Tag Archives | indoor air quality

Radon Training for K-12 Schools and Childcare Centers–1,000 Hours Initiative

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Join Green Building Alliance and Women for a Healthy Environment for our virtual Radon Training for K-12 Schools and Childcare Centers to celebrate National Radon Action Month on January 18th. With the generous support of The Heinz Endowments, Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE) and Green Building Alliance (GBA) re-launched the 1000 Hours a Year Initiative in 2020 to help offset costs associated with testing and remediation of lead and radon in schools and early learning centers. Since 2017, the 1,000 Hours a Year project has equipped approximately 45 school personnel with the technical knowledge to test and remediate radon in their buildings.

The virtual training will take participants through the radon testing process and provide all needed training, resources, and guidance to conduct their own testing. Receiving this training can save school districts a significant amount of money on hiring an outside consultant and will equip the giving facility staff with the knowledge and technical training needed to protect school students and early childcare centers from radon exposure.

This four-hour course will be offered virtually twice on January 18th (8:30am-12:30pm and 2pm-6pm) for any school facility directors, assistant facility directors, maintenance personnel, or tradespeople who work in K-12 schools or childcare centers. The program is primarily open to school facilities located in Allegheny County with some spaces open for other counties. The cost of the course is $15, but we are able to waive the fee if a special request is submitted. Please email Ellen Conrad (ellenc@gbapgh.org) regarding the waived fee exception. Radon tests for your buildings will be included in course participation. Your registration will not be complete until after you complete the form emailed to you after registering on the GBA website.


Meet your Instructor: Nathaniel L. Burden, Jr.

Nathaniel L. Burden, Jr. is a radon testing and mitigation expert with over 30 years’ experience using short-term and long-term passive radon devices, along with several continuous radon and work level monitors. Burden’s early career was spent as a nuclear operator at the decommissioned Shippingport LWBR Atomic Power Station and Beaver Valley Nuclear Power Station in Pennsylvania, but much of his career has centered on international and domestic radon testing and mitigation projects. Burden has worked on countless radon mitigation and research projects, including serving as a special consultant of radon testing and mitigation for the DOD American Army facilities, performing hyper radon mitigation consultations and research with the Argonne National Laboratory at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, and historical radon mitigation design and installation for an Air Force/Navy facility with historical Underground Railroad in the Warminster, PA. He currently is the Pennsylvania AARST chapter president, sits on the national AARST board of directors, and is a part of several ANSI-AARST radon measurement and mitigation standards committees, including one for schools and large buildings.  He also sits on the National Radon Action Program (NRAP) for environmental radon justice projects.



Identify common facility interest areas, pain points, and foci that relate to the experience 

Share best practices and common misunderstandings  

Establish connections with other people in your field who are having similar experiences for increased support  

Develop a series of action steps to apply in your own school setting  


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Mold, Radon, and Lead in Schools Webinar

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This event was rescheduled from March 10th, 2020 and is now available online.

Join Women for a Healthy Environment and Green Building Alliance for technical guidance on addressing mold, lead and radon in your school building.  Participants will learn best practices around preventing moisture & mold issues in their buildings and will learn how to investigate, evaluate, and remediate moisture & mold problems in their building.  Participants will receive technical guidance on the environmental hazards of lead and radon, understand the steps and nuances of testing and remediation and learn more about the resources available to assist in the process.  

This workshop is presented in collaboration with the 1000 Hours a Year Project, which is committed to helping improve the environments where children learn to keep kids safe, healthy and learning. The 1000 Hours a Year Project was made possible through generous funding from The Heinz Endowments and talented staff from Women for a Healthy Environment¹s Healthy Schools PA and Green Building Alliance’s Green and Healthy Schools Academy. 

This workshop is offered via Zoom. Please register to receive the Zoom link. For more information on the Healthy Schools Workshop series and other GHSA programming, contact Green and Healthy Schools Director, Katie Lockley. 


Identify common facility interest areas, pain points, and foci that relate to the experience of facility personnel.  

Share best practices and common misunderstandings  

Establish connections with other people in their field that are having similar experiences for increased support  

Develop a series of action steps upon the end of the workshop to apply in their own school settings.  


Register Now

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Bridge to 2030: Water

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The Bridge to 2030 educational series invites Pittsburgh to go deep on topics integral to the Pittsburgh 2030 District – energy, water, transportation, indoor air quality, and financing.

