FAQ

  1. Why did Pittsburgh create a 2030 District?
  2. Who is in the Pittsburgh 2030 District?
  3. What's in it for the Property Partners?
  4. How hard will it be for properties to meet Pittsburgh 2030 District targets?
  5. Why focus on buildings for environmental sustainability, health improvements, and economic prosperity?
  6. How does the 2030 District fit with other national building performance initiatives?
  7. How does the 2030 District fit with other Pittsburgh environmental initiatives?
  8. How is the Pittsburgh 2030 District different from the Green Workplace Challenge?
  9. Why does the Pittsburgh 2030 District have a geographic boundary?

 

Why did Pittsburgh create a 2030 District?

Buildings in the United States are responsible for up to 50% of our energy use, over 70% of our electricity use, 40% of our raw materials use, 14% of our potable water consumption, and 38% of our carbon dioxide emissions.  Meanwhile, we spend 90% of our time indoors, where air quality is often poor and can contribute to health issues.

There are many reasons why it makes a lot of sense for Pittsburgh to adopt the 2030 Challenge targets. By working to meet 2030 District goals, Pittsburgh's property owners and managers are beginning to see a host of economic and environmental benefits come their way.

Pittsburgh has long been a national leader in green buildings.  The Pittsburgh 2030 District is simply the next step in a long history of responsible steps that Pittsburgh has taken to maintain a strong local economy.

 

Who is in the Pittsburgh 2030 District?

Geographically, the Pittsburgh 2030 District includes the Central Business District, North Shore, and the Lower Hill redevelopment site in addition to a 2014 expansions into the Oakland neighborhood.  Organizationally, many small and large companies have already recognized the positive impact District goals will have on their properties, businesses, and our city.  These existing Property, Community, and Resource Partners have already committed to a seat to the Pittsburgh 2030 District table, which is convened by Green Building Alliance.  Partners can commit to the challenge in several key ways: 1) Property owners and managers can sign on as Property Partners and commit to taking steps to reach the 2030 Challenge goals in their own buildings; or 2) Local organizations can sign on as Community or Resource Partners in order to lend expertise or assistance to the Property Partners to make these goals attainable.  Over 50% of the square footage in Downtown Pittsburgh already committed to this endeavor--and we invite you to join us!  Interested Property Partners can sign their commitment pledge, and be immediately connected into District happenings and benefits (please see Prospective Partners for more information).

"Founding Partners" are those organizations that joined the Pittsburgh 2030 District in 2012 (the District's inaugural year). 

 

What's in it for the Property Partners?

Reaching Pittsburgh 2030 District goals will help businesses in a variety of ways.  First, responsibly managing energy and water use saves  money, which directly affects a property's economic bottom line.   Second, the 2030 District continues to build Pittsburgh's reputation as a great place to live, work, learn, and play.  Continuing to be the most livable city will help Pittsburgh continue to attract new businesses and residents to Downtown Finally, studies show that companies enjoy higher employee retention, satisfaction, and productivity rates when overall building health and performance are improved.

 

How hard will it be for properties to meet Pittsburgh 2030 District targets?

The goals of the Pittsburgh 2030 District are high, but there is no question that the effort is worth the journey. Between cost savings, resource use reduction, health improvements, and reduced environmental impacts, the benefits accrued from creating high performing properties are well worth the investment. But how hard will it be to reach the Pittsburgh 2030 District goals of 50% reductions in energy use, water use, and transportation emissions (for existing buildings) and carbon neutrality (for new construction) -- all by the year 2030?

For 21 years, Green Building Alliance has proved that high performance buildings are fiscally, environmentally, and socially responsible.  As the convener of the Pittsburgh 2030 District, GBA and the Partners of the Pittsburgh 2030 District strongly believe that with a detailed action plan, a property owner or manager committed to 2030 District targets can meet these objectives through a variety of mechanisms that include existing products and technology, best practices, occupant behavior modification, financing opportunities, building performance information, and by learning from each other.

No single partner of the Pittsburgh 2030 District pretends that we have all the answers, but by learning from each other as we reach for the top, we will help the Pittsburgh 2030 District get there as a whole.  By forging partnerships, collaborating, and utilizing our local and national network of existing and yet-to-be developed resources, we're working to make key changes to the way buildings are designed, constructed, operated, and maintained--in real time.  

Signing a commitment pledge for the Pittsburgh 2030 District is the first step.  We invite you to join us and help us and Pittsburgh demonstrate to the world why we are and continue to be the most livable city.

 

Why focus on buildings for environmental sustainability, health improvements, and economic prosperity?

