A A Email Print Share

Pittsburgh 2030 District Embraces The Bluff

It used to be called Soho and Boyd's Hill, but the neighborhood now known as The Bluff is often characterized by its two largest entities: Duquesne University and UPMC Mercy Hospital. Now that these two properties have committed to the Pittsburgh 2030 District, it's safe to say that The Bluff-which is bordered by the Hill District and Central Business District-represents the first boundary push-out of the Pittsburgh 2030 District: Downtown.

The Pittsburgh 2030 District-a community of high-performance buildings in Downtown and Oakland aiming for 50 percent reductions in energy use, water use, and transportation emissions by the year 2030-was launched in Downtown by Green Building Alliance in 2012 and expanded to Oakland in 2014.The initiative now counts mission-driven Duquesne University and UPMC Mercy's award-winning hospital among its 60+ Property Partners.

"Re-aligning our boundary to include The Bluff was natural for us," said Sean Luther, Senior Director of Pittsburgh 2030 District for Green Building Alliance. "This neighborhood is interconnected with Downtown and is only becoming more so. We're particularly excited to be working even more closely with these two fantastic institutions."

The Pittsburgh 2030 District was a natural fit for Duquesne and aligns well with the school's focus on sustainability and energy efficiency. Sustainability has been a long-standing commitment at Duquesne in facilities management, research and academics, which are wrapped into the University's mission of serving as a responsible steward of natural resources.

"Campus is powered 100 percent by clean energy thanks to an on-site cogeneration plant that also seasonally also uses the steam and cool air produced in the process," said Bridget Fare, associate vice president for Public Affairs at Duquesne. "This alone reduces emissions comparable to what 1,700 cars would produce in a year. We have long practiced composting, recycling and using environmentally friendly procedures and products; our two newest buildings are LEED-certified.These steps have been taken because it's the right thing to do for our campus and our community, and it sets an example for the next generation of leaders that we are educating."

The University is home to the award-winning MBA Sustainability program and the Center for Environmental Research and Education, with undergraduate core courses also focused on ethics and the environment.

UPMC Mercy's participation in the Pittsburgh 2030 District rounds out an already impressive commitment from the UPMC system as a whole, which had previously committed more than 4 million square feet to the District, including its Oakland campus facilities. "This expanded commitment aligns with UPMC initiatives," said Julie Hecker, VP Operations, UPMC Mercy. "UPMC is increasing its commitment to ensure that Pittsburgh is appropriately engaged in all aspects of the Pittsburgh 2030 District."
While the goals of the Pittsburgh 2030 District are ambitious, GBA's team offers support and resources to assist partners in achieving success. Downtown and Oakland partners convene monthly to share lessons learned, discuss economies of scale, and connect with service providers. The District is already ahead of schedule in energy reduction in Downtown, and the team will announce its water and transportation baselines in the first quarter of 2015.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.