Tag Archives | Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

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The Punch List – 7/20/18

We Pittsburghers love our parks. Preservation Pittsburgh, along with Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the City are teaming up to add three Pittsburgh parks to the National Register of Historic Places. Pittsburgh’s largest – Frick Park, Highland Park which houses the Zoo and a vital water reservoir, and 124-year-old Riverview Park are all candidates. The expected one year process […]

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Frick Environmental Center to Receive Leadership Award at GBA’s 2017 Emerald Evening

As the hillsides celebrate spring, Green Building Alliance is thrilled to honor the Frick Environmental Center with our new Leadership Award at the 2017 Emerald Evening gala. The Frick Environmental Center is the world’s first free-to-the-public building engineered to meet the Living Building Challenge, and achieve LEED Platinum standards for energy efficiency. This municipal treasure […]

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Frick Environmental Center Member Only Tour

Join GBA members to explore Pittsburgh’s newest Living Building Challenge project!


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Frick Park lovers and green building enthusiasts alike have long awaited the completion of Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s new Frick Environmental Center, an education hub and welcome facility designed and built to meet both LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge standards. In fact, the center is the first municipally owned, free and open to the public facility to strive for the Living Building Challenge, one of the most rigorous and inspiring building standards (to date, only 11 buildings in the world have achieved certification, including Pittsburgh’s own Center for Sustainable Landscapes at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens). The building uses many sustainable aspects as educational pieces, and will achieve net-zero energy and net-water.

GBA and its Emerging Professionals group are delighted to offer members and EPs a behind-the-scenes look at the Frick Environmental Center, including perspectives and details shared by project team members from PJ Dick and Bohlin Cywinksi Jackson, as well as the owner’s perspective from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Space is limited. If you would like to become a GBA member,  you can add an individual membership to your purchase of this event (see below). Join us!



8:15 – 8:30 – Arrival, coffee, & breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 – Tours with Q & A



*Explore our region’s newest completed building designed to both LEED-NC Platinum and Living Building Challenge standards.

*Gain insight to various perspectives from project team members (owner, architect, contractor) about the process for completing a new construction project designed to meet very high standards.

*Learn how the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy plans to use this LEED-NC Platinum, Living Building Challenge project as an education piece for the community.

*Understand how a wide variety of factors played into the concept and completion of this project, which links conservation and education with innovation and smart design.

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This event is approved for 1.5 LEED-specific (BD+C) GBCI CEUs and for 1.5 AIA HSW 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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The Frick Environmental Center: A Living Classroom Reimagined

In September 2016, the reimagined and rebuilt Frick Environmental Center opened its doors to welcome people of all ages to Frick Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The world’s first environmental education facility that’s free, open to the public, municipally owned, and pursuing the Living Building Challenge, the Center is an unprecedented collaborative venture focused on the […]

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Living Building Challenge: Project Updates

Created by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), the Living Building Challenge (LBC) is a holistic and incredibly rigorous building certification – so rigorous, in fact, that only 11 buildings in the world have achieved full LBC certification. One of those buildings is right here in Pittsburgh: the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps […]

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Solar array under construction

Frick Environmental Center: Pittsburgh’s Newest Living Building Nears Completion

Construction at the Frick Environmental Center is nearing completion, and GBA recently received an updated sneak peek tour of Pittsburgh’s newest Living Building. (It will be Pittsburgh’s second Living Building and one of only twelve in the world!) Its design is focused on 7 key performance areas, or “petals,” as per the Living Building Challenge certification program: site, water, energy, […]

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It’s Frickin’ Great! (Part II)

Join GBA for our second hard hat tour of the Frick Environmental Center Construction Site!

Frick Environmental Center


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Are you interested in learning more about Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Frick Environmental Center? Join us for an in-depth tour of the construction site and the process of pursuing Living Building Challenge certification with Marijke Hecht, Director of Education at Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.


When GBA toured the Frick Environmental Center in October 2014, we got to see the excavation stage and hear Marijke Hecht paint a compelling picture of what the center would look like in six months. We couldn’t wait to come back. This time around, you get the benefit of Marijke’s excellent instruction with the backdrop of a building that is halfway complete! Join GBA for a tour of a radically green building site that is (almost) in a class of its own. At its completion in 2016, the Frick Environmental Center will be one of six buildings worldwide to meet the Living Building Challenge and the first municipally-owned Living Building on the planet. The tour will outline the criteria for constructing and maintaining Living Buildings, explain the process of meeting Living Building Challenge guidelines from site preparation to project completion within a protected environment, and highlight radical, energy- and water-reducing features that will earn LEED Platinum certification. For more details about the building progress, click here.

Closed-toe shoes are required for the tour, and GBA will provide the hard hats and a snack before we begin.


Architects, engineers, designers, landscape architects, educators and professionals interested in learning about the Living Building Challenge process.


  1. Gain insight on the Living Building Challenge Design process
  2. Learn about the multi-phased project timeline including site preparation, building construction, landscaping and site detailing
  3. See the construction first hand to understand sustainability site measurements considered
  4. Understand rainwater capture and irrigation techniques incorporated into the site design

LEED AP BD+C AIA logo This event is pending approval for 1.5 GBCI AP BD&C CEUs and 1.5 AIA HSW credits.

As a USGBC Education Partner, GBA is now making it easy for members to report CE hours. Please provide your GBCI number when you register for an event so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events). Non-members can still earn CEU’s but will need to self-report.

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Soaking wet, but having a blast!

Emerging Professionals Volunteer at Frick Park

The Emerging Professionals Group at Green Building Alliance and the EcoStewards Project at Frick Park I live in Regent Square and have spent much time in Frick Park, either running, walking the dog, or playing tennis.  I have always enjoyed my time in Frick Park because it feels like I’ve have been transported out of […]

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