Tag Archives | water

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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Bridge to 2030: Water

The Bridge to 2030 educational series invites Pittsburgh to delve into topics integral to 2030 District progress, including energy, water, transportation, indoor air quality, and financing.

Register Now


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



James Stitt, PWSA
How does water get from our rivers to our buildings and why does water efficiency matter? Learn why wasted water is tied to wasted energy and what you can do to help. Also, Save the Date for a tour of PWSA’s water treatment facility on June 7.

Heather Schrock, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
Using renewable energy certificates (RECs) to reach your 2030 Challenge energy goals? Consider Water Restoration Certificates (WRCs) for your water goals.

John Norbut, Highmark
Highmark has seen tremendous reductions in water use on their way to achieving the 2030 Challenge Goals. Learn how they’ve achieved these savings using their faucets and fixtures. You’ll also hear about their water filtration and testing programs.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand why wasted water equals wasted energy.
  2. Gain insight into how water gets to your building.
  3. Discover how WRCs can help you meet your 2030 Challenge or LEED goals.
  4. Learn strategies for increased water efficiency in your building.


This event is pending approval for 2.0 GBCI CEUs and 2.0 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.


Bridge to 2030: Water is sponsored by:



Interested in sponsoring the Bridge to 2030 Series? Contact Ryan Walsh or call 412-773-6017 to learn about opportunities.

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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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Campers enjoy some water play time at a Frick Environmental Center summer camp. Photo: Green Building Alliance

Pennsylvania’s Schools Have A Lead Problem, But There’s a Solution

Whether you have kids there, work there, or were recently there yourself: daycares and schools are where we spend a substantial amount of our lives — 1,000 hours for the average child per year to be exact. These places should be safe to spend time in — and free from the risk of lead contaminating the drinking water. In partnership with Women […]

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p4 Measures Compared to Green Building & Sustainable Development Certifications

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 […]

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Green Infrastructure Webinar Series

Join the Penn State Extension for the Green Infrastructure Webinar Series as they explore how green infrastructure can put our communities and landscapes on the road to sustainability. The first in this series will concentrate on introducing green infrastructure and explore maintenance of such systems. Beginning in late summer, the webinars will discuss non-structural topics such as […]

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PWSA Approves Green Infrastructure Grant Program

Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) board approved a resolution to establish a Green Infrastructure Grant Program, which will incentivize private property owners and community organizations to implement projects that manage stormwater with green infrastructure (GI). The Green Infrastructure Grant Program aligns with PWSA’s Wet Weather Feasibility Study to fund projects […]

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Top Quotes, Images, and Tweets from November’s Inspire Speakers Series with Dr. Wallace J. Nichols and Lisa Schroeder

What an amazing evening!  As the Inspire Speakers Series grows, so does our Twitter community.  With over 100 tweets, including images and quotes, we got a great snapshot of how each of us was inspired by the November edition of our series.  If you weren’t able to attend the event with national speaker Dr. Wallace J. […]

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Inspire Speakers Series Presents: Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Lisa Schroeder, and Dr. Molly Mehling

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Online registration closes at 2:00 p.m. on November 13. General admission is available when doors open at 5:00 p.m.


J NicholsDr. Wallace “J” Nichols came to fame when he tagged a sea turtle (affectionately called Adelita by his research team) with a GPS transponder and published her coordinates online as she made the long journey across the Pacific Ocean to Japan.  Compared to Adelita’s journey, Nichols’ professional career has been anything but direct, but one constant for Nichols is his love of the outdoors; specifically, his love of water.  Nichols became enthralled by nature at an early age, and he earned his PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona’s School of Renewable Natural Resources.  Yet Nichols’ recent work has made him a pioneer in the green world, combining environmental activism with neuroscience in a field he calls “neuroconservation,” which explores the effect of nature on the human mind.  Central to neuroconservation is Nichols’ belief that environmental activism would be most effective if people could draw connections between two great forces: the ocean and the human mind.

Nichols is a gripping speaker (see his TEDtalk here) and a New York Times best-selling author.

Schroeder bio photo

Photo credit: Ray Miles

Lisa Millspaugh Schroeder is President and Chief Executive Officer of Riverlife: a non-profit organization with the mission to reclaim, restore, and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts.  Schroeder has been a featured speaker at international conferences in Lisbon, Naples, and Toronto, advocating for the power of sustainable waterfront development to transform cities.  She was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 2012 and was recognized as an Outstanding Woman in Business by the Pittsburgh Business Times (2011).  Growing up in Baltimore, Lisa developed a deep love for cities and has worked throughout her career to improve the quality of life through urban planning, preservation and environmental conservation, holding positions at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York City Landmarks Commission, the Real Estate Services Group, and Maine Preservation.


Our emcee for the evening will be Dr. Molly Mehling from Chatham University.  She will provide an overview of water in our region, introduce the speakers, and facilitate Q&A.

Mehling - Bio PhotoDr. Molly Mehling grew up on Ohio River just downstream from Pittsburgh. As child of the Appalachian hills, she witnessed the natural beauty of the region and its struggle to transform beyond an industrial identity. Mehling is now an aquatic and landscape research ecologist working to develop and implement well-designed, community-engaged projects that improve the ecosystem of our city for all of its inhabitants. She merges scientific research with visual arts to improve our intertwined land and water systems. Mehling is a professor in the Falk School of Sustainability at Chatham University. She serves on many community organizations and offers workshops for using the visual arts in science and sustainability.

More about Dr. Wallace J Nichols:

  • Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences, where he collaborates with and advises graduate and undergraduate students in environmental studies and marine biology programs around the country.
  • Crowdsources his work as an independent scientist through the LiVBLUE Angels initiative.
  • Started the Blue Marbles Project, which encourages people to give an environmental activist or nature lover a blue marble as a token of thanks for “loving our little blue planet”.
  • Co-founded Billion Baby Turtles, which supports sea turtle conservation efforts in Latin America by paying local workers to patrol beaches and protect endangered turtle nests.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recipient, University of Arizona’s 2014 Global Achievement Award
  • Recipient, honorary doctorate in science, DePauw University (watch his 2010 commencement address here)
  • Marshall Fellowship and Fulbright Fellowship from the University of Arizona’s School of Renewable Natural Resources


GBCI CMP AIA logo This event is approved for 2.0 GBCI CEUs and 2.0 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.


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

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Thanks also to our Inspire Speakers Series Media Partners:

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Is this event out of your price range? We want this incredibly inspiring evening with Dr. Nichols 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.

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