Frick Environmental Center Achieves Living Building Status

NOV 13, 2018

Pittsburgh Magazine

The Frick Environmental Center has been doing much better since its opening in 2016 as a replacement for a structure from 1979 that burned in 2002. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy founder and former CEO Meg Cheever described the ambition for the new version to be “one of the greenest buildings in the world,” and assembled a team to make it possible. Architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and landscape architects LaQuatra Bonci Associates both bring portfolios of nationally recognized, award-winning projects at the intersection of aesthetic design and green building and landscape. Construction manager P.J. Dick has built more projects with independently certified environmental achievements than any other contractor in the region.

In late spring, the Frick Environmental Center received Living Building Challenge certification from the International Living Future Institute, the most palpable measure to date of its environmental performance. The building had already received LEED Platinum (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status from the U.S. Green Building Council, but the Living Building Challenge certification is a higher order of rigor. At Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., while pursuing Living Building Challenge status for its Kellogg House building renovation, a building committee reported concisely, “Where LEED’s goals could be summarized as ‘Do less harm,’ the Living Building Challenge’s tagline might be ‘Fix the damage.’ ” It’s a much more rigorous standard that fewer buildings meet. Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory Center for Sustainable Landscapes achieved the goal last year, but thus far only about 20 projects have achieved this status. Pittsburgh is the only city with two, and the Frick Environmental Center is the only municipal building that is open to the public... read the full article