New development projects are at the forefront of revitalization in Pittsburgh. Faros Properties’ newest property, Nova Place (formerly known as Allegheny Center Mall), brings about exciting growth on Pittsburgh’s Northside. Plus we heard from NRG as they expand into Uptown with their latest project – a new district energy plant.
Hosted by Faros Properties at Alloy 26 and Nova Place, the October 11 Pittsburgh 2030 District Partner Meeting presented insight on the latest developments in the Pittsburgh region and updates on NRG’s district energy plan.
What We Learned
Brad Ott, Vice President of Commercial Operations for Faros Properties, provided insight on the status of Nova Place’s multimillion dollar renovation and the energy efficient technology that h
as been implemented. Faros Properties purchased the former 1.2 million square foot Allegheny Center Mall and rebranded the building as Nova Place with the goal of revitalizing the North Shore and reconnecting the community through a walkable green space. Nova Place consists of a state of the art 50,000 square foot coworking office space, Alloy 26, that provides beautiful views of downtown and the surrounding area.
- Redevelopment projects include new healthy food offerings, a state of the art fitness area, and public space renovations like the new green courtyard. In addition, Pittsburgh officials plan to install two way bike lanes around the property—making the surrounding area more bike-friendly.
- Energy efficient upgrades to Nova Place include:
- HVAC upgrades such as replacing coils, installing new digital controls and a building management system, new VFDs, and new economizer cycles.
- In their 3,000 space parking garage, Nova Place replaced more than 1,200 lights with more energy efficient lighting – decreasing their kilowatt hours by nearly 60%. With the upgrade to energy efficient lighting, Nova Place is expected to see a ROI in approximately 4.5 years!
- NRG Vice President of District Energy Operations & Asset Management, Jim Lodge, and Vice President and General Manager, Cliff Blashford, discussed the exciting opportunities and benefits of using district energy as well as the construction of their new district energy plant. NRG has a plant in Pittsburgh’s Northside that serves more than 30 customer buildings – including PNC Park, Carnegie Science Center, and Allegheny General Hospital. With the success of the Northside plant, NRG is expanding their operations and developing a new plant to the Uptown region of Pittsburgh.
- Attributes of District Energy:
- District Energy has the ability to use combined heat and power technology to produce heating, cooling, and electricity, thus being more efficient.
- Using district energy increases the customer’s usable square footage and reduces costs associated with maintaining their energy systems.
- Due to large volume purchasing discounts, customers can expect to see a reduction in fuel costs.
- District energy is extremely reliable and resilient. It can provide up to 50+ years of energy!
- Being local, district energy centers make them an energy and water efficient option.
- NRG’s new energy plant across from PPG Paints Arena will supply energy to UPMC Mercy and other surrounding properties. Once completed, the 30,000 square foot plant will have a 15,000 ton chilling capacity, be able to generate 50 kpph of steam, and produce 10MW of backup energy. NRG is expected to break ground February 2017 and start running operations early 2018.
- Pittsburgh 2030 District Specialist, Quinn Zeagler, recapped Financing Strategies from the final session of The Race to Zero Energy series where experts shared their knowledge and insights on getting to net zero energy in commercial spaces. You can read recaps of each of the four sessions on our website:
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 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 with peer-to-peer dialogue and plan collaboratively for a sustainable and efficient future.