Frick Environmental Center In Pittsburgh Achieves Living Building Challenge Certification

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Wednesday announced the Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh has achieved the prestigious Living Building Challenge Certification, one of only 21 buildings worldwide and the first municipal building open to the public.

The certification was achieved after more than a year of extensive sustainability work by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the City of Pittsburgh.

To qualify, the Environmental Center must produce as much energy as it consumes annually, eliminate toxic and harmful chemicals, and collect and treat its own water.

The nonprofit Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy partnered with the City of Pittsburgh, architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, landscape architect LaQuatra Bonci Associates, and construction manager P.J. Dick Incorporated to make this “net zero” energy and water facility a reality.

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

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy President and CEO Jayne Miller says, “We are proud to have one of the greenest buildings in the world that also functions as a tremendous resource for our community. It is truly a regional treasure.”

The 16,000 square-foot Frick Environmental Center which is located on the edge of the 644-acre Frick Park, was completed in 2016. 

It was named a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building in November 2017, and teams have since worked to complete the intense Living Building Challenge.

The Environmental Center is the second Living Building Challenge Certified building in the city and state, sharing that honor with the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes.

However, the Frick Environmental Center is the first building in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania to meet the designation under v2.1 of the Living Building Challenge.

“No building in western Pennsylvania has ever been built according to such rigorous performance standards,” said PJ Dick Project Manager Noah Shaltes. “By the project’s end, we had impressed the importance of sustainable building on more than 100 members of the building and construction industry. The team’s commitment to vetting materials was key to successful certification.”

This week Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Sustainability Coordinator Maureen Olinzock will travel to Portland, Ore., to receive the official Living Building certification at the Living Future Unconference.

This is yet another accolade for the Frick Environmental Center, which has garnered almost a dozen awards.

The Frick Environmental Center was made possible by more than 1,000 individuals involved in the public visioning and planning process since 2011 and the more than 600 donors and funders whose generosity helped this project come to fruition. 

The Environmental Center represents a continued partnership between the nonprofit Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the City of Pittsburgh to provide a free facility that allows learners of all ages to partake in environmental education in a cutting-edge space.

The Environmental Center serves as the gateway to Frick Park and as a space for environmental classes, events and programs.

Click Here to watch a short video about the Center.

Please contact Jenn Dailey, Director of Marketing Communications by sending email to: or calling 412-682-7275 x234 (work) or 281-658-4008 (cell) for more information.

For more information on the building and programs offered, visit the Frick Environmental Center webpage.

Visit the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy website for more information on programs, initiatives and other upcoming events.

Visit the Sustainable Pittsburgh website for more information on green projects and initiatives.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates. Like them on Facebook, Follow them on TwitterClick Here to support their work.

To learn more about green innovation in the Pittsburgh Region, visit the Pittsburgh Green Story website.


Pittsburgh Mayor To Celebrate Frick Environmental Center Living Building Certification

Related Story:

Phipps Center For Sustainable Landscapes Earns Net Zero Energy Certification

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[Posted: May 2, 2018]


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