Steelers Football: Know Your Opponent (Panthers Edition)

Steelers Football: Know Your Opponent will help us all learn just a little about green building initiatives in our opponent team cities.  Now you can impress your tailgating friends with some fun trivia!

Are you ready for some football-inspired green building fun facts?



The Steelers may have fallen to Baltimore last week, but the word on the street is that the Carolina Panthers shouldn’t feel too comfortable.  Even though the Panthers have started earning respect both on and off the field, my sources (aka The Internet) tell me that the Steelers should prove to be the Panthers’ best opponent this season.  Before you sit down for Sunday’s game, take a moment to learn a little about our opponent city’s green buildings!

So what do you know about Charlotte, North Carolina, the home of the Panthers?  You’re probably familiar with the city’s various rankings, which in 2014 alone included spots on these lists: Best Small Business Cities, Best Cities to Start a Career, Best Cities for Millennials, Fastest Growing Cities, Happiest Cities to Work, Most Affordable Cities, and Best Places for Job Seekers.  You should know that GBA’s Sean Luther has made it his personal mission to help Pittsburgh catch up with Charlotte on several of these lists, through his work with the Pittsburgh 2030 Districts.  Watch out, Queen City!  (Oh, if you want to know why Charlotte is called the Queen City, learn more here.)  Meanwhile, here are some fun facts about green building development in Charlotte:

Spotlight on: ENERGY STAR

Several of the cities we’re playing this season are on the most recent Top 10 list for ENERGY STAR buildings.  Ack, we better catch up!  Charlotte made it to the Top 25 list and currently sits at the #11 spot, with 176 ENERGY STAR certified buildings.  It’s been improving over the past few years, having sat at the #17 spot in 2012 and the #14 spot in 2013.  You can check out a map of the city’s ENERGY STAR buildings here.  Interestingly, the majority of them are K-12 schools.  Nice!


Photo Credit: Nancy Pierce

Photo Credit: Nancy Pierce

Spotlight on: Buildings

Last year, CBS Charlotte did a piece on the city’s Top 5 Green Buildings, and this one really caught my eye.  Fire Station No. 42 is a LEED-Gold certified station, featuring natural lighting through skylights, added insulation, a solar thermal heating system, and locally sourced, recyclable, and re-purposed building materials.  This is the first fire station I’ve ever seen to achieve LEED certification and I think it’s super cool! If you want to see more green fire stations, check out GBIG.


I hope you enjoyed this edition of Steelers Football: Know Your Opponent!  To learn more about green buildings in the Charlotte area, visit our sister chapter’s website at

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