Schedule and Course Descriptions

  1. Embodied Carbon: Practical Strategies from the Experts (Sustainability Track)HSW – Leslie Montgomery (GBA) – moderator; Andrew Ellsworth (Doors Unhinged), Brian Trimble (IMI), Tyler Hengen (American Iron & Steel Institute), Frank Mruk (National Ready Mixed Concrete Association)
    • Embodied carbon, carbon emissions during the manufacturing and transport of building materials, is garnering attention all over the place, but are there good strategies to use to lower the carbon footprint of our buildings? This session will feature a panel discussion on the embodied carbon of various construction materials including masonry, steel and concrete. Go beyond just asking for Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and use useful strategies from material experts. Then use these strategies in your next project to drive down its carbon footprint.
  2. Facilities of the Future and Beyond: How AI Will Transform Healthcare (Technology Track)  Dr. Rema Padman (CMU), Vincent Mai (CMU & NBBJ), Ashis Barad (AHN), Chris Carmody (UPMC)
    • Since Chat-GPT’s public release in November 2022, artificial intelligence (AI) has shown great potential to transform many industries.  As healthcare demands increase and costs rise, AI offers promise to revolutionize medicine by reducing operational inefficiencies, advancing personalized care, and improving health outcomes. Similarly, automation yields power to reduce design and construction timelines as generative technologies are adopted. This seminar will address what technologies are on the horizon and how they might impact both healthcare and architecture. As designers of healthcare facilities and spaces, architects need to better understand the current and future state of automation and technological advances in healthcare and how design can react and adapt.
  3. A Look Ahead to the Near Future of Technology in Architecture Practice (Professional Practice Track) 
    • This session looks at the near future of architecture and technology, especially the immense potential for artificial intelligence to transform the landscape of architectural practice.  From re-imagining building design to conceiving novel forms and structures that were once beyond imagination, this session promises to be an enlightening exploration of the broadening intersection of architecture and artificial intelligence technologies that firms of all sizes should be keeping in view.
  4. The Importance of Building Envelope Continuity (Hands-on Experience Track) – HSW – Toni Martin (KLM Carpenters) 
    • Building envelope starts at the design process and continues through every step of the way until the building is finished. This participatory session brings architects together to help design better continuity throughout the process by learning some of the struggles tradespeople go through to try to make that happen.

  1. Sustainability Ratings Systems Compared: How and When to Use Which (Sustainability Track) – HSW – Mike Gwin (Rothschild Doyno Collaborative); Maria Kyriacopoulos (WTW), Gary Mosier (Moshier Studio); Christian Pegher (WTW), Quinn Thakur (BranchPattern)
    • Are you overwhelmed by the proliferation of green rating systems? Maybe you’ve only recently been convinced that this whole sustainability initiative is more than a fad. Or perhaps you just need to determine which system may be best for your project. In any case, this is the seminar for you! We’ve gathered a panel of experts, each of whom will present a particular rating system applied to a case study project. Each presenter will review the project in brief and compare synergies and disparities with other rating systems. Then we’ll have a question-and-answer session, to help you determine goals for your project.
  2. Exploring the Future of Design: Navigating AI and Emerging Technologies (Technology Track) – Joshua Lee (CMU) and Katrina Kelly-Pitou (SmithGroup) – co-facilitators; Alex Wing (Stantec); Kenneth Cheston (Gensler), Jacob (Jake) Morrison (Cannon Design), Tian Li (CMU
    • This presentation delves into the evolving landscape of architectural practice, focusing on the profound influence of artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies. Focused on Pittsburgh, a hub of architectural innovation, the session brings together a panel of local firms to discuss and envision the future trajectory of the profession.
  3. Advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Beyond the Architectural Field (Professional Practice Track) – Sonja Simpson (Michael Baker International), Lance Harrell (Master Builders Association), Eric Fisher (Fisher ARCHitecture)
    • This panel discussion will explore the critical role of EDI in architecture and other construction related fields and how they support each other. Distinguished experts and practitioners will share insights, challenges, and strategies for fostering a more inclusive and equitable profession.
  4. Interior Moulding Installation Techniques (Hands-on Experience Track)  – HSW – Corbin Rinehart (Windsor One), Ron Ciotti (Allegheny Millwork & Lumber), Joe Cario (Allegheny Millwork & Lumber)
    • This hands-on participatory session will present an overview of the installation processes and application of interior mouldings including base, crown, chair rail and casing. Live demo cutting, mitering and coping of specialty mouldings.

