It’s summer and that means the City is green with trees. Not only are plants in the midst of their growing season, but people are in the midst of launching green initiatives. Last week we attended a poster session during the Who’s Who in Green Infrastructure Implementation event hosted by the Green Building Alliance and organized by 3 Rivers Wet Weather. The event was packed with people interested in sharing their projects and learning more about green infrastructure.
We brought along information on several of our green roof, green school, and green park projects. At an elementary school in New Castle we were able to reduce the amount of stormwater piping and decrease the size of underground storage tanks through a combination of planted meadow areas, rain gardens, pervious overflow parking and fire lane, and a series of vegetated swales.
For Whitehall Road Regional Park in Centre County, we are pulling out all the green stops by including rain gardens, steep slopes with meadows, vegetated buffer strips, infiltration trenches, and cisterns. In addition, 44% of the total parking spaces are stabilized turf, which further reduces the amount of stormwater runoff.
Our last poster featured our designs for the David Lawrence Convention Center green roof, the Allegheny County Office Building green roof, and the rain gardens at Seven Springs.
This morning over 80 people packed a Pittsburgh Zoo conference room to kick-off this year’s Green Workplace Challenge (GWC), a program of Sustainable Pittsburgh. We took part last year in the challenge and are excited to enter again this year with the revamped program.
This year’s GWC promises to be bigger, better, and have an even larger environmental impact than last year. There are more points to acquire, more actions to take, and more resources available to help guide your business, non-profit, university, or municipality towards becoming more sustainable as well as saving money.
Last year we saved 19.9% on our energy usage without spending a lot of money. This year we want to reduce our energy usage even further by tightening up our building envelope. We will also start to phase out our older lighting with new highly efficient lighting. We highly recommend any organization in Southwestern Pennsylvania sign up for this friendly competition before the deadline on July 31st, 2013. Good luck to all participants. Together, we can make a huge impact!