Lessons from Higher Education: Pittsburgh 2030 District Takes CMU

The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University hosted the June Partner Meeting for Pittsburgh 2030 District participants. Attendees heard from four presenters on a range of CMU projects and initiatives – from the work of the Scott Institute to new construction projects and storm water mitigation strategies.

What We Learned

  • The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation works across the academic units of CMU to find solutions for the world’s energy challenges through research, partnerships, public policy, outreach, and education. Their research is helping to drive regional and national economic growth. This ecosystem includes universities, companies, governments, philanthropists, venture capitalists, accelerators, and startups.
  • Daylighting is an important goal for CMU’s projects and can be especially challenging for large buildings and renovations of legacy buildings. Current projects include:
    • 4721 Fifth Avenue – This renovation includes stormwater improvements around the building and opening the center of the building to allow daylighting.
    • Hamerschlag Maker-Space – The team found windows which had been covered with brick. These were re-opened to allow daylight into the building.
    • Tata Consultancy Services Building – With a lot of perimeter glass, the TCS Building is looking at triple pane glazing. While the upfront cost is a bit higher, benefits include a greater insulating value, better performance compared to radiant baseboard heat, and flexibility in interior furniture layout.
    • ANSYS Hall – Nestled in between Porter and Hamerschlag, this building has very limited daylighting opportunities. Extensive use of glass on the west face takes advantage of available sunlight.
  • Tepper Quad – At an enormous 1.3 acres per floor, daylighting the interior of this building was a challenge. Using notches and cutouts, the team was able to introduce outdoor light deep into the building. Something else deep in the building? Kayaks! This concrete structure uses voided slab methodology, incorporating 219,000 balls made of recycled kayaks into the concrete. This technology reduced the total amount of concrete needed for construction.
  • Storm water mitigation is a big challenge on campus as water from Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, and other surrounding neighborhoods flows through campus. Storm water mitigation strategies already in place:
  • Scott Hall, the home of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation along with wet and dry labs, a cleanroom, and collaborative space opened in April 2016. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the design team faced significant challenges including a sloped and constrained site along with the presence of an active rail line and roadway adjacent to the site, particularly in light of the vibration-sensitive nanoscience research taking place inside.

Thank you to our host, the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, and our presenters: Marty Altschul, Max Dorosa, Bob Reppe, and Anna Siefken. You can see more photos from this event on GBA’s Flickr.

Each month, the Pittsburgh 2030 District holds a Partner Meeting convening Property, Community, and Resource Partners; sponsors; and other stakeholders to discuss the latest relevant happenings and information for the city. Meetings give building owners and facility managers the opportunity to share their successes and challenges. Additional speakers present industry information and updates on a variety of critical topics. It’s a closed-door, monthly forum where partners learn from each other through peer-to-peer dialogue and collaboratively plan for a sustainable and efficient future.

The Pittsburgh 2030 District’s goal is to have 100% property participation within the District’s boundaries. Join us! Visit our FAQs for more program information and our contact page if you have questions.

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