Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto to celebrate Frick’s first-in-U.S. Living Building certification |

Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto to celebrate Frick’s first-in-U.S. Living Building certification

Tawnya Panizzi
Massery Photography
Frick Environmental Center, Pittsburgh

Frick Environmental Center on Friday will celebrate its distinction as the first Living Building in the U.S. that is municipally owned and free to the public.

There are 21 Living Buildings worldwide.

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the city of Pittsburgh will host a public ceremony at 3:30 p.m. May 4 where Mayor Bill Peduto and Councilman Corey O’Connor are scheduled to speak.

The event is at the environmental center, 2005 Beechwood Blvd.

“We are proud to have one of the greenest buildings in the world that also functions as a tremendous resource for our community,” conservancy president and CEO Jayne Miller said.

To be certified by the Living Building Challenge, a facility has to produce as much energy as it consumes each year. It also must eliminate toxic chemicals and collect and treat its own water.

The non-profit conservancy partnered with the city, architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, landscape architect LaQuatra Bonci Associates and construction manager P.J. Dick to make the center a net zero energy and water facility.

It took a year’s worth of work to be certified under the most rigorous performance standard of the International Living Future Institute, organizers said.

“What a great accomplishment for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the city,” Peduto said in a release. “Together, we are continuing our leadership in green building standards and environmental education for all.”

Other speakers scheduled at the event include Miller, Heinz Endowments Vice-President of Sustainability Andrew McElwaine and Frick Director of Education Camila Rivera-Tinsley.

The environmental center is a $19 million building at the edge of Frick Park. The 16,000 square-foot steel and wooden site opened in 2016 and in 2017 earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification.

The center is free and open daily to the public.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, [email protected] or @tawnyatrib.

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