Essential Pittsburgh
4:03 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Pittsburgh 2030 District Challenge

A year in, Pittsburgh 2030 District Challenge is gaining momentum.
A year in, Pittsburgh 2030 District Challenge is gaining momentum.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA News

It’s been a year since the beginning of Pittsburgh’s 2030 District Challenge. The private-public initiative aims to cut energy, water and transportation consumption of downtown buildings in half by the year 2030.

According to Sean Luther, Director of the Green Building Alliance, a number of the big name buildings have signed on to the program’s pledge. Some of the most notable buildings include the US Steel Building and one of the oldest buildings downtown, the Allegheny Courthouse. In total, the buildings involved in the challenge account for more than 50% of downtown’s square footage.

Intriguingly, older buildings such as the Allegheny court house “were built much more efficiently” than some of the mid century buildings being retrofit as a part of the challenge, Luther explains. This can be attributed to the use of passive design elements meant to encourage natural airflow and keep buildings cool. Many of these design strategies are being adopted in more modern structures.

“We’re seeing the building sector kind of return to its roots,” Luther observes. Pittsburgh will play host to the 2030 district summit on August 12th, and the keynote address is open to the public.