Green News Update Editor and Publisher Roberta Faul-Zeitler has been paying attention to – and writing about – green practices since 2004. Her keen interest in sustainability as “a path, not a destination” (as her newly designed e-newsletter masthead proclaims) put her on a path to Pittsburgh this May. Here she explored the inordinately large number of green and sustainability assets in a place once considered to be among the most environmentally compromised of destinations.
Pittsburgh, a new kind of “Emerald City,” has put green (with regard to R&D and investment dollars) into cleaning up – both the natural environment (including its signature three rivers and waterfronts) and its built environment. Pittsburgh is a globally recognized green building leader and an innovator and manufacturer of materials and other components that make existing and new construction energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Pittsburgh registered three of the first 12 LEED structures in the U.S. more than a decade ago, according to the Green Building Alliance. There are more than 83 LEED certified buildings in the city now, and approximately 75 percent of new buildings in Pittsburgh are pursuing LEED certification.
Some are going the extra green mile, including Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which this year opened its Living Building, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a net-zero water and energy facility that will be among the greenest structures on the planet.
Another green masterpiece in the works is Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus, located in about 25 miles from downtown Pittsburgh in northern Allegheny County. Ground was broken this fall for this ultra-green campus – the first academic community in the world built from the ground up for sustainable development, living and learning, Chatham officials say.
While in town this May to participate in a “green Pittsburgh” media study tour organized by the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) and VisitPittsburgh – a tour with the grand opening of Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes as a focal point – Faul-Zeitler visited Chatham (where environmentalist and Silent Spring author Rachel Carson was an alumna) to learn more about the next major green project on the horizon for the region.
She dedicated space to Chatham’s visionary plan in a feature – “Greenest Campus in the U.S.” – in her Dec. 5, 2012 Green News Update. Read it here, and keep your eyes on the newsletter, which will be following the project.
The Allegheny Conference’s weekly business affairs TV show, Our Region’s Business, recently featured Chatham officials talking about plans for Eden Hall. Watch the interview here or below.
Click here to check out other stories that resulted from the the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance/VisitPittsburgh “Green Pittsburgh” media study tour. That May 2012 initiative brought 16 journalists from around the country and the world to learn about the Pittsburgh region’s energy leadership.