CMU: Comprehensive Mission Undertaken

Carnegie Mellon University (the true words behind the CMU acronym) has taken a comprehensive approach to greening their campus with results that are both impressive and noteworthy.  In 1998, Carnegie Mellon’s Green Practices Committee was conceived as an effort to determine how the school could operate more efficiently in terms of both resource and energy […]

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Green Spotlight on Sustainability Indicators

Cornerstone speaks with Court Gould Q:  What new tool has been developed to measure sustainability in the Pittsburgh area? A:  Sustainable Pittsburgh (SP) recently completed the first on-line Sustainability Indicators report for our region.  The Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Indicators Report was created through a public process to develop long-term goals and corresponding indicators of success.  It provides feedback […]

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Don’t Turn Up Your Nose at Waterless Technology

Every year more than 20 billion gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater escape from overflowing sewer and malfunctioning septic systems into waterways and groundwater in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties. One method to control sewage problems is to reduce the amount of wastewater that needs to be […]

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Regionalizing the Sewage Collection System

The deteriorated state of our region’s sewage infrastructure is creating unsafe and unhealthy conditions in local streams and rivers.  Within the ALCOSAN service area, the sewage collection system is an integrated network of systems that have evolved over the past 100 years.  Today’s elected officials are tackling the issue of how to efficiently and cost-effectively […]

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Highlighting the “Conserve” in Conservancy

Establishing a corporate headquarters while simultaneously minimizing the project’s overall environmental impact can pose a challenge.  In the case of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) headquarters, the desire to leave a light environmental footprint was aided by the decision to purchase an existing building.  The Burke Building, constructed in 1836, stands as one of downtown […]

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Green Spotlight on Modeling

Cornerstone speaks with Adrian Tuluca, R.A. What is modeling and when is it necessary? In the sustainability area, modeling is most often used to predict the energy cost of a building and, more importantly, to estimate the energy savings due to energy-efficient strategies.  As input into the energy analyses, we routinely perform modeling of conductive heat […]

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Rolling the Dice on Spec Offices: The Soffer Organization Comes Up a Winner

The numbers six and eight may be even, but in the context of the Penn Center West office park, they stand out as odd buildings.  These two structures in Pittsburgh’s western suburbs are shining examples of how speculative office space can utilize green design and technologies.  Owned by the Soffer Organization, these nearly identical buildings […]

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Growing Greener and Key ’93

By Andrew McElwaine Pennsylvania Governor Mark Schweiker’s proposed 2002-03 budget would make major changes to the state’s fundamental environmental laws and programs.  In particular, it would cut nearly in half the award-winning Growing Greener program and the Keystone Recreation, Park, and Conservation Fund.   In February, the Governor announced he was indefinitely deferring $50 million of […]

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Speaking Out on Light Rail Transit

We’ve got trouble right here in River City.  Decades of poor transportation stewardship have left Pittsburgh with a fragmented and segregated transit system and, despite a declining population, traffic congestion has increased due to suburban sprawl and urban flight. While cities like San Francisco are revitalizing their urban neighborhoods by replacing highways with clean and […]

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