When you apologize to Pittsburgh are flowers appropriate?




Around the start of the month I posted this; Blue and Green Pittsburgh Home. It was a cool home and a good post except I said this, “In the usually not-so-green nor innovative Pittsburgh…” yup, me just not thinking.

Honestly, I was thinking. I was thinking that many things I read about Pittsburgh report that much of the architecture is stuck in the past; and is not uniquely eco-friendly. However, have I been to Pittsburgh — no. Also, when speaking of the building process my experience is Northwest and Southwest based so that’s me off base as well.

So, I get a comment after I posted from a concerned Pittsburgh citizen who tells me,

“Your comment “the usually not-so-green nor innovative Pittsburgh” couldn’t be more wrong. Pittburgh is a leader in green building. There are more LEED certified buildings in Pittsburgh than most other cities in the country — it ranks #7. Additionally, a first-of-its-kind program in the country–the Green Building Products Initiative–is beginning its second year at the innovative Green Building Alliance in Pittsburgh.”

Yikes. So I email said commenter and tell her my views and the fact that I’m not so keen on LEED standards because they do make it a smidgen more complicated than need be (you know they do). She emails back and was super nice. Turns out she’s working with Green Building Alliance and the Green Building Product Initiative. She gave me some of her points about where Pittsburgh is making waves in green building and she wasn’t off base so I told her I’d adjust the post. This is my official adjustment though because I felt it deserved it’s own post.

It took me longer to do this though than I told her it would because over the last two weeks I’ve been looking up green building issues in Pittsburgh and to tell you the truth websites covering the green building movement there are few and far between. That said just because Pittsburgh doesn’t have green homes featured every which where doesn’t mean that they are not in fact making headway.

I did check out the Green Building Alliance and the Green Building Product Initiative and both were useful sites if you are interested in eco-friendly building. What I was looking for were a few more unique home examples. I did see some and will likely be showing a few soon I just didn’t see many. However, because of time constraints I haven’t had time to search for architects at places like Low Impact Living.

I was going to post this today and then low and behold but what should appear but a press release about the $100k house. I’ve been talking a while so I’ll just list the main points.

A team consisting of a developer; Postgreen, Interface Studio Architects, Level 5 Construction, Hyperion Bank are attempting to design, build and possibly sell an affordable modern and green home in Philadelphia, PA. Hmmm, speak of the devil right.

Stats from their site include:

  • “new construction home on infill lot (18′ x 60′)
  • 2 stories and 1,000 square feet
  • 2 beds and a bath
  • $100,000 or $100 per square foot construction budget
  • conforms to LEED (silver?) and possibly other”green guidelines””

I have a few thoughts on this but this post isn’t about that so I’ll fill you in later. For now you can check out their blog 100k House to get the low-down and form your own opinion. I’ll absolutely be reading their blog — it should be interesting.

Anyhow, the gist of this post is that it’s a good deal that many places are trying to build in a more eco-friendly manner; Pittsburgh as well. I appreciate the original commenter who made me think and who was exceptionally nice even though I put down her city. Also, I do apologize if that comment upset anyone else — sometimes I just type while I’m thinking instead of thinking before I type.

Hopefully, we’ll see more green building coming from everywhere in the future and ideally we can dump all the standards because people will build green as normal not the exception and we won’t even need to discuss it. That to me sounds good. I don’t like how green is so “in” it should just be; you know.

Ok, as always if you have thoughts, hate me or adore me; I like all comments so go ahead and say what’s on your mind.

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    • http://www.postgreen.com Chad Ludeman

      Thanks for the mention Jennifer. Sometimes it seems all we hear about regarding green innovations is coming from Cali, NYC or Chicago so I can see your original point. On the upside, PA has been making some great strides in the past few years and is headed in the right direction as your commenter points out.

      LEED ratings for homes has been a bit controversial and I understand all viewpoints. It is however one of the only ways to currently prove that no corners were cut during construction and a clear indicator to the market of what your home is all about…

      Our name, postgreen, alludes to the fact that we are trying to build homes and buildings the way we feel like they should (and hopefully will) after the current “green fad” is over. We try to put priorities like energy efficiency and indoor air quality at the top of our list and create a design that is easy to upgrade in the future with renewable energy systems. By focusing on these things rather than the “green” finish products or materials we feel like the homeowner gets the most bang for their “green” buck rather than a thin coat of greenwashing on the interior that they end up paying a premium for.

    • http://jenfreedom.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Chait

      Hey Chad, thanks for stopping by. I get all the LEED points as well. I just keep thinking that when it comes to green standards that there should be no need because all of our standards should be this way. Instead of green it would just be a house. Is there really any other ethical way to build? Especially when, once you figure in energy costs of building (people, supplies, all of it) it’s tough to meet true eco-standards. I hope that makes sense.

      On the other hand the world has not embraced better building across the board so LEED is good in that respect. I am very interested in the work postgreen is attempting to achieve so I’ll be watching for sure. I’m looking forward to seeing your models when they’re up. I also write a green blog for families and the whole point there is to make it easy for families to go green. Something like postgreen would help — make it less overwhelming perhaps. Feel free to keep me updated; my email is above and good luck with your projects :)

    • http://www.flashfictionnow.blogspot.com Guy Hogan

      Pittsburgh is my hometown and it’s always interesting to see how others view my hometown. I live in and blog about Pittsburgh. l also know how important the “green” revolution is. It is bloggers like you that help keep this revolution alive and help keep alive the hope of all sane people that not only love their hometown but also love this planet.

    • http://jenfreedom.blogspot.com/ Jennifer Chait

      Well, Guy… that may have been the nicest comment I’ve gotten all week. I’m glad that a couple folks from PA have gotten on here to speak. It really shows that the original comment from the PA individual was right. I think that when people are happy with their hometown that they’ll take more actions when it comes to eco-sense; pride is useful in the green fight. I’ll have to check out your blog too. Thanks for being so cool and for stopping by.

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