Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Downtown Owners Vow to Go Green

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Downtown Owners Vow to Go Green

Article excerpt

One by one, they stepped to the microphone Tuesday to pledge some of Downtown's most celebrated properties -- from One Oxford Centre to PNC Park -- to going greener.

During the course of 45 minutes, owners of 61 properties representing 23.3 million square feet of space Downtown and on the North Shore publicly committed to cutting energy, water and transportation consumption by 50 percent over the next 18 years as part of a national campaign.

Among those making the pledges were Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, both of whom committed various city and county buildings to the cause, including the historic county courthouse, and Gary Saulson, director of corporate real estate for PNC Financial Services Group, which is building what it says will be the world's greenest skyscraper on Wood Street.

Other properties that are part of the pledge include BNY Mellon Center, Fifth Avenue Place, the One, Two and Three PNC Plaza buildings, Benedum Center, Consol Energy Center, Alcoa Corporate Center, the O'Reilly Theater, K&L Gates Center, and the county jail.

In all, about 38 percent of the properties in the Downtown business district have committed to the national challenge launched by Architecture 2030, a non-profit organization seeking to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the global building sector.

Michael J. Schiller, executive director of the Green Building Alliance, which is spearheading the local effort, said he's "thrilled" to have 38 percent of the properties committed to the cause and expects to get more in the weeks and months ahead. He said it took Seattle two years to get about the same amount in pledges that Pittsburgh got in two to three months.

"It exceeded my expectations," he said. "I think it really speaks to how progressive and how aware the property owners and the community partners are in Pittsburgh."

The first part of the going greener effort will involve establishing baselines for consumption in office buildings, parking garages, and other properties. Owners then will start to look for ways to reduce usage to the target level over the course of almost two decades. …

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