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Monday, August 20, 2007

It is time for Pittsburgh's "Green Triangle"

It is time for the city of Pittsburgh to be a leader and innovator among green cities. The city was actually ranked #1 for total LEED certified buildings back in 2005, however, other cities with more aggressive green goals have either caught up or surpassed Pittsburgh in the green building rankings. So what can we do now to stand out? How about putting green roofs on every possible building in downtown Pittsburgh? How about we transform downtown's Golden Triangle into the Green Triangle?

Imagine seeing this view as a visitor flying into town for the first time:

Personally, I find the green rooftops much more visually appealing than the typical black and gray tar and concrete rooftops. But this is not about making Pittsburgh "pretty." This initiative is about making Pittsburgh the leader in green roofs and setting an example of how going green can save businesses and government buildings in downtown districts millions of dollars in heating and cooling costs and, in addition, providing the following benefits to the general public:

  • Reduction of surrounding air temperatures
  • Improved air quality/reduced C02 emissions
  • Storm water retention/reduction of pollution in runoff water
  • A greener and more productive work environment
These are just a few examples of some of the beneifts that are listed out on greenroofs.org and greenroofs.com.

Pittsburgh currently has a number of green buildings, several of which have been around for a while including two at Carnegie Mellon University. It is too bad that this Trib Review article from two years ago mentioned the cost savings potential of green roofs yet here we are today without much progress in this green area. Since our political leaders are reluctant to take (most, with the exception of BP) a chance on something this big, it is up to us green bloggers and green advocates here in the burgh to organize and take action. Please email me if you are willing to create a task force or if you are already part of a green group that would like to round up volunteers and obtain funding to take on the work of this massive and ground breaking green project.

Pittsburgh buildings with green roofs (from greenroofs.com)

Project Year Location Roof Size

Alcoa HeadquartersCurrentPittsburgh, PA, USA13920 ft²1293 m²
Carnegie Mellon University, Hamerschlag Hall2005Pittsburgh, PA, USA4200 ft²390 m²
Children's Museum Pittsburgh2005Pittsburgh, PA, USA64 ft²6 m²
Carnegie Mellon University, Mellon Institute2005Pittsburgh, PA, USA1300 ft²121 m²
Heinz 57 Center/Gimbels Building Restoration2001Pittsburgh, PA, USA12000 ft²1115 m²
Total Queried Roof Size: 31,484 ft² (2,925 m²)

1 comment:

Dennis said...

There is another building that i would like to mention within the Braddock community that also has a green roof.