Exhibitor Expo: 11:00 AM – Noon

Lunch & Learn Sessions: Noon – 1:00 PM

  • Mounting Methods for High Pressure Compact Laminate Facades [sponsored by A.L. Harding]
  • Fenestration Solutions for Historic Rehabilitation Projects  [sponsored by Allegheny Millwork & Lumber]
  • The Design Advantages of Composite Roofing Solutions [sponsored by DaVinci Roofscapes]
  • Large Operable Glass Walls [co-sponsored by Cascade Construction Products & Nanawall]


  1. Decarb the Parks (Sustainability Track) – HSW – Yash Pinapati (Willdan) 
    • The National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF) Plan to decarbonize land-based operations across five national parks seeks to achieve 100% greenhouse gas emissions reduction in its land-based operations by eliminating fossil fuel use and switching to renewable electricity. The Plan proposes an estimated investment of $15 million across the parks, a broad set of energy efficiency upgrades, and the electrification of space and water heating in 131 buildings and all land-based vehicles. This session reviews a diverse set of technologies planned to achieve this, including air-source cold climate heat pumps as a cost-effective alternative to propane for space heating. Participants will understand key takeaways for future design consideration.
  2. Transformative Transportation Technologies for Sustainable Cities (Technology Track) – Christine Mondor (Evolve EA)
    • This session delves into the forefront of transportation advancements poised to redefine how we navigate cityscapes and an in-depth examination of rapid transit systems that have the potential to transform long-distance travel, emphasizing their advantages in terms of decreasing travel times and enhancing energy efficiency. Participants at this session will learn how thoughtful planning can shape efficient transportation systems while ensuring the harmonious integration of land use and development.
  3. More With Less: Design Tips for Big Ideas on a Budget (Professional Practice Track) – Eric Fisher (Fisher ARCHitecture)  
    • In this lecture, we offer tips for impactful design despite limited resources, focusing on residential and commercial sectors. Amid financing challenges, we explore innovative budget-maximizing strategies, emphasizing “bottom-up design” principles. Our approach prioritizes simplicity, functionality, and adaptability through multi-purpose spaces, natural light, ventilation, and modular construction. We promote efficiency and creativity to inspire architects and designers.
  4. Bricklaying 101 & Wall Anchoring (Hands-on Experience Track) – HSW
    • Two experiential learning sessions will be presented in this session:
      • Bricklaying 101 – Your designs are so much better when you understand the materials you are using. Come and learn the basics of brick construction from expert trainers. See how mortar will slide off of the trowel to fully fill the joints and how challenging it is to get brick straight and level. Those who have tried their hand at bricklaying come away with a greater respect for skilled craftworkers.
      • Restoration Anchor Installation – A sizeable amount of Pittsburgh’s buildings are made of masonry.  Though properly installed masonry can last for a very long time, repairs will need to be made periodically.  In this hands-on event, we will discuss some types of new construction anchors, discuss why they can fail, and then show architects how to install helical masonry anchors to stop further deterioration.  Other topics will include proper tool selection, how to engage a structural engineering firm, etc.

  1. Meeting the 2030 Challenge with Passive House Strategies (Sustainability Track) – HSW – Stephen Mrdjenovich (GBBN) 
    • More and more architectural firms are signing onto the 2030 Challenge with the goal of designing all new buildings and major renovations to be Carbon-neutral by 2030. This is indeed a tall order, but urgently needed to fight climate change. Passive House strategies are one of the best ways to achieve such ambitious energy reduction targets. This presentation would show a long-term strategy to enhance firmwide design practices and work with mission-aligned clients to build more Passive House projects.
  2. The Internet of Things and Architecture in Pittsburgh (Technology Track) – Dr. Susan Chang (TASI, Inc)
    • This course will explore the Internet of Things and its relationship and impacts on architecture and design. From imaging technologies for both commercial customers and residential customers, to impacts of energy and material advancement, mobility of building utilities, and how Pittsburgh architects can use the local AI advantages to serve customers all over the world, competitively, with improved user experience.
  3. Vetting the Project — Should You Stay or Should You Go? (Professional Practice Track) – Michael Cremonese (Burke Cromer Cremonese)
    • All construction projects have risks to be managed. At times, evidence of the risk exists before the Architect agrees to undertake the project. Vetting the Project, the Client, and Contractors are essential. Well prepared and coordinated contracts should fairly allocate risk to the party best able to manage the particular risk. But, there are many ways that Architects can unwittingly assume risk that they cannot manage or control. This session will explore (1) types of Projects that may increase the Architect’s risk along, (2) identifying potential risks that may be evident when discussing the scope of services and negotiating a contract, (3) risk analysis considerations, (4) factors to weigh before saying yes to a project, and (5) strategies for risk mitigation, if a project is undertaken.
  4. Fluid Applied Weather Barriers and Flashing Installation (Hands-on Experience Track) – HSW  
    • Two experiential learning sessions will be presented in this session:
      • Masonry Flashing Installation – Flashing is critical for masonry cavity wall construction as it is the primary method of getting water that infiltrates the wall back out.  We will showcase best practices in installing flashings, including allowing architects to install flashing, drip edges and termination bars.
      • Fluid Applied Weather Barrier Testing and Field QC – Learn how to apply a fluid-applied weather barrier on both masonry and exterior sheathing.  We will discuss properties, limitations and how to determine coverage rates on materials.  We will also show architects how to use wet mil gauges and conduct a field pull-test on the cured coating.

Thank you to our 2024 Build Pittsburgh Sponsors!


Official Sponsor

Lunch Sponsor

Lunch & Learn Sponsors





Professional Track Sponsors

Coffee Time! Sponsor


Allegheny Installations

Beth-Hanover Supply Co.

Comfort Supply


The Fireplace & Patio Place


Ghise Associates Inc

Huber Engineered Woods

Oswald Companies


Performance Roofing Associates

REPS of Ohio

RJ Bridges / Kingspan


In-kind Prize Donation

2024 Legal Education Partner

2024 Clean Energy Partner