Tag Archives | Passive House

Hard Hat Passive House Tour: Morningside Crossing

Join Green Building Alliance and Passive House Western Pennsylvania on a hard-hat tour as we visit a large-scale Passive House project in progress!

Morningside Community Center. Rendering courtesy NK Architects.

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The Morningside Crossing project is a Passive House retrofit of an existing elementary school, with a newly constructed Passive House addition located over on-site parking. It will create senior housing consisting of 46 one- and two-bedroom affordable and market rate units. It will also include activity and fitness rooms available to local residents, a public plaza, and a community center operated by CitiParks. The project is one of the first in the country to share the health and comfort benefits of Passive House with a senior population. It is a much anticipated project in the Morningside neighborhood, providing viable housing options for the aging population who would like to stay in the community. That, in turn, will free up desired housing stock for young families who find Morningside an attractive Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Construction is well underway at Morningside with the existing building mostly insulated from the interior and installation of Passive House windows. The new addition is getting fitted with mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems as the roof is nearing completion. By the tour date, brick may be getting installed and concrete poured for the parking slab under the podium. Phil Ford, from Sota Construction Services, along with Brandon Nicholson and Rebecca Griffith, from NK Architects, will give us the low-down on what’s involved in a Passive House project of this scale. They will discuss the challenges they’ve encountered – and solutions they’ve found! – dealing with a retrofit of an abandoned 1897 building that includes a 1929 addition, and the incorporation of new construction with a brand new wing – all wrapped up in a Passive House bow!

Coffee and light breakfast treats will be provided on the tour.

Read more about the Morningside Crossing project here.

Passive House is the world’s leading standard for building the most energy efficient buildings.  The process for efficiency has been standardized by pairing an air tight, well insulated building envelope (walls, roof, floor, windows, & doors) with mechanical ventilation to ensure a high level of indoor air quality. Read more about Passive House here.

Morningside Crossing Project Team Highlights:

  • NK Architects
  • Thoughtful Balance
  • Sota Construction Services
  • AM Rodriguez


Learning Objectives

1. Understand the requirements of the Passive House standard and how members of the design and construction teams contribute to achieving it
2. Hear why the project is special in this region, specifically due to the nature of its Passive House goals for large-scale construction and its contribution to affordable senior housing
3. Explore techniques used to achieve an air-tight envelope
4. Gain insights into material use, mechanical system components, and sustainability goals of this project


Thanks to our event co-hosts at Passive House Western Pennsylvania.





This event is approved for 1.5 GBCI CEUs and for 1.5 AIA LU hours.

Partnering with USGBC and AIA, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits.  Please provide your GBCI and/or AIA number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events).  Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.


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