Thursday, February 21, 2019

Pittsburgh's U.S. Steel Tower Becomes 2nd Largest Building In The World to Achieve LEED Silver Certification For O+M

Winthrop Management and evolve environment :: architecture recently announced the iconic U.S. Steel Tower, in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, has earned a LEED for Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M): Existing Buildings Silver Certification, making it the second largest building in the world to achieve such a distinction.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system and is the globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement. The LEED for O+M: Existing Buildings rating system is unique compared to other versions of LEED because it is concerned with how existing buildings actually perform.
The certification measures how existing buildings perform in the areas of energy and water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, use of sustainable materials, transportation and other criteria.
“This is a tremendous honor and a true collaborative effort with our partners, building tenants, and owners,” said Thomas J. Harrington, General Manager of the U.S. Steel Tower. “To earn this designation for a building designed when energy was inexpensive and energy efficiency not a first priority is a notable accomplishment. We salute all our tenants who have supported our efforts, particularly UPMC, whose commitment to sustainability in multiple floor renovations has earned several Silver and Gold LEED certifications.”
Even after 50 years, the Tower is the nation’s seventh-largest high-rise office building and was designed when resource efficiency was not an expectation.
Winthrop Management is continually improving the building operations, and this achievement was preceded by a BOMA 360 certification and three consecutive years of Energy Star certification (2016 – 2018) resulting from Winthrop’s leadership.
UPMC’s LEED Silver and Gold certifications of nearly half of the building’s leasable square footage, over one million square feet, has also been instrumental in setting the tone for updating building standards and leveraging building improvements.
“LEED for O+M: Existing Buildings certification is the culmination of over ten years of various efforts, beginning with UPMC’s tenant certifications, then the Owner’s building systems improvements, then the engagement of the building tenants through a unique Tenant Sustainability Committee,” said Marc Mondor, AIA, Principal with evolveEA, the building’s and UPMC’s sustainability consultant. “We’re especially proud of this Committee, as Winthrop and the tenants rely upon it as a mechanism for ongoing awareness, engagement and improvement for the building and its users.”
Angelica Ciranni, Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Green Building Alliance adds, “As a founding partner of the Pittsburgh 2030 District, the U.S. Steel Tower has continually advanced market standards for occupant health. Their performance-based investments across the spectrum of sustainable innovations present a national model for building renovations, driving Pittsburgh toward 50% reductions in energy, water, and transportation emissions.”
Built in 1970 and stretching 841 feet and 64 floors high, it was constructed at the height of Pittsburgh’s first renaissance and reflected Pittsburgh’s then dominance of the steel manufacturing industry.
The building’s signature triangular shape was designed to reflect the city’s three rivers.
Practices deployed by U.S. Steel Tower to achieve LEED Silver O+M certification include:
-- Location & Transportation: Support for alternative modes of transportation, including secure bicycle parking, electric vehicle charging stations, and rideshare matching. Approximately 60 percent of USS Tower employees commute using alternative modes of transportation.
-- Sustainable Sites: Site management practices that reduce harmful chemical use, energy waste, water waste, air pollution, solid waste, and chemical runoff.
-- Water Efficiency: Fixture and fitting upgrades, water sub-metering, increased cooling tower water cycles, and drip irrigation for the landscape.
-- Energy & Atmosphere: Installation of highly efficient LEDs in the lobby and garage, installation of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs), HVAC upgrades, and new energy-efficient elevator system
-- Materials & Resources: Adoption of sustainable purchasing and recycling practices
Indoor Environmental Quality: Green cleaning practices, products, and equipment that improve human health, reduce impact on the environment, and provide a clean workspace for all tenants.
Now a national model for building renovations, the U.S. Steel Tower is helping to drive forward the City of Pittsburgh’s goal of 50 percent reductions in energy, water, and transportation emissions by 2030 as part of the Pittsburgh 2030 District initiative.
Questions about the U.S. Steel Tower should be directed to Daniel Klein, evolveEA, at or 412-362-2100, Tom Harringon, Winthrop Management at or 412-261-9940 and Angelica Ciranni, Green Building Alliance, at  or 412-773-6013.
To learn more about green innovation in the Pittsburgh Region, visit the Pittsburgh Green Story website.

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