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tedx talk: creating a living city
Watch Christine Mondor's TEDx Talk about Ecodistrict Planning
radio interview: marc mondor advocates for a green economy
Listen to Marc's interview on the Rick Smith Show
passive house goes to work
Passive House design is branching out beyond the home with a growing number of commercial projects
Shop Local for the Holidays
My favorite thing to do everywhere I go is to visit local artist markets or farmers markets and chat up the vendors, learn about what they are creating, and support them! Why? Because it just FEELS GOOD to support a local artisan, buying from a person, face to face, and getting unique information on how something has been made. I like to know where materials come from; I like to know the reason someone got into wood-working or ceramics, or where they source ideas for their screen prints. I just like it. Besides the good vibes, the reasons to shop local rather than at a big box... 
Posted by Elena Goldstein on November 24, 2014
Equity, Health, and Climate Themes at the Forefront of Green Building Movement
I’ve just returned from my fourth Greenbuild, the annual green building conference and expo hosted by the US Green Building Council. This year, the event was held in New Orleans, adding to the experience elements of culture, music, food, awesome weather, and—perhaps most importantly—a powerful demonstration of urban resiliency concepts. In the past, Greenbuild has always included sessions focusing on how the building community can prepare for our changing climate, but as we set up for a week in the city that is undeniably a poster child for this issue, it felt even more... 
Posted by Elena Goldstein on November 10, 2014
Celebrating Our 50th LEED Certification
evolveEA has worked to coach projects towards sustainability goals since our founding in 2004. Since then we have moved into teaching, ecodistricts, existing buildings, 2030 commitment, facilitation, Living Buildings, communications and organizational strategy, but one mainstay of our work has always been LEED management for buildings and interiors, helping projects to set goals and achieve USGBC LEED certification. Since our first LEED certification, indeed since leafing through the very coarse LEED 1.0 in 1998, LEED has developed into a global standard.  Originally designed... 
Posted by Marc Mondor on October 15, 2014
Greenbuild 2014 Charrette: Powering Community
This year's Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, the US Green Building Council's premier event for sustainable building, is just around the corner!   We are excited to share some details about a special, interactive session at this year's conference that members of evolve and our local partners are facilitating. If you're attending, we hope you will join us Wednesday, October 22 at 8:00 am in Meeting Room 338 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Christine Mondor and Anna Rosenblum from evolveEA have teamed-up with Fred Brown from the... 
Posted by Anna Rosenblum on October 14, 2014
Summer Adventure on the Ohio River
One of the perks of working at evolve is our annual summer office gatherings. Over the years we have enjoyed spending time together, outside of our normal office setting in such places as Pirates games at PNC Park, picnics, and even white water rafting. This summer's outing was no less exciting, with our entire office plus family and friends enjoying a special dinner cruise aboard one of the Gateway Clipper Fleet's famous river boats. Traveling on our rivers was more than just a fun activity; our ecodistrict projects with riverfront communities as well as the water-related... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on August 14, 2014
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... 
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... 
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, we presented three potential identities for Brookline: International Marketplace, Fun & Fit, and Friendly & Accessible. These three... 
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 requirements,... 
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 of urban... 
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
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... 
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