GBA’s Punch List is a weekly collection of the latest green building and sustainability news. The question of how to best deliver Pittsburgh’s water still looms. In February, Peoples Natural Gas pitched a partnership to Pittsburgh Water Sewer Authority involving new water lines and a new treatment facility — and some details have emerged, with People’s proposing a […]
Tag Archives | Passive House
The designs are in. But how do you actually build a Passive House building? It’s a need we hear from many architects and engineers in Pittsburgh. Such is the success of the local Passive House push that there simply aren’t enough builders with knowledge of Passive House to complete the construction. So we’re hosting Pittsburgh’s first […]
Cornell’s newest Residence building The House is the largest Passive House building in the world at 26 stories and 272,500 square feet. As a large residence hall, there were unique challenges encountered, such as ensuring the most efficient appliances were used in every installation and minimizing penetrations through the exterior building wall (i.e. dryer vents). […]
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!Register Now
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.
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
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.
We did it (insert exuberant emoji here)! In collaboration with our amazing set of partners, GBA has successfully delivered the first locally taught Passive House training in Western Pennsylvania–40 hours and five jam-packed days taught by Western Pennsylvanians themselves. Before we do a little horn tooting, a huge thank you goes out to the organizations […]
In the past year or so you may have noticed that GBA has been quite supportive of the Passive House standard. Why? Well, designing and building buildings that use 1/10 the energy of traditional buildings is likely one of the best ways to reduce human’s contribution to climate change. And as we are all about […]
Recently, the 21st International Passive House Conference 2017 was held in Vienna, Austria. In addition to the presentation of papers at the Passive House Conference, there were more than 70 exhibitors displaying products that help make the most energy efficient buildings in the world possible. Buildings built to the Passive House standard are very low […]
State agencies have not always been a friend to green buildings. There are outdated building codes, unpredictable defunding schemes, and of course garden variety bureaucratic inertia. But out of the ashes has risen a dark horse, an unlikely but stalwart advocate for healthy and high performing buildings: the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Authority (PHFA). What exactly […]
Pittsburgh has spent the last forty years greening its economy, initially focused on merely a shift from heavy industry to the less resource intensive health and technology sectors. This change was motivated by economic necessity, but also included public health concerns (if one more person references ‘hell with the lid off’ this author might revolt!). […]
At this point, almost everyone in the building world is familiar (if not intimate) with LEED, with emerging awareness of the Living Building Challenge, WELL Building Standard, and Passiv House. BUT, in Pittsburgh, there is a new framework in town, developed right here. You’ve heard “p4” tossed about as the next frontier of sustainable, urban […]