Green Spotlight on Environmentally Preferable Purchasing

Cornerstone speaks with Jenny Carney and Keith Winn Q: What is Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) and what scope of products and services does it cover? A:  EPP highlights products or services that have a reduced effect on environmental and human health in comparison with competing products/services that serve the same purpose.  For example, a product might […]

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Case Study: The CCI Center

“The CCI Center is a manifestation of one of Pittsburgh’s premier environmental non-profits,” asserts Bob Kobet of Sustain Aissance International, “and exemplifies Conservation Consultants, Inc.’s pro-active leadership.”  As an architect who worked on the initial greening of the Center, Kobet knows that CCI conceived a sustainable building from the outset and envisioned it housing multiple […]

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Ongoing Green Upgrades, Operations & Maintenance

The green building movement has steadily gained steam in recent years, with sustainability principles edging in from the margins to become increasingly mainstream components of new construction projects.  As the integration of green practices into buildings has gained in popularity, it has also expanded in scope, with attention increasingly being focused on upgrades and operations […]

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Bringing a Green Future to the Past for the Heinz History Center

Entering the five-story expansion area of the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center, visitors are welcomed by a multitude of artifacts that bring more than 250 years of Western Pennsylvania’s ethnic and corporate heritage to life.  With the opening of this new addition in November of 2004, the History Center confirmed its commitment to […]

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Consequences—and Potential Solutions—of Urban Heat Islands

Urban areas tend to have higher air temperatures than their rural surroundings as a result of gradual surface modifications that include the replacement of natural vegetation with buildings and roads.  The term “Urban Heat Island” describes this phenomenon.  Building surfaces and pavements absorb solar radiation and become extremely hot, and then, in turn, warm the […]

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Green Spotlight on Green Meetings

Cornerstone speaks with Amy Spatrisano, CMP In what ways can meetings and conferences be harmful to the environment? Both can have a tremendous impact on the environment.  For instance, during a typical five-day conference, 2,500 attendees will use 62,500 plates; 87,500 napkins; 75,000 cups/glasses; and 90,000 cans/bottles.  Every aspect of a meeting affects the environment, from […]

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Green Spotlight on Environmental Health Risks

Cornerstone speaks to Devra Davis, PhD, MHP; Marcia Barr, BSCE; and Karen Singleton, M.D. According to the National Cancer Institute, at least two-thirds of all cancer cases are linked to environmental causes.  Please explain what these are. A broad definition of “environment” includes not just the biological and physical components that we focus on in our […]

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Setting the Right Ambiance at the Regional Learning Alliance

By Erica Jackson, Renaissance 3 Architects The Regional Learning Alliance (RLA) at Cranberry Woods Conference and Learning Center is a 75,000-square-foot green building nestled amidst 20 acres of natural woodland and wetlands in Marshall Township, Pennsylvania.  The brainchild of Slippery Rock University (SRU), the RLA is an educational/training facility created to serve state and private […]

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Transit-Oriented Development

Pittsburgh has an established transit system that is one of the nation’s busiest and most effective, serving 21% of Pittsburgh city commuters.  Because, however, it serves a somewhat stagnant urban area, there are worrisome trends for regional transit ridership and revenues.  Port Authority Transit’s recent funding crisis, temporarily averted by Governor Ed Rendell’s bailout, is […]

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Helping to Prevent Flooding: A Rational Method for Brownfield Development

The southwest region of Pennsylvania has been developing old industrial properties for decades, long before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (with great influence from the former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources) coined the word “brownfields” in the mid-1990s.  At the time, the emphasis was on soil remediation and groundwater protection, as well as the efforts […]

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