High performance buildings have proven track records of simultaneously increasing business and property profitability, reducing environmental impacts, and improving occupant health. This groundbreaking project will keep Pittsburgh competitive and ensure a healthy and livable city in 2030.  Please visit Green Building Alliance's extensive website for more information on green buildings and the business case for high performing properties.

 

How does the 2030 District fit with other national building performance initiatives?

The Pittsburgh 2030 District leverages the goals of the international 2030 Challenge, with an added healthy building target.  This comprehensive, place-based initiative is working to measurably transform a large cohort of buildings into a sustainable community via an innovative, visible, large-scale initiative unique to and reflective of Pittsburgh. 

Building on the best elements of existing national sustainable community and energy initiatives like the 2030 Challenge and DOE's Better Buildings Challenge, the Pittsburgh 2030 District is also working to add critical performance criteria related to indoor air quality that will establish healthy, high performance practices and measures on a community scale, while providing a replicable model for other communities in Western Pennsylvania and beyond.

 

How does the 2030 District fit with other Pittsburgh environmental initiatives?

With over 30 Community and Resource Partners, the Pittsburgh 2030 District and its convening organization, Green Building Alliance, are in lockstep with other Pittsburgh environmental initiatives.  These Partners bring their professional and organizational experience, expertise, programs, and initiatives to support District Property Partners, while using their District involvement to enrich other local, regional, and national offerings.

Pittsburgh 2030 District goals are based on national and District baselines and create high standards for a quality of life and economic prosperity for all Pittsburghers.

In 2008, the City of Pittsburgh set a goal for itself and Greater Pittsburgh to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 2003 levels by the year 2023 -- across all sectors. The Pittsburgh 2030 District will help to achieve this goal for City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County properties, as well as focus regional building performance on new targets that carry progress to 2030 and beyond.  For more information, visit Pittsburgh Climate Initiative and read the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, which recommends actions across the government, business, higher education, and community sectors that are bringing Greater Pittsburgh closer to its greenhouse gas reduction goal.  The Pittsburgh 2030 District and all of its partners are taking action to reduce air emissions of all kinds through partnership with the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative and The Breathe Project -- and so can you. 

 

How is the Pittsburgh 2030 District different from the Green Workplace Challenge?

In 2011, Sustainable Pittsburgh started Pittsburgh's Green Workplace Challenge to help the business sector save money and reduce emissions by using energy more efficiently, thus contributing to the primary goal of the Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan, which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Pittsburgh 20% by 2023 (from 2003 levels) and improve our region’s overall air quality.

The Green Workplace Challenge is a year-long friendly challenge program where organizations receive due recognition for their actions and achievements in a variety of categories (including energy and water tracking, sustainability actions, organizational policies, event sustainability, waste tracking, and transportation ). Actions that demonstrate measurable change provide companies with a baseline for future comparison. In its second iteration, the 2013-2014 Green Workplace Challenge is occurring over a year-long period and includes lots of opportunities for measurable and verifiable actions for businesses and property owners to implement, which results in earning points and recognition.

As a Community Partner of the Pittsburgh 2030 District, Sustainable Pittsburgh and GBA encourage Property Partners to engage in the Green Workplace Challenge as a launch pad for achieving and tracking their progress towards Pittsburgh 2030 District goals.

Both the Pittsburgh 2030 District and the Green Workplace Challenge are part of the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative collaboration and Green Building Alliance is on the Green Workplace Challenge Oversight Committee

 

Why does the Pittsburgh 2030 District have a geographic boundary?

Downtown Pittsburgh provides the highest density of existing building square feet in addition to high visibility as a a national identifier for Pittsburgh. The Oakland neighborhood, currently the third largest economic sector in Pennsylvania, incorporates a large number of educational institutions and medical facilities.  Both Pittsburgh 2030 District boundaries provide for the larges impact on energy, water and transportation use in pursuit of the 2030 Challenge Goals.  Consequently, focusing the Pittsburgh 2030 District efforts on these neighborhoods helps publicize the District's efforts while inspiring others to action. GBA has already expanded the successful Pittsburgh 2030 District model from Downtown, to include Oakland, the Bluff, and portions of the Northside. 

Additionally, in terms of both number of buildings and square footage, Downtown Pittsburgh has the highest-density of Pittsburgh's 90+ neighborhoods with Oakland having the highest energy use per square foot. Both Pittsburgh's Central Business District and Oakland's Fifth and Forbes corridor have a significant amount of property owned and operated by a relatively small number of organizations, which provides focus and potential. By initially focusing on a concentrated geographic area (which includes the City and County government, small and large businesses, and universities), the Pittsburgh 2030 District has been able to engage a significant number of buildings, amount of square footage, and footprint of the District in a shorter period of time--thus demonstrating to others locally, regionally, and nationally that achieving District goals is possible, feasible, and a smart business decision.