Pittsburgh Aggressively Reduces Energy and Water

May 20, 2014

A community of high-performing buildings, members of the Pittsburgh 2030 District are making strides toward energy and water efficiency.

To participate, properties commit to a 50% reduction in energy consumption by 2030, which is measured by site energy use intensity (EUI) from the 2003 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). The Green Building Alliance (GBA) works with each facility to establish a specific EUI baseline, taking into account current use types, operational characteristics, and regional climate factors.

So far, the district reports an aggregated site EUI of 70.5, which represents an 11.6% reduction from the baseline. At 286,508,179 kBTU avoided, this demand reduction is equivalent to removing 7,748 homes from the electric grid.

Unlike the energy target, there is no national average of water consumption for existing buildings. GBA instead worked with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to establish a district water baseline from historic water consumption.

Existing building targets for water consumption mirror those for energy: a 50% reduction by the year 2030, with an interim target of a 10% reduction by 2015.

An indoor air quality metric is currently in development, with a pilot testing phase to open later in 2014.

Launched in 2012, the program has grown to 109 buildings with 35 million square feet of real estate. Participating organizations include PNC Financial Services Group, Point Park University, Carnegie Museums, Jones Lang LaSalle, Trek Development Group, and the Pittsburgh Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers.