Ice Box Challenge Pgh

How Did 1800 Pounds of Ice Hold Up in the Pittsburgh Sun?

By Maya Henry Posted on October 10, 2018

               Photo by Marissa Dello Russo of AIA Pittsburgh Curious to hear how 1800 pounds of ice has held up over the past four weeks in the Pittsburgh sun (and rain) while encased in two separate boxes designed to simulate conventional construction methods versus Passive House Standard? If you’re an architect (and a gambler) you can feel pretty confident betting that the ice in the Ice Box built to Passive House Standard will win out.  And you would be right.  The Passive House Standard Ice Boxes consistently retain at least four times more ice than the conventional boxes. Passive House Standard is a proven methodology for achieving high-performance from almost any building type and is...

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The Diversity of Sustainability and Resilience in Design

Submissions for the 2018 Design Awards

By Maya Henry Posted on September 20, 2018

New for Design Pittsburgh 2018, any built project submitted in another Design Awards category is eligible to also be reviewed for the Excellence in Sustainability + Resiliency award category.  This award recognizes built projects that have successfully integrated sustainable and/or resilient building strategies and practices into the design. As defined by the AIA Pittsburgh Design Pittsburgh Committee, sustainability envisions the enduring prosperity of all living things, while sustainable design seeks to create communities, buildings, and products that contribute to this vision.  Resilience is the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain/regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance, while resilient design is the intentional design of buildings, landscapes, communities, and regions in response to these...

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Striking a Balance Between Voice and Vision

Terry Schwarz's Keynote Address at Build Pittsburgh 2018

By Maya Henry Posted on April 19, 2018

Image credit CUDC/MOOS. The theme of Build Pittsburgh 2018 was “design with purpose.”  This year’s Keynote Address was given by Terry Schwarz, FAICP to a crowded ballroom of early risers who gathered to hear about design culture and community engagement from the director of Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC).  Schwarz began her presentation by proposing that community design does not need to be about the community OR design (discuss!) but that placemaking could, in fact, include both facets working together.  Portions of Schwarz’s keynote address are captured here. Schwarz began by showing examples of her early fascination with Bauhaus design and then showed how residents repurposed the spare spaces in Mies van der Rohe’s Layfette Park in Detroit...

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$25,000 Grant Awarded to Passive House Western PA

The North American Passive House Network Conference Comes To Pittsburgh with a Kick Start Grant from West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund

Passive house standards apply to this multi-family project, and 2015 Architecture Honor Award winner, in Uptown. PROJECT: Uptown Lofts on Fifth CLIENT: ACTION-Housing, Inc. ARCHITECTURE FIRM: FortyEighty Architecture ENGINEERS: Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc.; Keystone Structural Solutions; Iams Consulting, LLC CONTRACTORS: Mosites Construction Company PHOTOGRAPHER: FortyEighty Architecture Passive House Western Pennsylvania (PHWPA) received a $25,000 grant from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF). The contribution will be used to secure space in Pittsburgh’s David L. Lawrence Convention Center for the North American Passive House Network Conference on October 17-22, 2018. Passive House applies a set of design principles used to attain a quantifiable and rigorous level of energy efficiency. As a result, Passive House buildings offer tremendous...

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Governor Signs UCC Building Codes Legislation into Law

After Two Legislative Sessions, Pennsylvania is a Step Closer to Building Code Updates

On October 25, 2017, Governor Wolf signed HB 409 into law, creating Act 36 of 2017, a move applauded by AIA Pennsylvania. “This piece of legislation represents a compromise between numerous stakeholders and what AIA Pennsylvania advocated for as a step in the right direction for updates and code adoption in the Commonwealth,” said AIA Pennsylvania Executive Director, Stephen Swarney, J.D., on the passage of the bill. Act 36 of 2017 will significantly change the code review and Uniform Construction Code adoption process for the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Review and Advisory Council, currently chaired by Maureen Guttman, AIA. AIA Pennsylvania remains an influential leader regarding building codes and the UCC in the Commonwealth continues to advocate for comprehensive and aggressive...

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Design Pittsburgh 2017

View All of the Winners of Our Juried Competition

By AIA Pittsburgh Posted on October 19, 2017

DESIGN + INNOVATION: Certificate of Merit PROJECT NAME: Penn51 Façade CLIENT: 11 to 3 LLC ARCHITECTURE FIRM: mossArchitects DESIGN TEAM: Andrew Moss, AIA; Darren Lloyd, Rebecca Murden ENGINEERS: Conway Engineering CONTRACTORS: P2 Contracting, LLC PHOTOGRAPHERS: Anthony Musmanno INTENT: The Penn51 project, one of many 1-3 story building facades along the Bloomfield and Garfield commercial corridor, is nestled in the center of the Penn Avenue business district; an area that has been the focus of revitalization, with a strong emphasis on the arts. The design solution seeks to reinterpret the facade as a folded skin that simplifies and unifies its previously disconnected property while adding an artful reinterpretation and visual activity to the busy commercial avenue. The design aims to connect...

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Why is Architects’ Volunteerism so Important to a City’s Disaster Recovery?

AIA's Response to Hurricane Harvey and How You Can Help

Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move through flooded Houston streets as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West) We’ve all followed the devastating impact that Hurricane Harvey has had on Houston and western Louisiana. Among the hundreds of thousands who have been directly affected by the storm, nearly 3,000 are AIA members. The storm and the flooding have left none of them unscathed. AIA Houston had more than three feet of water in their building, affecting their servers and computers.

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Book Review

Is Wellness Design the New Sustainable Design?

A Review of Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes our Lives

By F. Jeffrey Murray, FAIA Posted on August 18, 2017

Image courtesy Harper Collins Sarah Williams Goldhagen’s new book, written for the general public more so than the design community, is timely, important and worth a careful read by design professionals. Her fundamental claim is summarized in the preface: “What the new paradigm of embodied or situated cognition reveals is that the built environment and its design matters far, far more than anybody, even architects, ever thought that it did.” (p. xiv) Her book is timely because in the last couple years we’ve seen new checklists and scorecards for ‘wellness’ design (14 Patterns of Biophilic Design, The Well Building Standard, Fitwell — to name a few).  Wellness design appears to be a trendy term for what has traditionally been called...

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Pittsburgh Energy Innovation Center Achieves LEED Platinum Certification

Preservation Project Achieves Peak Performance

By Maya Henry Posted on July 18, 2017

Photo courtesy Green Building Alliance. A remarkable example of building reuse and historic restoration, a Pittsburgh state-of-the-art green building has successfully met the goal of achieving a high-level LEED Platinum certification.  On July 18, community leaders and government officials, architects, designers, and contractors all gathered to celebrate the the achievement.  The project team includes DLA+ as architect, CJL Engineering as MEP engineer, Klavon Design Associates as landscape architect, evolveEA as the sustainability consultant, and Mascaro Construction as general contractor. The 200,000 square-foot Energy Innovation Center (EIC), which hosts trade apprenticeship programs, energy-related technology labs for five universities, co-working facilities, and other production, design, and workspaces for nonprofit organizations and businesses, was opened in 2015 in the former Connelley Trade School Building....

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The Midwife Center’s Expansion Creatively Highlights Women’s Health

Rothschild Doyno Collaborative's design uses iconic mural to weave together old and new

By Maya Henry Posted on June 27, 2017

Photo by Maya Henry This March, nine months after it broke ground on a new 6,700 square-foot expansion, The Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health opened its new facility and became the largest free-standing birth center in the United States.  Local architects Rothschild Doyno Collaborative were selected as the design team and both client and architect saw numerous benefits from working together as neighbors. The Midwife Center didn’t set out to work with their new Strip District neighbor when the freestanding birth center was thinking about expansion in 2010.  The facility has doubled the number of births and gynecological visits in the practice since 2010 and the expansion would allow for two new birthing suites to better match demand...

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