What We Learned on Our Tour of the Roundhouse

The Roundhouse at Hazelwood Green is an incredibly unique project that combines sustainability, adaptive reuse, and support of local artisans. Green Building Alliance and Monmade enjoyed a tour of the space recently, and Monmade’s sustainability consultant, Shayna Bodi, shares her highlights from the tour below. Here is what we learned about the building that will provide an epic backdrop to GBA’s Emerald Evening this year.

Despite scorching temperatures and little shade, the Green Building Alliance thrilled attendees with an inspiring, informative, and educational tour of the newly renovated Roundhouse Project at Hazelwood Green. An all-star expert panel of professionals was assembled to talk about the deep history of the site, the existing conditions of the dilapidated old industrial structure, and the environmental opportunities captured in the LEED v4 certification process. A variety of cool products were designed and produced to create special moments throughout the space that support local makers and provide a deeper connection to the site, the history, the city, and the community.  

Roundhouse Tour Guides

Tour Guides at the Roundhouse Tour

Here is a highlight of some of the most exciting pieces of information that were presented at this high-level tour. But first, a SPECIAL THANKS to all of the knowledgeable speakers that made this tour absolutely memorable for everyone: 

  • Anne Chen | AIA, LEED AP | Principal | GBBN Architects 
  • Nick Rubenstein | LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP | Senior Project Manager | evolveEA 
  • Katie Schaible | Director | Monmade 
  • Rob Oliver | Artisan | Roost Design Build  
  • Jeremy Snyder | PE, LEED AP | Partner | Buro Happold 
  • Andrew Ellsworth | Founder & CEO | Doors Unhinged 
  • Nehal Bhojak | General Manager Pittsburgh Innovation Center | One Valley 
  • Leslie Montgomery | Vice President of Education | Green Building Alliance
An image of the Roundhouse

A view of the Roundhouse

SITE: The 178-acre Hazelwood Green site brownfield redevelopment project is an amazing example of what is possible in regenerative and sustainable design in a post-industrial city. It was made possible through a collaboration from three of the largest foundations in Pittsburgh as well as community involvement, feedback, and support. The existing buildings (including both Mill 19 and the Roundhouse) were left to rust when the steel industry collapsed, but its bones – an underlying steel superstructure – remained strong. The entire development is going for LEED for Neighborhood Development Platinum certification and the Roundhouse building is a component of that development, which requires LEED Gold certification. The entire Hazelwood Development project is still under construction with future plans for expansion (and goal of being an all-electric site) and further revitalization.   

BUILDING: The Roundhouse building was originally built by the Monongahela Connecting Railroad circa 1887 and formerly owned by Jones & Laughlin Steel and later LTV Steel Company.  The 10-bay Roundhouse and turntable were used to stabilize train engines for servicing and to redirect the materials they carried through the processes of production and on to final distribution. The building is not yet certified, but a few LEED statistics include:   

  • 75% of construction waste was recycled and diverted from the landfill. 
  • 30% energy reduction and 35% carbon emission reduction when compared to similar buildings. 
  • 30% savings in potable water usage through best practices and efficient fixtures. 
  • Timber Deck Roof, steel structural beams, and huge industrial crane were all kept from the original structure. 
  • 50 interior doors, supplied by Doors Unhinged, are reclaimed red oak doors from a project near Pittsburgh Airport diverting approximately 3 tons of material from landfill. 
  • Installed products help the circular economy and are produced using healthy, non-toxic materials. 

DESIGN: The building was vacant for two decades prior to this renovation. The architectural firm selected to design the space was GBBN Architects with a true commitment to keeping as much of the original structure as possible. The design, construction, and sustainability teams were faced with an abundance of obstacles dealing with such an old structure, but with mechanical engineering partner Buro Happold, and general contractor PJ Dick, they were successful in solving these challenges. Monmade, a non-profit organization supporting the local creative eco-system and hired as consultants to integrate local products, made a big impact exploring the unique design elements collaboratively curated by the Monmade team, the design team, and local artisans. Responsibly made local products include: 

  • Entry area – Metal Reception Desk by Temper & Grit 
  • Kitchen/Dining  area and Bathroom  
    • FSC certified walnut bar table by Bones and All for the kitchen/dining area 
    • Hand blown Smoke Pendant lights by Penn/Fairmount (Pittsburgh Glass Center) in the kitchen 
    • Backsplash tile by Modesto Studio  
    • Bathroom wall tile by Limelight Tile & Ceramics 
  • Open Office area 
    • Mesh screen divider doors and interior bike racks by Technique AP 
    • FSC certified wood wayfinding signage by Rob Oliver of Roost Design Build (who made a special guest appearance at the tour) 
    • Ceramic Balance Pendant light fixtures by Stak Ceramics 
    • Pittsburgh famous scenes inspired wallpaper by Modesto Studios in two colorways   
  • Stairwell 
    • Hand blown Wallace Pendant light by SPACAPAN 
  • Conference Rooms 
    • Custom city murals by Modesto Studios 
  • Exterior Courtyard 
    • Railroad inspired benches, exterior signage, and trash receptacles by Technique AP 
    • Transition Bike Racks by Transit Forge 
    • Benches by Temper and Grit 

One Valley is the tenant that jumped at the chance to occupy this fabulously regenerated building and join other technology focused organizations at Hazelwood Green. One Valley’s mission is to help Pittsburgh startups connect to capital, talent networks and customers on a global scale — and give them a physical, supportive place to grow and thrive. Their gratitude to every detail of this project was demonstrated in their opening remarks of the tour. Though they have only been in the completed space for a month, they are excited to build their presence in the city of Pittsburgh, contribute to the environmental initiatives of this site and project, and share this building with the community for education and events for local organizations.  

Other highlights of the project shared by evolveEA include:

  • Native and adaptive vegetation on the property requires no irrigation
  • The Hazelwood Green Development where the project is located is compliant with P4 and has achieved LEED for Neighborhood Development Platinum level certification
Rob Oliver

Monmade Producer Rob Oliver Shares Insights

The project is targeting LEED v4 Gold certification and the project team included:

  • Architect: GBBN
  • Owners Representative: Grandview
  • General Contractor: PJ Dick
  • Landscape Architect: LaQuatra Bonci Associates
  • Civil Engineer: KU Resources
  • MEP Engineer: Buro Happold
  • Commissioning: BranchPattern
  • LEED and Sustainability: evolveEA

Monmade and GBA will host another tour focused on artisans and sustainability at the Pittsburgh Glass Center on September 30. Learn more and register here.

Don’t Miss Emerald Evening at the Roundhouse on September 9

Please join us at Emerald Evening on September 9: the outdoor event on the Roundhouse site will include food and drinks, music, great networking, and our annual awards ceremony. Get your tickets here.


Thanks to Shayna Bodi for this great summary of our tour!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply