The County Office Building will become the first municipal building in Allegheny County to construct a green roof. The 8,400 square-foot, energy-efficient rooftop garden will reduce heating and cooling costs as well as stormwater runoff that can pollute Pittsburgh’s rivers. As part of the same project, planters in the Courthouse Courtyard will be converted into rain gardens with drought-tolerant native plants.
“Pittsburgh has a problem with storm water management,” explains Indigo Raffel with Conservation Consultants, Inc.
, which built a green roof on its LEED Gold-certified South Side facility. “The more green roofs and rain gardens we have, the more landscapes we have to absorb the water, so the less water goes into sewer systems and then rivers.”
There is no cost estimate yet for the project, as the county is currently seeking bids. Kevin Evanto, spokesperson for Country Executive Dan Oronato
, says roof construction should be under way by September and complete by the end of the year, and Courtyard construction should be complete by the end of the summer.
Other notable Pittsburgh buildings with green roofs include Hamerschlag Hall at Carnegie Mellon University, the Heinz 57 Center, the Highmark Building, UPMC Montefiore, the Children’s Museum and Giant Eagle Market District.
Upcoming green roof projects include the John P. Robin Civic Building at 200 Ross St., Downtown, which is still in its funding stages, and Phipps Conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes, which is seeking LEED Platinum certification, according to Aurora Sharrard of the Green Building Alliance
County officials are considering future green roof projects at the Kane Regional Centers and Shuman Juvenile Detention Center, both of which feature flat roofs perfect for this type of development, says Evanto.To receive Pop City free every week, click here.
Writer: Caralyn Green
Sources: Kevin Evanto, Allegheny County director of communications; Indigo Raffel, education services, Conservation Consultants, Inc.; Aurora Sharrard, research manager, Green Building Alliance; Janie French, watershed programs manager, 3 Rivers Wet WeatherImage courtesy Allegheny County