The Punch List – 6/15/18

GBA’s Punch List is a weekly collection of the latest green building and sustainability news.

The question of how to best deliver Pittsburgh’s water still looms. In February, Peoples Natural Gas pitched a partnership to Pittsburgh Water Sewer Authority involving new water lines and a new treatment facility — and some details have emerged, with People’s proposing a new water treatment plant many believe would create a public-private partnership that could evolve into full-blown privatization. Many local stakeholders argue that privatization won’t serve the public well. Peoples says the plan could solve city water challenges and PWSA’s debt. If PWSA and the City move forward in consideration, action will take a while (think new legislation, RFPs, etc.). 

Pittsburgh talent is everywhere. GBA was thrilled to host engineer Pete Jefferson (Forte Building Science) and architect Brandon Nicholson (NK Architects) this past week as they presented their most recent, awe-inspiring, nationally recognized projects: a Living Building emerging at Pike’s Peak, Colorado, and a huge Passive House community being designed in Montgomery County, Maryland, respectively. The consensus of the presentations: we should all take some field trips.

Are ADUs the new tiny homes? City planners are looking to build ADUs (accessory dwelling units, aka in-law suites) in Garfield on the properties of existing homes to help minimize the estimated 20,000 affordable home shortage in Pittsburgh. This benefits both homeowners and renters. New legislation for construction and plans for incentives are still in discussion.

An inspirational figure is shifting gears after 50 years. Bill Strickland will step down as President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell, but will stay with the company as the executive chairman. Due to its success, the Bidwell training model equips students for careers in a wide variety of fields has been implemented in 10 other U.S. cities and Akko, Israel. Current Executive VP and COO Kevin Jenkins will assume his spot. 

The Carnegie Science Center is about to have an exciting weekend. The PPG Science Pavilion, the Center’s 48,000 square foot expansion will open to the public tomorrow. Some additions that make one of Pittsburgh’s favorite places even better: LEED Gold certification, a garden fed with recycled rainwater, and a two-story gallery that will likely attract global exhibitions. Our Emerald Evening gala in September will be a great time to check out the scenic top level PointView Hall.

Hazelwood Green may be your new hangout in a few years. The 178-acre site selected Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN) to design a public plaza, the first of many public spaces to occupy the property. The plaza – featuring green space, art, and lots of seating – will be adjacent to the Mill 19 building. On GGN’s resume? The National Museum of African American History and Culture and part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

Mark your calendars – you won’t have to travel far for this. Pittsburgh will host the annual North American Passive House Conference this October. And passive building may be key to achieving the 2030 goals set forth in the Climate Action Plan 3.0.


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