Tag Archives | Green & Healthy Schools Academy

Courtesy of Pixabay user rebeck96

Welcome to the Lean, Green GBA Team!

Green Building Alliance has had a busy summer. Not only did we welcome Jenna Crammer as our new executive director, but we also hired three new employees, Brian Brown, Paige Colao, and Sarah Owen. Get to know them a little and make sure to say hello at the next GBA event! Brian Brown, Learning Coordinator […]

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Katie Lockley

On Falling in Love with Trying: Or Lessons I Learned from Majora Carter, David Orr, and Antwi Akom

Over the last three years, Environmental Charter School (ECS) has had the exceptional opportunity to be part of the Green & Healthy Schools Academy’s School Sustainability Culture Program. According to the GHSA site, this program is a two-year, hands-on, immersive learning community that assists schools with integrating sustainability into their buildings, curriculum, and culture through inspirational, […]

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On Emotion: The Green & Healthy Schools Academy

In November, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols (“J”) traveled to Pittsburgh from California’s slow coast to present at GBA’s monthly Inspire Speakers Series. The following day, he joined participants of our School Sustainability Culture Program (a program of the Green & Healthy Schools Academy) to discuss how K-12 educators, administrators, and facility managers could use his research to […]

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December Inspire Speakers Series Cancellation

We regret to announce that, due to a last-minute scheduling conflict for speaker Jeremy Rifkin, we must cancel our December Inspire Speakers Series lecture.  Read on for more details. At Green Building Alliance, we have been looking forward to welcoming Jeremy Rifkin to Pittsburgh for our Inspire Speakers Series on December 11.  He had been scheduled to present […]

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What I Learned at the Inspire Speakers Series

How many of us have experienced peacefulness and relaxation, or maybe even a spiritual connection when we are near water? I am a scientist by training, but my passion is water…  I’m inspired by its beauty, stimulated by its playfulness and energy, and calmed and soothed by its healing forces.  So I was captivated by […]

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School Energy Conservation Basics


Schools can reduce 10% or more of their energy consumption through implementing no-cost interventions and changing occupant behavior. Come find out how you can make the best use of your school’s resources.


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Your school doesn’t need to spend its valuable capital on outdated lights, poorly tuned equipment, misconfigured controls and other inefficiencies that often go unnoticed. Help your school get started with energy conservation by attending this Green & Healthy Schools Academy workshop, which will focus on low-cost and no-cost opportunities for energy savings and the benefits and how-tos of tracking energy consumption with EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager.



Barton Kirk, Ecological Engineer

Barton is an ecological engineer whose core expertise lies at the nexus of energy, water, climate, and community. For the past decade he has helped communities develop durable decisions about their built and natural infrastructure utilizing research, analysis, and design. Through applied ecological economics and life-cycle systems analysis, Barton’s work offers holistic insight into the long-term economic and environmental costs and benefits of site-level infrastructure, institutional operations, and regional community patterns. He currently leads Kirk Consulting, a Pittsburgh-based resilient design strategies firm and continues as a senior engineer / analyst for SEEDS, a Michigan-based non-profit dedicated to ecology, education, and design. Barton is also an instructor at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School (Warren, VT) and the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies (Rhinebeck, NY).



1.  Learn key strategies for reducing energy consumption and demand through low-cost and no-cost interventions.

2.  Understand the importance of using utility bills to benchmark energy performance relative to other schools.

3.  Get an overview of EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool and its purpose and basic functionality.


Light refreshments will be provided.

Grant funding has been awarded for school personnel.  All school faculty and staff please reach out to Andrew Ellsworth, Director of Green and Healthy Schools Academy, at andrewe@gbapgh.org.

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GBCI CMP  This event is approved for 1.5 GBCI CEUs.

As a USGBC Education Partner, GBA makes it easy for members to report CE hours. Please provide your GBCI number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events).  Non-members can still earn CEUs but will need to self-report.

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Inspire Speakers Series Presents: Dr. Antwi Akom and Grant Ervin

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Want to attend all three of our fall lectures at a great value?  Purchase the Fall Package today!

Antwi Akom

Dr. Antwi Akom is a champion of healthy communities, and like many of our past Inspire Speakers Series presenters, his definition of community health is impressively open-ended.  Dr. Akom seeks to connect environmental health with societal well-being, equal opportunity education with economic equity.  He is a nationally recognized leader in environmental economics, youth development, and the sociology of poverty and education.  In the burgeoning environmental field, Professor Akom sees an opportunity to engage students in vulnerable populations to be innovative business and community leaders in the 21st century.  Dr. Akom’s idea of creating “shareable cities” calls for car sharing, house sharing, tool sharing, and shared decision-making.  He sees too many communities today with limited access to resources and wonders what the cities of our future would look like if we designed them with everyone in mind.

Professor Akom’s research has largely focused on answering two questions:

1) How do we create more just, sustainable, and smarter cities? 

2) How do we create more democratic models of civic and community engagement?

Check out Dr. Akom’s presentation at the 2013 EcoDistricts Summit.


Grant ErvinGrant Ervin is the Sustainability Manager for the City of Pittsburgh. He works to improve sustainability performance through city operations and policies. Grant has been working for the City of Pittsburgh since 2014. He is a member of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) and a board member of Sustainable Pittsburgh. Prior to joining Mayor William Peduto’s team, Grant served as regional director for sustainable development advocates 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, where he specialized in transportation, infrastructure and land use policy. Grant began his career in community development with the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, where he led the organization’s public policy advocacy efforts related to vacant land reclamation, technology applications, and neighborhood reinvestment.


More about Dr. Akom:

Awards & Recognition:

  • Recipient, 2011 New Connections Junior Health Investigator Award
  • Recipient, 2010 Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) Investigator Award, provided by the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • 2013 Finalist for the Echoing Green award

Books in Progress:

  • Ameritocracy: The Racing of our Nations School Children
  • Revolutionary Urbanism: Race, Climate Justice, and the Politics of Pollution in Cities and Schools; editing with Professor Jason Corburn from U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design/City Planning


We’d like to thank our Inspire Speakers Series Co-Presenting Partners:

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Have you missed any of our past lectures?  Check out our Highlight Reel and our list of this season’s speakers.

Is this event out of your price range? We want this incredibly inspiring evening with Dr. Akom to be accessible to everyone in our community.  If you find the $20 rate to be prohibitive, please email Jenna Cramer to discuss your options.

GBCI CMP  This event is approved for 2.0 GBCI CEUs.

As a USGBC Education Partner, GBA makes it easy for members to report CE hours. Please provide your GBCI number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events).  Non-members can still earn CEUs but will need to self-report.

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I’ve truly enjoyed participating in GBA’s Green & Healthy Schools Academy (GHSA) as a school sustainability adviser.  As I approach retirement from my day job at the Pennsylvania DEP – and as the GHSA approaches the graduation of its first cohort – I find myself reflecting on the many gifts I’ve received throughout this process…..  […]

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Natalie Jeremijenko Returns to Pittsburgh for Green & Healthy Schools Academy Partnership

When I was working on the line-up of the second year of GBA’s Inspire Speakers Series, I wanted to find someone who could truly relate the intersections of environment, health, and community in an innovative and beautiful way.  After hearing artist and engineer Natalie Jeremijenko speak twice at the Greenbuild Conference in Toronto and then […]

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