Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh Building

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh Building, Pennsylvania Design, American Property

Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh Building

Environmental Education Development in Pennsylvania, USA – design by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson architects

Apr 23, 2019

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh

Design: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, architects

Location: Pittsburgh, USA

Frick Environmental Center Honored by AIA Committee on the Environment

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Receives COTE Top Ten Plus Award for Living Building-certified project in Pittsburgh

Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh Building
photograph © Ed Massery

Pittsburgh, PA (April 22, 2018) – The Frick Environmental Center, designed by architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, has received a prestigious 2019 Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Plus Award. Sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment, this national honor is the industry’s premier program celebrating great design and great performance and highlights projects that meet COTE’s rigorous criteria for social, economic, and ecological value.

Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh Building
photo © Ed Massery

Completed in 2016, The Frick Environmental Center (FEC) embodies principles of equity, education, and stewardship. Free and open to all, the FEC is a four-season welcome facility, hub, and gateway to Pittsburgh’s 644-acre Frick Park. The net-positive, LEED Platinum, and Living Building-certified center is a project of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the City of Pittsburgh. Serving over 75,000 visitors annually, the FEC is part of an educational ecosystem for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and provides the community with a living classroom and active forum for hands-on lessons in and conversations about sustainability.

Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh
photograph © Alexander Denmarsh

“We are thrilled to be a recipient of this prestigious award. The Frick Environmental Center is a vibrant, welcoming facility that educates and impacts on many levels,” said Camila Rivera-Tinsley, Director of Education for Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.

Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh
photo © Alexander Denmarsh

The FEC is the only project of the ten awardees this year to be recognized with a Plus award, which highlights projects with exemplary performance data and post occupancy lessons. The FEC uses 40-percent less energy than comparable benchmarks, and the energy used is offset entirely via solar and geothermal capture.

The building is also designed for net-positive water use, with rainwater harvested for non-potable use, over 636,000 gallons of stormwater diverted annually, and wastewater processing taking place on site. In the two-and-a-half years since the FEC opened, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has reported a 142% increase in program participation, further testament to the value of this community asset.

Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh Building
photo © Nic Lehoux

“The Center’s pursuit of Living Building Challenge has reinforced the philosophy within our practice that sustainable design is not only the right thing to do ethically, but also an opportunity to make a richer and more evocative architecture,” remarked Patricia Culley, Senior Associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Project Architect for the FEC.

Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh Building
photo © Nic Lehoux

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson collaborated with construction manager PJ Dick and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to design the Center.

This is the third COTE Top Ten awarded to a Pittsburgh-region project in the past four years, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s fourth COTE Top Ten Award. This year’s award recipients will be recognized at the 2019 AIA National Conference on Architecture, June 6 – 8 in Las Vegas, NV.

Frick Environmental Center Building
photo © Christian Phillips Photography

About Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was founded in December 1996 by a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating conditions of Pittsburgh’s historic city parks. A nonprofit organization, the Parks Conservancy works closely with the City of Pittsburgh under an official public-private partnership agreement to restore and improve the city’s park system to its full potential. To date, the Parks Conservancy has raised $100 million toward park improvements. The Parks Conservancy works with thousands of volunteers annually, has completed 17 major park improvement projects, and is active in 22 regional, neighborhood, and community parks. For more information, please visit www.pittsburghparks.org.

Frick Environmental Center Building
photo © Christian Phillips Photography

About AIA COTE TOP TEN
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE®) Top Ten Awards is the industry’s best-known award program for sustainable design excellence. Each year, ten innovative projects are recognized for their integration of design excellence with environmental performance. In order to be eligible, project submissions are required to demonstrate alignment with COTE’s rigorous criteria for 10 measures that include social, economic, and ecological values. The five-member jury evaluates each project submission based on a cross-section of the 10 metrics balanced with the holistic approach to the design. For more information, please visit www.aia.org.

May 15, 2018

Frick Environmental Center Building

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Design: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, architects

Location: Pittsburgh, USA

Frick Environmental Center Achieves Prestigious Living Building Certification

Frick Environmental Center Pittsburgh Building
photo : Elliott Cramer for Denmarsh Photo c/o Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson

After more than a year of extensive testing and documentation, the Frick Environmental Center (FEC) has achieved Living Building certification, the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard by the International Living Future Institute. Designed by renowned architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the FEC is the first Living Building in the U.S. that is municipally owned and free and open to the public.

