December 9, 2008 was celebrated as Rebecca Flora Day in Pittsburgh. Rebecca has been an incredible positive force in the region, first working with South Side Local Development and especially for the past decade as Director of the Green Building Alliance. Her energy and dogged determination to make regional leaders understand that ‘green’ building wasn’t a fad but a sustainable economic reality, put western PA in the forefront of sustainable design and construction worldwide. Rebecca Flora Day recognized those efforts, which resulted in two of Pittsburgh’s buildings, the David Lawrence Convention Center and PNC Firstside Center, being the largest public and private LEED-certified buildings in the world at the time of construction.
Rebecca’s leadership put her in the role of US Green Building Council board chair during 2008, and unfortunately put her on a national stage, to which she will be heading full time in January. It is a loss for the region but great stuff to have one of Pittsburgh’s green pioneers working to head up education for USGBC. Congratulations and best wishes to Rebecca.
The GBA will conduct a national search for a new executive director. During the interim, Geoff Stillson will serve as director.
On the construction front, another innovative green project is moving forward, with the sleection of a design/build team. To recognize and leverage Pittsburgh’s leadership in sustainable design, a collaboration of public & private groups, collectively known as the Pittsburgh Green Initiative, has selected the team of Mascaro Construction, DLAstorino/Horizon Architects, CJL Engineering & Klavon Design Associates to help develop a “Living, Learning & Earning Center.”
Pittsburgh Green Initiative involves participation from CMU, Penn State, Pittsburgh Gateway, the URA, Reps. Doyle & Ferlo, Operating Engineers Local #95, and others to create a center, using one of the region’s abandoned industrial/institutional buildings, that will celebrate our green leadership & foster sustainability as a force in design, lifestyle & economic development. The team is just beginning analysis of sites, and will be designing and building next year.