CMU’s School of Architecture; she is a leading researcher and author in the Robert L. Preger Intelligent Workplace – a living lab where advanced building systems, technologies, and materials are tested; a LEED Fellow (the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest professional credential); an AIA Fellow (the highest honor of the American Institute of Architects); and a long-time GBA board member.  Always a fan of Vivian’s work, GBA nominated her for the Energy Leadership Awards in the “Sustainability” category and are so glad she won!



Volker Hartkopf (r) with the Mayor and Michael Braungart in Germany.

Volker Hartkopf (r), Innovation

Volker Hartkopf wasn’t in town to attend the Energy Gala or receive his award from PBT since he was busy hosting several local leaders – including Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and GBA’s Mike Schiller – on an educational and exploratory tour of Germany’s most sustainable cities.  As a professor of architecture and director of CMU’s Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, Volker has a passion for discovering and sharing innovative technologies and practices (of which his recent trip is a perfect example!).  That is why GBA nominated him for an Energy Leadership Award in the “Innovation” category and are proud he is being recognized for his work!


Sean Luther

Sean Luther, Rising Star

Sean Luther has had a good couple of weeks.  He and his team just released the inaugural Pittsburgh 2030 District Progress Report on April 16th (which announced that energy reduction goals for downtown are ahead of schedule!) and now he’s been recognized as a Pittsburgh Business Times Energy Leader in the “Rising Star” category.  Since joining GBA almost two years ago, Sean has led the Pittsburgh 2030 District through very quick growth and expanded its staff from two to five people, all of whom are working to reduce our city’s energy use, water use, and transportation emissions by the year 2030.  His ability to effectively communicate the goals of the Pittsburgh 2030 District to downtown property owners – and make those goals measurable and attainable – led us to nominate him for this award.  We’re glad the Pittsburgh Business Times agrees with us… Sean is indeed a Rising Star!



Mike Schiller, Corporate Social Engagement

Mike Schiller, Corporate Social Engagement

That brings me to our fearless leader, Mike Schiller, who I’m proud to announce was recognized as an Energy Leader in the “Corporate Social Engagement” category.  Mike oversees all of GBA’s programs, but his main role is to connect our region’s business leaders to incite change throughout the commercial building industry.  An experienced businessman, Mike is well-respected and is proficient at sharing GBA’s message with his colleagues in the corporate community in a way that makes sense to them.  Under his leadership, GBA membership grew a whopping 38% between 2012 and 2013 and, through this membership, companies in the energy and related industries demonstrate that they are dedicated to reducing their buildings’ impacts on the environment.  GBA offers these members tools, knowledge, inspiration, and confidence to help them reduce negative environmental impacts and achieve more efficient spaces.  Mike’s accessibility (he personally hosts GBA’s “Coffee with Mike” events and green building kayak tours), transparency, and business acumen have positioned him in such a way that he’s already begun to effect real change throughout our region.

Congratulations to Vivian, Volker, Sean, and Mike for being recognized as 2014 Energy Leaders!


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