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Marc Mondor to Teach Sustainable Buildings Course at Chatham University
A new course called Sustainable Buildings and LEED Rating System will kick off this fall at Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability, with evolveEA Principal Marc Mondor teaching as Adjunct Faculty. Drawing upon evolveEA’s 12 years of experience with building rating systems, as well as Marc’s leadership in the green building industry, the course will enhance Chatham’s curriculum in the Falk School of Sustainability graduate program. The Falk School is based at the Eden Hall Campus, which is pursuing a combination of Living Building Challenge,... 
Posted by admin on July 07, 2016
evolveEA Becomes Pittsburgh’s First JUST Organization
A JUST label is similar to a nutrition label on a package of food in its purpose, which is to help consumers understand the “ingredients” or composition of a company—its values, business model, policies and workplace culture. evolveEA has recently become the first company in the Pittsburgh region to publish a JUST label, joining an emerging movement to improve transparency and encourage a more equitable economy. JUST is a program that has grown out of the sustainable architecture field, as the idea of green buildings and communities encompasses not only environmental... 
Posted by Daniel Klein on September 17, 2015
Inspiring a Materials Revolution
The idea of a “Living Building” has been around for several years now, and as projects are built we’re able to experience these inspiring places first-hand. We’ve been able to be involved in a few of these transformational projects, such as the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes or the Frick Environmental Center, and see how they are shifting the design and construction market and with a ripple-effect in many other sectors. We are excited to be involved in one of the cutting edge efforts to amplify the ripple effect through an upcoming gathering of product... 
Posted by Marc Mondor on September 09, 2015
Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes Achieves Living Building Challenge Certification
A world leader in sustainable innovation, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has achieved the Living Building Challenge™ for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL), a facility that houses groundbreaking sustainability research and science education programs, and serves as a key part of the public garden’s immersive visitor experience. In producing all of its own renewable energy, and treating and reusing all water captured on site, the CSL demonstrates the benefits of humanity living in harmony with nature. evolveEA managed the LEED and Living Building Challenge... 
Posted by admin on March 10, 2015
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
evolveEA Helps Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes Achieve Highest LEED Platinum Certification
Pittsburgh, PA — The Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) earned the highest LEED Platinum Certification yet achieved for a new green building. The project systematically demonstrates high performance in site design, water & energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and material conservation and use. The US Green Building Council granted the project 63 of a possible 69 points under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) version 2 rating system. Only one other new building has achieved this level of green building distinction. The CSL... 
Posted by admin on September 12, 2013
Frick Environmental Center
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh, is building a new Environmental Center in Frick Park—Pittsburgh’s largest historic city park. The center and its surrounding landscape will provide educational spaces to demonstrate how humans can relate to the natural world in a healthier, more efficient, and more beautiful way. It serves as the starting point of an extensive 151-acre trail system used for educational programs and nature walks through the 561‐acre park. The facility will include flexible indoor learning spaces, a reception... 
Posted by admin on August 13, 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
New Book About Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes Released at Living Future 2013 unConference
Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is widely considered the ultimate green pride of Pittsburgh. Its Living Building project, the recently opened Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) has been an opportunity for evolveEA to work alongside other regional and national experts in rising to the challenge of creating one of the world’s greenest buildings. This month the International Living Future Institute added to the excitement around the CSL at its “unConference” in Seattle with the release of Building in Bloom: The Making of the Center for Sustainable... 
Posted by admin on May 27, 2013
Living.Lab @ Ross.Reserve
The Living.Lab @ Ross.Reserve will be a facility that supports research and teaching activities on living systems. It is designed as an instrument of discovery for environmental change and adaptation. When Alton Lindsey of Purdue University founded the Ross Biological Reserve, he envisioned a “living laboratory” — an unparalleled place to make discoveries through field research, teaching and outreach in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology. The Living.Lab will be a new lens through which to understand the Reserve, connecting people to the landscape through... 
Posted by admin on November 16, 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
Deepening the Green at Phipps Conservatory
A truly transformative moment in our region’s history was witnessed by over four hundred people this week. Amid speeches by politicians and funders, the ribbon cutting for the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ long-awaited Center for Sustainable Landscapes allowed people to see this impressive building first-hand. Executive Director Richard Piacentini’s vision of the project was formed in 2006 after having heard of the Living Building Challenge, a new conception of sustainable buildings. The LBC sets a standard for a building that will generate more energy than... 
Posted by Marc Mondor on May 24, 2012
Winter Gala at Art Institute Features Panel with Marc Mondor
Last week, the Interior Design Student Professional Alliance held their annual Winter Gala at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. The event featured a presentation about the Living Building Challenge process at the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes, led by a panel from the project team. evolveEA’s Marc Mondor was accompanied by Chris Minnerly of The Design Alliance architects, Executive Director of Phipps Conservatory Richard Piacentini, and Alan Traugott of CJL Engineering. They covered the Whats Whys and Hows of this unprecedented net zero energy water and waste... 
Posted by admin on February 23, 2012
Navigating the Sea of Sustainability Standards (I of III)
When it comes to sustainability there’s a vast sea of information available—and it’s not always easy to parse out accurate claims vs. marketing hyperbole. Phrases such as ‘all natural’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ have been slapped on about everything and anything we buy. First let us acknowledge that everything is relative, and that these claims often exist somewhere along a spectrum, but beyond that, how might an individual better determine the accuracy of a particular claim or make a more informed choice?  One common and effective way to verify such claims... 
Posted by David Deal on October 28, 2011
Navigating the Living Building Challenge
Often the first thing we are asked is “Would you do it again…should we attempt the Living Building Challenge?” My personal answer is a resounding YES!  But only if you can accommodate and address the uncertainty that the LBC injects into the normal design, construction and occupancy process. Dealing with this uncertainty is often very frustrating; however the results are a much more sustainable and rewarding project. The effort does result in gain…but the pain is unavoidable. It is like white water rafting on an unfamiliar river; you will never know what is coming... 
Posted by Joseph Nagy on September 27, 2011
Creating the Ideal Sustainable Building
We’ve been excited to participate in the Living Building Challenge as we help guide the Phipps Conservatory Center for Sustainable Landscapes toward meeting its requirements. Now that construction has begun, we’re excited to see some of the sustainable strategies take shape. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been involved in in an ongoing effort to develop a sustainable campus that has included an implementation of organizational sustainability throughout their operations and facilities over the last decade. evolveEA has helped Phipps successfully integrate... 
Posted by Joseph Nagy on May 16, 2011
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Following the best available environmental practices is part of the mission of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The Conservatory, a regional treasure, has taken a national leadership role in the environmental design of its facilities with the completion of what is likely the most energy efficient greenhouse in the world. evolveEA is working closely with Phipps to extend its visionary efforts by assisting in the greening of existing buildings (including the iconic 1893 glass house) and with the design and construction of the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes.... 
Posted by admin on November 09, 2009