Sneak Peek: GBA’s Events and Tours in 2017

A new year means new educational opportunities through Green Building Alliance! We’re excited to explore several threads and themes with you in 2017, and also look forward to some stellar tours. As our team works to finalize the education calendar, below is a sneak peek of what’s on our radar.


The events we’re planning have been developed out of a combination of your comments through membership and event surveys, as well as our own thoughts about what topics are timely and important to discuss. We are also grateful for another year of partnership as we work with others in our region to develop stimulating content. Take a look and let us know if you have additional ideas or comments. Then, keep an eye on our events calendar throughout the year so you can join us!


Here are the broad themes and topics we’ll be pursuing in 2017:

  • Human Health and the Built Environment
  • LEED
  • Community
  • Passive House (we’re delighted for another year of partnership with PHWPA!)
  • Energy Demand, Sources, and Technologies
  • Living Building Challenge
  • Building Materials
  • Policy and Finance



Want more details? Here’s a preview of some specific events that are in the works:

  • Quantifying Health & Productivity – In this event, we’ll explore research and applications involved in the important task of quantifying the relationships between human health and the built environment.
  • Building Materials Workshop – There is so much to cover here! From EPDs to the Red List, we’ll gain insights into some material and product trends, and discuss the evolving landscape of this industry.
  • Metering Services, Tools, and Training – Building owners and operators play an imperative role in ongoing building performance. In this training, we’ll offer some tools and service options that can help identify ways to measure water and energy use, and share tips on how to use the information gathered through metering.
  • Integrated Design Workshop – “Integrated design” is an old green building buzz word, but it’s often easier said than done. Moreover, LEED v4 has breathed new life into the philosophy of integrated design by assigning a credit to it. This workshop will aim to demystify the process.
  • LEED Pilot Credits – How familiar are you with LEED Pilot Credits? These credits play an important role in the evolution of LEED, and project teams can gain extra points by trying them out. In this event, we’ll explore the background of Pilot Credits, gain insights from a project team, and hear a community perspective regarding one existing Pilot Credit.
  • Green Buildings and Historic Preservation – We’re all familiar with the phrase “the greenest building is the one that is already built,” and the goals of the green building and historic preservation communities often overlap. In this event, we’ll explore that theme with our friends at Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.
  • Almono Project Update – Celebrated as our city’s last large-scale brownfield redevelopment, Almono will impact Pittsburgh in a variety of ways. This event will offer an update on the mixed-use project, including a look at its sustainability-related goals.
  • Professional Training: Along with general education events, we’ll also offer professional training opportunities like the LEED Green Associate exam prep course, Certified Passive House Consultant/Designer training (in collaboration with PHWPA and other partners), and new opportunities for trade-specific green building skill development!



Now you know what we’ll be learning about this year, but where are we going? If you’re hungry for tours, here are a few on the horizon in 2017:

  • The Tower at PNC Plaza: This is the most-requested tour in our surveys, and we’re delighted to take you inside this incredible building in 2017. Please note that this will be a member-only tour and will have limited registration. Stay tuned!
  • Ace Hotel: The Emerging Professionals are planning a tour and happy hour at Ace Hotel – a fun and funky example of building re-use.
  • The New Google Office: We toured Bakery Square 2.0 last summer, and this year we’ll invite GBA members to take an inside look at Google’s newest office space, which is located within the development. If you’ve been on one of our past Google tours, you know you won’t want to miss this experience. It is a truly innovative space!
  • 3 Crossings: Oxford Development’s 3 Crossings project in the Strip District will incorporate a woonerf (Dutch for “living street”), a solar array, and other interesting techniques that we’re excited to check out. Stay tuned for more details about this tour!
  • Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus: The Emerging Professionals plan to incorporate an Eden Hall tour into their events calendar in 2017, whether it be a stand-alone tour or part of a larger event. This campus serves a “living lab” for our community and offers many lessons in sustainable development.

If you have ideas for other tours we should pursue, let us know in the form at the end of this post!



Finally, here are some events that are on our calendar right now and open for registration:



I can’t wait to embark on another year of learning with you! It’s been such fun developing these ideas (with your help!), and I can’t wait to work with our partners to bring you thought-provoking and inspiring educational content, networking events, and behind-the-scenes tours in 2017. Thanks to all of you for being active and thoughtful participants in GBA’s events. Here’s to a great year ahead!
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