Is Green Affordable Housing an Oxymoron?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the goal of sustainable community development is “to advance the creation of livable and vibrant communities through comprehensive approaches that coordinate economic, physical, environmental, community and human development.” In affordable housing developments, the implementation of sustainable design principles can have multiple beneficial effects on communities, their economy and […]

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New Birmingham: Back to the Future

It was 1992 and the South Side community had a desire to expand its residential core toward the adjacent Monongahela River.  While “new urbanism” was making its entrance across the nation with developments like Seaside in Florida, communities such as the South Side were being reborn in what the South Side Local Development Company’s (SSLDC) […]

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Fashion Tips for Your Lawn

By Darrell Frey, Owner, Three Sisters Permaculture Design An ecological landscaping plan considers the impact of the landscape on the surrounding community.  By reducing lawn space we save energy and reduce both noise and air pollution.  Diversifying the landscape with native shade trees, shrubs, meadows, and ground covers builds the health of the local environment […]

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Green Spotlight on Livable Communities

Cornerstone speaks with Judy Corbett Q:  How would you define a “livable” community? A:  In general, a livable community is one where residents are not dependent on a car to satisfy their daily needs.  This is accomplished through a compact, mixed-use urban design connected by pedestrian and bike paths, and with good access to transit. It […]

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LEED: What a Difference a Year Makes

By Peter Templeton, LEED Program Manager, U.S. Green Building Council If you’ve ever been asked, “What is a green building?” you know that it’s a difficult question to answer.  If you’ve ever tried constructing a green building, you know the answer is very important.  Last March, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) responded to that […]

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Dirty Secrets for Creating an Effective Compost Pile

By Christine Walters, Pennsylvania Resources Council  Composting is nature’s way of recycling.  In a natural ecosystem, decomposition of organic materials ensures a continuous addition of nutrient-rich organic matter to soil, maintaining and even increasing the soil’s productivity.  However, in ecosystems where humans are gathering food, grass clippings, tree trimmings, and leaves, soils can be depleted […]

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Green Spotlight on Construction & Demolition Waste

Cornerstone speaks with Chris Klehm Q:  Is it appropriate to refer to what can be done with construction and demolition (C&D) waste as recycling? A:  Not really.  Some of the waste can be recycled, but I prefer to think of the process as “construction and demolition waste management,” implying that the materials need to be managed.  […]

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Local Green Building is Country’s Largest

By Jerry DeRosa, PNC Financial Services Group, Environmental Services Group PNC Financial Services Group has been experiencing excellent growth.  This fact, coupled with the recent sale of our PNC Fort Duquesne building (necessary due to the expansion of Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center), made it essential for PNC to either purchase or build a […]

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Eberly Family Learning Center

The owner of the Eberly Family Learning Center (EFLC) did not need to be convinced to make this new facility a green building.  “It was the responsible thing to do,” explains Lynn Caffrey, outdoor program director of the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Pennsylvania.  “We were building this for the girls, to teach them about the […]

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Calming Stormwater Hazards

“Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies that do not meet water quality standards.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency There’s nothing quite like the majesty of a powerful summer thunderstorm—the flashes of light, the loud claps, the driving rain—all of which usually herald a […]

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