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Environment & Energy

Pittsburgh Adds 22 Certified Green Buildings In 2012

Ariel Worthy
90.5 WESA

More green buildings, new and rehabilitated, continue to pop up in the Pittsburgh region.  Pittsburgh ranked fourth among 15 benchmark cities by adding 22 Certified Green Buildings this year for a total of 109.  Using five indicators (Total Green Buildings, Platinum-Rated Buildings, Gold-Rated Buildings, Silver-Rated Buildings, and Certified Buildings) Pittsburgh TODAY and the Green Building Alliance ranked cities based on standards set by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Doug Heuck, Program Director of Pittsburgh TODAY, said these structures promote integrated whole-building design practices that are environmentally friendly. “They want to recognize environmental leadership in the building industry, raise public awareness, stimulate ‘green’ competition, and transform the building market,” Heuck said.

Denver, Boston, and Charlotte rank first through third with Denver home to a total of 128 green buildings; Boston, 122; and Charlotte, 110.

In 2012, Pittsburgh added two Platinum-Rated (the highest ranking) buildings, eight Gold-Rated, six Silver-Rated, and six Certified Buildings.  Overall, the city now has five Platinum-Rated buildings, 38 Gold-Rated Buildings, 46 Silver-Rated Buildings, and 20 Certified buildings.

Heuck said a majority of the buildings added to the city’s total number are newly constructed. “If you’re starting from scratch, it’s relatively easier to incorporate--not that it’s easy, it takes commitment--but to incorporate LEED methodology than if you’re trying to install a new HVAC system in a 100-year-old building,” Heuck said.

A Green Buildings Trend chart showing how Pittsburgh compares to the benchmark average as well as other cities from 2000 to 2012 can be found on the Pittsburgh TODAY website.