“The international recognition of the Frick Environmental Center is the perfect reflection of the deeply-rooted convictions shared by the City of Pittsburgh, the Parks Conservancy, and the entire construction and design team,” said Patricia Culley, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson senior associate and FEC project architect.

Completed in 2016, the 16,000-square-foot center was certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council in December 2017, received an Award of Excellence from AIA Committee on Education in April, and recognized with a Leadership Award by the Green Building Alliance last fall for its role in a decade-long vision of incorporating the world’s highest sustainability standards into a free, public, municipally owned building.

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson collaborated with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the City of Pittsburgh, construction manager PJ Dick, and landscape architects LaQuatra Bonci to bring the environmental center to life. Made possible via donations and a community-based process that began in 2011, the facility allows students of all ages to partake in environmental classes, events, and programs. It also acts as a gateway to the 644-acre Frick Park, encouraging visitors to experience the surrounding landscape.

The FEC is one of only 21 buildings in the world to achieve Living Building-certification; the facility is the second certified in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania, sharing the honor with the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes. However, the center is the first building to meet the Living Building Challenge designation under v2.1. To qualify, the building must produce as much energy as it consumes annually, eliminate toxic and harmful chemicals, and collect and treat its own water.

Aug 3, 2016

Frick Environmental Center Opening

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Announces Public Unveiling of the Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh

World-class center for environmental education designed to achieve Living Building Challenge standards

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh

Frick Environmental Center photos: Nic Lehoux

Pittsburgh, PA (August 2, 2016) – The Frick Environmental Center (FEC), the first municipally owned, free and public Living Building Challenge targeted facility, will be unveiled to the public for the first time in a public celebration on Saturday, September 10. Designed by renowned architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ), the building will be a world-class center for environmental education.

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh

A joint venture between the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the FEC will act as a gateway to the 644-acre Frick Park. Designed and engineered to achieve Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum standards, the building will provide experiential learning to a projected 20,000 K-12 students and hundreds of thousands of people who visit each year.

“The Frick Environmental Center is a world-class green building for a world-class city, and we’re excited for the public to have their first glimpse of this incredible resource for our region,” said Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy founder and CEO Meg Cheever. “The September 10 celebration will give a sampling of the beautiful building and grounds, environmental education programming, and community spirit that the Center will have to offer our city for generations to come.”

The Conservancy now has a home base for its growing environmental education programs, which are offered to students in Pittsburgh’s public schools. Fully equipped classrooms, offices, and support spaces provide the much-needed amenities for the Conservancy’s award-winning programs, while a public ‘living room’ and gallery space welcome park visitors to stop in to learn more about the park’s history and extensive trails, and the sustainability of the building.

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh

The design and construction team, led by BCJ and regional construction powerhouse PJ Dick, collaborated with the City and Parks Conservancy throughout the design process, which included extensive community outreach. More than 1,000 community stakeholders provided feedback, helping to define programmatic elements such as the Slavery to Freedom Garden and rain veil art installation. Many of the site’s original features have been restored as well, including historic gatehouses, an alleé, and fountain.

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh

To meet Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum standards, the FEC will use 35% less energy than baseline structures. The building will achieve net zero energy and water utilizing elements such as ground-source heat pumps, radiant floors, a photovoltaic array, and a reclaimed water system that will provide captured and filtered storm water for irrigation, use in the fountain, and building non-potable use.

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh

To minimize the project’s carbon footprint, all building materials came from within a 1,200-mile radius of the site, and subcontractors and tradespeople were hired in the Allegheny County-Western Pennsylvania region. In choosing the design team, the Conservancy selected BCJ for their design capabilities, as well as their 40-year presence in Pittsburgh; and PJ Dick for their longstanding and highly regarded work in the region.

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh

The FEC will be free and open to the public during park hours. Beginning Spring 2017, the building will also be available for event rental. Living Building Challenge certification is targeted for Spring 2018.

Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh images / information from Bohlin Cywinski Jackson architects

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Address: 2005 Beechwood Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, United States
Phone: +1 412-422-6538




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Frick Environmental Center in Pittsburgh Building, PA, USA

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