Jordan Fischbach of RAND will talk about how climate change exacerbates stormwater issues. We’ll also take a deep dive into how Alex Wasko & Megan Hicks, two GIS analysts at PWSA, are determining impervious surfaces in Pittsburgh, in an effort to minimize runoff in the future and collect more accurate stormwater data. Information gathered in the study will be used as background data for the upcoming stormwater fee from PWSA. Finally, we will close the event with a stormwater capture and reuse system on CMU’s campus, explained by Martin Altschul.


3:00 – 5:00 – Presentations, Panel Discussion, and Q&A
5:00 – 6:00 – Networking Reception with Appetizers!


Ballroom at Hotel Fairmont – 510 Market Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222


  • Jordan Fischbach, Ph.D. – Co-Director, RAND Climate Resilience Center
    • The Pittsburgh region is challenged by a number of stormwater impacts, including flooding and sewer overflows. Climate change is expected to exacerbate these impacts by increasing the intensity and volume of rainfall. Jordan will describe how the RAND Corporation team has been working to address this urgent planning need by evaluating the potential benefits and costs from green stormwater infrastructure across the region as well as in key City of Pittsburgh watersheds.
  • Alexandra Wasko & Megan Hicks – GIS Analysts, PWSA
    • Alex & Megan will take a dive into their GIS research determining impervious versus pervious surfaces in the region. This research will be the background PWSA’s upcoming stormwater fee.
  • Martin Altschul, P.E. – Director of Strategic Facilities Initiatives, Carnegie Mellon University
    • Martin will give us an overview on CMU’s innovative water capture system, how they treat it, and use it to supplement building’s condenser water for cooling on campus.


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Courtesy of GBA

Breathe Easier with Indoor Air Quality Monitoring

Indoor air quality is one of the many emerging topics of environmental health and green building.  Humans spend more time indoors than out, therefore the air we are breathing while inside is critically important to our health.   As we become more aware of the health impacts of not having a clean breathing environment, products are emerging […]

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harold profile

Harold Rickenbacker is Engineering Social Equality

Tucked into a university laboratory atop O’Hara Street, Harold Rickenbacker and his career run on tightly calibrated monitors. It’s a demand of his discipline, and in many ways, the self-declared data wonk thrives in an environment of precision and control. But Rickenbacker’s enthusiasm for statistical regressions belies an unusual dedication to the realities outside academic […]

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Five Reports, Five Hundred+ Buildings: Pittsburgh 2030 District Progress Report

The Pittsburgh 2030 District published its fifth annual Progress Report at a reception celebrating years of encouraging and tracking reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions, in addition to improving indoor air quality in the built environment. The largest of the 19 established 2030 Districts in North America by committed square feet, the […]

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After a week of non-stop education, networking, and brains to the grindstone nerding out, GBA has returned from the world’s largest gathering of green building professionals, courtesy of the USGBC’s Greenbuild Conference. Along with 10,000 of our enthusiastic peers, we attended sessions on everything from green infrastructure to sustainable urban art to slow food for […]

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Historic Library to Children’s Lab and an Air Quality Update

Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh hosted the September Partner Meeting for Pittsburgh 2030 District participants. Attendees learned about the Museum’s current efficiency efforts and their renovation of the former Carnegie Library along with a report from the Allegheny County Health Department on their work, particularly as it relates to our air quality. What We Learned: Opened […]

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Pittsburgh 2030 District Progress Report 2016 Cover

Local Innovation to National Leadership: Pittsburgh 2030 District Progress Report for 2016

The Pittsburgh 2030 District, a strategic initiative of Green Building Alliance, published its annual Progress Report on Tuesday, celebrating four years of rigorous reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions. More than doubling in area and quadrupling from 81 to 491 committed properties since founding, Pittsburgh leads all 17 established 2030 Districts in committed […]

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Co2 Monitor. Photo credit: Claudio Costerni / flickr

The Fourth Metric: Indoor Air Quality and the Pittsburgh 2030 District

If you’re familiar with the Pittsburgh 2030 District, you can probably name the goals of the 2030 Challenge for Planning off the top of your head: 50% reductions (below baselines) for energy, water, and transportation emissions for existing buildings. But did you know that the Pittsburgh 2030 District has indoor air quality as a fourth […]

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