Pittsburgh & Green Building Alliance Win State Energy Efficiency Grant

Funds will initially retrofit lighting at two parking garages and support future upgrades to Downtown and Oakland facilities

PITTSBURGH, PA (Oct. 24, 2014) The City of Pittsburgh, affiliated city agencies, and the Green Building Alliance won a $470,000 state grant Thursday to provide more energy-efficient lighting for parking garages.

The Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority award will be used initially to retrofit lighting at the First Avenue garage Downtown and the Pittsburgh Technology Center garage in South Oakland, and seed a Lighting Infrastructure Fund to provide efficient lighting upgrades at other municipal and privately owned garages.

Through the retrofit the garages are targeting a 50% cut in energy consumption, placing them 20% lower than the national medium average for parking garage energy use.

The $469,892.80 award will be managed by the Green Building Alliance (GBA), which will also provide data analysis and research overseeing the each garage efficiency project’s application of technology, system benefits and product sourcing.

Other partners include the City of Pittsburgh Office of Sustainability, in the Department of Innovation and Performance; Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh Parking Authority; and Sports and Exhibition Authority.

“This is a great example of interagency cooperation and innovation, and Pittsburgh’s leadership in energy efficiency and building performance,” Mayor William Peduto said. “It is a smart investment in our infrastructure that will save energy, reduce operational costs, and provide for a better customer experience.”

Green Building Alliance Pittsburgh 2030 District Senior Director Sean Luther said “We are very grateful to be a recipient of an energy development grant. These investments will significantly advance building performance at both structures toward the 2030 District’s goal or reducing energy consumption by 50% by the year 2030. The planned renovations by 2030 District Partners, the Parking Authority and the URA will be a strong demonstration of the triple-bottom line benefits for the region generated through investments in energy efficiency.”

“This grant is a big win for the City and reinforces our continuous efforts toward more sustainable practices across all of our activities,” said Robert Rubinstein, URA acting executive director.

“These projects allow for larger future investments by demonstrating that energy efficiency upgrades can help the both the environmental and the economic bottom line.”

In applying for the grant, the partners instituted a pilot lighting program at the SEA’s West General Robinson Street garage that cut the facility’s electric bill by $60,000.

The award is also the result of work this spring by City Councilman Dan Gilman, Sustainability Manager Grant Ervin, city Policy Manager Matthew Barron, the GBA and SEA to amend outdated city codes that prevented the use of high-efficiency lighting in parking structures.

The modification modernized the lighting requirements for parking garages to enable garage operators to utilize high efficiency lighting and control systems. Several operators are realizing these gains already, and additional financial support, education and supportive adoption of the policy can create major cost savings, energy consumption reductions and advancements in building performance.

The Lighting Infrastructure Fund’s initial target for energy efficiency projects will be parking garages committed to the Pittsburgh 2030 District in Downtown Pittsburgh and the Oakland neighborhood. There are currently 13 free standing garages committed to the program in Downtown and another four committed in Oakland..

The Pittsburgh Technology Center Garage is in the Oakland 2030 District and the First Avenue garage in the Downtown 2030 District.

Pittsburgh is the first city to create two 2030 Districts, which are a consortium of commercial real estate owners committed to 50 percent energy and water consumption reduction by 2030.  Pittsburgh’s 2030 Districts in Downtown and now in Oakland are national vanguard of high performance buildings.

As part of the Pittsburgh 2030 District Program’s energy performance reporting requirement, free-standing city parking garages were identified as a poor energy performers, with 73% of garages reporting energy consumption more than national median average baselines.

Besides the retrofits of the two garages the award will support a GBA research report detailing best practices for future garage renovations. The report will highlight the top three most impactful renovation strategies that can be shared with garage operators in Pittsburgh and across the Commonwealth, as well as national agencies such as the Green Parking Council, U.S. EPA and Urban Land Institute.

The Pittsburgh award was among $12.5 million in Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) grants announced Thursday by Gov. Tom Corbett to 28 local governments, schools and businesses for alternative and clean energy projects.

PEDA is an independent public financing authority created in 1982 by the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority and the Emergency Powers Act. The authority’s mission is to finance clean, advanced energy projects in Pennsylvania.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply