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tedx talk: creating a living city
Watch Christine Mondor's TEDx Talk about Ecodistrict Planning
neighbors collaborate on a neighborhood identity
evolveEA's Brookline Blvd visioning process
top-down/ bottom-up
Looking for balance to achieve sustainable communities
Triple Bottom Line Sustainable Business
The importance of business in our lives is hard to overstate. Every aspect of our lives is touched by organizations that make products or services with which we can choose to engage. The smart phones, movies, restaurants, furniture, search engines and cars that we love are brought to us by companies actively participating in the capitalistic enterprise, in which the primary motive in a corporate charter is the creation of wealth—making money doing what the business is created to do. Conventionally, the manner in which a company is deemed successful is its profitability. If... 
Posted by Marc Mondor on March 03, 2014
Highlights From Our 2013 Review
Each year we like to take a look back and remember some of the milestones we’ve achieved with our partners, clients, and team along the way. We hope you enjoy our 2013 Highlights infographic! 
Posted by Daniel Klein on March 02, 2014
A Green Vision for Post-Sandy Brighton Beach
Living Building design and construction projects are extremely ambitious endeavors. This is why only a handful of projects have been completed and certified to date. And it’s also why the sharing of information and storytelling among those of us involved in such projects can be particularly valuable. With this in mind, members of evolveEA decided to visit the Bright ‘n Green project in Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach while on a recent visit to New York City. While evolveEA has been involved in the design of several net zero and Living Building Challenge projects, most notably... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on January 20, 2014
Green Building Infographic: What is the Integrated Design Process?
Designing and constructing green buildings that meet ambitious performance goals can be a challenging endeavor for project teams. LEED certified buildings and revolutionary projects such as the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a Living Building, require a special approach by the team of professionals conceiving of and implementing the project. Conventional processes do not facilitate the type of interdisciplinary collaboration and stakeholder engagement that is necessary to address all of the economic, social, and environmental aspects of a truly green and sustainable... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on December 12, 2013
Pittsburgh’s Quilted Communities Highlighted at Ecodistricts Summit
Recently in Boston, evolveEA and our community partners from Millvale and Larimer joined hundreds of sustainability thought leaders at the 2013 Ecodistricts Summit, the premier conference dedicated to promoting sustainable neighborhood development. The Pittsburgh team led a workshop called Ecodistricts in Quilted Communities, which focused on the complex challenges and opportunities for rust-belt communities like Larimer and Millvale as they plan and implement neighborhood-scale improvements in energy, water and food systems. Innovative urban scale systems depend on the community’s... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on November 13, 2013
How Do You Want to Change the World?
As a special collaboration, we proudly feature thoughts by Nikole Brugnoli Sheaffer, Director of Innovation & Development at The Environmental Charter School at Frick Park  I’m a curriculum geek. To the non-educator world, this translates into a passion for the framework, resources, and instructional practices associated with teaching and learning. I dig into authentic ways of engaging kids, I get excited about new ways to inspire creativity, and I am the kind of person that loves to get in the “mess” of learning with kids (not at them). Couple this affinity with... 
Posted by Nikole Sheaffer on October 23, 2013
Neighbors Collaborate on a Neighborhood Identity
  Recently evolveEA led the final community meeting in a three-part Identity and Visioning project for Pittsburgh’s Brookline neighborhood. Residents, local business owners, and community leaders came together to build on the work of past meetings and further develop a vision for a future Brookline. Drawing from a variety of ideas generated at the community meetings, as well as from the online community at OurBrookline.com, we presented three potential identities for Brookline: International Marketplace, Fun & Fit, and Friendly & Accessible. These three identities... 
Posted by Chris Guignon on September 24, 2013
evolveEA Features Phipps Conservatory at UK Green Vision Conference
A real highlight of our July Green Vision conference was hearing from evolveEA, live from the US, describe their work at the recently completed Phipps Conservatory Center for Sustainable Landscapes. The audience in Leeds UK, along with many more tuned in on-line, listened to Christine and Mark Mondor present the inspiring background to the design and construction challenges overcome to address the Living Building Standard. Of particular interest and real ‘take-aways’  for the audience was understanding how evolveEA addressed the Standard’s more demanding... 
Posted by Martin Brown on August 05, 2013
Artists and Neighborhood Change
Last month I took a bus trip from Pittsburgh to Baltimore, Maryland to attend a conference called Artists and Neighborhood Change. The topic of community outreach and engagement through the arts has captivated me over the past several years, as a practicing artist, an urban dweller who has lived in three global cities over the past decade, as a politically conscious citizen, and as part of evolveEA, where our own Urban Strategies and Social Engagement projects often intersect with the arts. Use of the term “Neighborhood Change” is an entrée to discussion about issues... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on July 12, 2013
Organizational Strategy: Essential Ingredients for Success
As our name evolve suggests, we believe it is important to periodically examine where we are, how we got here, and where we’re going. Communities, governments, corporations, and most other entities need strategies to work toward whatever vision drives their existence and ensure sustainability. Because success is often a moving target, strategies need to be reviewed and adjusted on a regular basis. evolveEA recently spent a day examining our mission, identity, and potential plans for our future as a multidisciplinary consulting and design firm. We held a retreat to facilitate... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on June 13, 2013
AIA+2030 Series Helping to Build Capacity for Industry Professionals & Stakeholders
Developed by AIA Seattle with Architecture 2030, the AIA+2030 Professional Series is an educational series covering key strategies to reach the ambitious carbon reduction goals of The 2030 Challenge. The series is aimed at the design, construction and operations of buildings, and consists of ten, four-hour sessions, each of which is worth four LU/HSW credits. The series kicked off with broad participation at AIA Pittsburgh’s BuildPittsburgh conference in April, where presenters Vivian Loftness (FAIA, Carnegie Mellon University), Sean Luther (Green Building Alliance) and... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on June 07, 2013
Winthrop Management, evolveEA Give Tour of US Steel Tower, Describe Impressive Ongoing Sustainability Efforts
Members of Winthrop Management and evolveEA led the June 5 Green Building Alliance tours of the US Steel Tower in Downtown Pittsburgh. Over 80 people attended the sold-out event, which featured rare videos created by US Steel upon the opening of the building in 1971. The contrast of the best that money could buy in that era against the performance criteria of today have given Winthrop Management much to work with in improving the building’s performance. US Steel Tower has committed to the 2030 Challenge as a member of the Pittsburgh 2030 District. With the help of evolveEA,... 
Posted by Marc Mondor on June 07, 2013
Top-Down/Bottom-Up
Every year in Pittsburgh, the SoArch Lectures Series, organized by Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture, hosts lectures by well-established architects from the US and beyond who are leaders in design and sustainability. The last SoArch lecture recently took place at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where the presenting architect was Peter Busby, the Principal Managing Director of Perkins+Will in San Francisco. After the merger of his firm with Perkins+Will in 2004, he became leader of the firm’s Sustainable Design Initiative. His work emphasizes regenerative planning... 
Posted by Eleni Katrini on May 01, 2013
Pittsburgh Changemakers in the Spotlight
Local changemakers on stage, April 11th, Pittsburgh Last night in Pittsburgh, the Green Building Alliance and Phipps Conservatory held their latest INSPIRE Speaker Series event, attracting the largest and most diverse audience they’ve had so far. evolveEA is proud to have co-sponsored the evening, which we selected because headline speaker Majora Carter‘s approach to community empowerment through neighborhood planning and design parallels that of our own Urban Strategies work. Carter has been an inspiration to us and many others in the sustainability and urban revitalization... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on April 12, 2013
TEDx Talk: Creating A Living City
Video [21 min]  How can an existing community with limited resources create a shared vision of a sustainable neighborhood? Ecodistrict planning builds community capacity for the development and implementation of closed-loop systems for Energy, Water, Nutrients and Waste. In her TEDx talk, Christine Mondor outlines evolveEA’s community-based approach to designing sustainable neighborhoods, highlighting the story of two neighboring Pittsburgh communities engaged through our project Living Cities Masterplan.  
Posted by Christine Mondor on April 08, 2013
2030 In Depth: An Opportunity for Impact
The environmental imperative for saving energy comes in the reduction of emissions from the combustion of fuels. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, over 90% of our nation’s energy use comes from oil, gas, and coal; the combustion of these ancient carbon-based life forms as fossil fuels creates four primary greenhouse gases. Of these, carbon-dioxide is most mentioned, as it is the most prevalent. At atmospheric levels, these emissions trap solar energy, not unlike your car on a hot summer day. The rising level of these emissions can be graphed almost directly... 
Posted by Marc Mondor on April 07, 2013
Highlights from Our Annual Review
 
Posted by Daniel Klein on March 10, 2013
Sustainable Preservation in
American Cities
Our common framework for thinking about sustainability entails Triple Bottom Line thinking. Favorable decisions are beneficial to the environment, are equitable and make economic sense. We can argue that the more these properties are fulfilled, the more sustainable the project. The renovation of historic buildings has significant and meaningful overlap with this Triple Bottom Line approach. Reviving an old, underutilized building yields a significant societal benefit not typically accounted for by conventional means. The environmental benefit of historic renovation is clear.... 
Posted by Marc Mondor on December 18, 2012
At Greenbuild and BECC Conferences, evolveEA Highlights Pittsburgh’s Advancement in Sustainability
Pittsburgh’s achievements in green building and neighborhood planning is increasingly gaining national attention, and evolveEA is proud of our leading roles in some of the city’s most impressive projects. Last month members of our team and some of our local partners traveled to the USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in San Francisco, and the Behavior, Energy & Climate Change (BECC) Conference in Sacramento. Greenbuild 2012 was attended by over 35,000 sustainability enthusiasts, making it the largest event in the international conference and expo’s... 
Posted by Marc Mondor on December 14, 2012
Stormwater + Art
Scandinavia is known around the world for good design; whether you’re into products, graphics, architecture, or urban spaces, a visit to the region can inspire creative thinking. Over the summer we visited the city of Malmö, Sweden, an industrial-era harbor city which has reinvented itself as a modern sustainable cultural center. In particular, Malmö’s Western Harbor is known for its innovative approach to water infrastructure, which made our visit especially relevant to our urban strategies work here in North America. During our stay, I surveyed the city’s Västra... 
Posted by Christine Mondor on December 11, 2012
Making the “Ultimate Reuse” Sustainable
Do you recycle regularly? Do you reuse things whenever possible instead of throwing them away? I’m betting that for the majority of people reading this, the answer to at least one of these questions is yes. This is because in our consumer-driven culture where everything is disposable, the need for resource reuse and recycling have gotten widespread attention. So, if you answered yes to either of the previous questions, I have one more… Does your driver’s license say ORGAN DONOR? Just as its name implies, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE), located just... 
Posted by Steve Hockley on December 03, 2012
Pittsburgh PARK(ing) Day 2012
September 21 was PARK(ing) Day: An annual, one-day, international event in which artists, designers, activists and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform parking spots into “Parklets”, or miniature public parks. This type of design activism was the focus of this year’s US pavilion at the Venice Architecture Bienalle, in which pop-up parks, guerilla bike lanes, and similar urban phenomena were presented as an exhibit called Spontaneous Interventions. Pittsburgh is becoming a center for projects and actions like these. Over the summer, we saw a newly... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on September 25, 2012
Building as Organism
Video [1 hour, 34 min] 
Posted by Christine Mondor on September 20, 2012
Living Buildings as Regional Hubs for Sustainable Redevelopment
Imagine buildings that are able to produce all of the energy they need using renewable sources such as wind or solar, that capture and treat all of the water needed for building occupants and systems, eliminating the need for water or sewage treatment infrastructure. Mounting evidence suggests that buildings of the future must look like this to secure a sustainable future. The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is leading the charge by requiring these attributes of projects that are seeking its prominent certification. And as cities and towns transition to green building and sustainable... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on June 30, 2012
The Pittsburgh Green Workplace Challenge: A Competition—or “coopertition”—with No Losers
“Competition” is simply defined as a contest between individuals or groups for resources and/or prestige. It is the opposite of “cooperation”, and has been shown to be a powerful motivator. No matter what the goal, people and businesses alike are intrinsically motivated by what their peers are doing. Everyone wants to win, and nobody wants to fall behind. It follows that Sustainable Pittsburgh, whose goal is to promote sustainable development and systemic change for the region, has enlisted this valuable motivator to spur sustainable innovation among it network of member... 
Posted by Steve Hockley on June 29, 2012