Green-Building Expert Says the Merits of Energy Efficiency Catching On
Ramirez, Chris, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The man who literally wrote the book on energy-efficient buildings will speak Monday at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which is in the final stages of its own ambitious sustainability project.
Jason McLennan says while the Pacific Northwest is king in the sustainability movement, it has become an easier sell recently in some older East Coast cities. And that includes Pittsburgh.
"The (sustainability) movement in Pittsburgh is one that's growing," says McLennan, CEO of the International Living Future Institute, a Portland, Ore.-based nonprofit that is pushing for a global transformation to sustainability. "The Phipps development ... is going to be a great example of that kind of forward thinking."
McLennan is scheduled to speak twice on Monday -- once at 11:30 a.m., and again in the early evening. His visit is presented by Phipps and the nonprofit Green Building Alliance.
McLennan has written several books on sustainability, but his 2004 offering, "The Philosophy of Sustainable Design," is used as a textbook in more than 40 universities and colleges.
Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and other Pacific Northwest cities long have been pioneers in incorporating environmentally friendly architecture into their landscapes. Pittsburgh and several other Eastern cities have begun to embrace the philosophy, but face a deeper challenge of weaving green efficiency with buildings and structures that date to the 1800s.
Pitching the merits of sustainable-building design has become easier, even in older, slower-to-change East Coast cities, as energy prices have risen in recent years, says Michael Sobkowiak, vice president of knowledge for the Green Building Alliance on the South Side. …