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August 22, 2016
Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh is the world's first municipally owned project aimed at meeting the Living Building Challenge.
Designed to meet Living Building and LEED platinum standards, the center will teach public school students about the environment, and act as a gateway to the 644-acre Frick Park.
The building has classrooms and offices, as well as a public “living room” and gallery space. Features include the Slavery to Freedom Garden and a rain veil art installation.
To meet Living Building Challenge and LEED platinum standards, the building will use 35 percent less energy than similar structures. It will reach net-zero energy and water use with ground-source heat pumps, radiant floors, a photovoltaic array, and a reclaimed water system for irrigation, the fountain and other non-potable purposes.
To minimize its carbon footprint, all materials have come from within 1,200 miles of the site, and subcontractors were hired in the Allegheny County-Western Pennsylvania region.
Living Building Challenge certification is targeted for spring 2018.
Owners: City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
General contractor, construction manager: PJ Dick
Landscape architect: La Quatra Bonci Associates
Structural engineer: Barber & Hoffman
Civil engineer: H.F. Lenz Company
MEP+FP engineer: RAM-TECH Engineers
Sustainability consultant: Atelier Ten
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