Pittsburgh skyline seen from Smithfield Street Bridge with Monongahela River

Examples of green buildings in the Pittsburgh area range from the glass-roofed Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and the sci-fi sleek David L. Lawrence Convention Center to family homes in Larimer or the cafeteria at the University of Pittsburgh, according to an article on the Pittsburgh NEXT website.

While green innovations include the use of cutting-edge technology, more often they involve simple things that can be applied easily and on a daily basis. It’s the maintenance staff turning the wrenches and the cleaning staff using sustainable cleaning products that make a building green, according to Angelica Ciranni, a project manager with the Green Building Alliance (GBA).

Ciranni says it’s this practical approach that has made Pittsburgh a leader in green design.

Ciranni is the director of Pittsburgh’s District 2030 challenge, a national, grassroots movement meant to connect and support property owners and businesses as they work to cut back their use of utilities. The challenge’s goal is to cut their emissions and water use by 50 percent by the year 2030.

With 78.7 million square feet of real estate committed to the challenge, Pittsburgh is the nation’s largest 2030 District. It represents nearly a quarter of the total commercial building space of the entire 2030 District Network, which includes cities such as Toronto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle  and Detroit.

And as Pittsburgh becomes known for common sense approaches to green design, it has begun to attract architects working on even more aggressive approaches to cutting emissions – increasing the city’s efforts even more.

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