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Landmarks Housing Resource Center to host green building workshop, Saturday

If you've ever wondered what it really means to "build green,” a workshop this weekend will seek to answer that question and more.  The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation is partnering with Artemis Environmental to explore green building definitions, and will be offering demonstrations for do-it-yourselfers as part of the event.

Ian Miller, of Artemis, says many factors, including material types, travel distances, and emissions, can distinguish a building  as green or not.  At the workshop, Miller will focus on two aspects of green design: flooring and wall finishes.

Attendees will learn about flooring made of cork, bamboo, locally-timbered wood, and a marmoreal.  Miller says none of these products require advanced technical know-how, and he will demonstrate to home-owners how to prepare and install each item.

Artemis Environmental started in 2005 as a green building products supplier, but is now adding design and installation service to the company’s offerings.

Janice Webb Donatelli, Artemis' founder, says although green building has grown in popularity, many of the techniques employed aren’t actually new.

“Being green is reconnecting to the past,” she says, and points to American Clay as an example.  That company offers a line of wall finishes, made from mud and natural pigments, which belongs to a centuries-old tradition.

And Donatelli says this clay-based finish is not just healthy for the environment, but is also good for the body and wellness.  The clay acts as an ion neutralizer and is porous, allowing walls to breathe and improving indoor air quality.

Karamagi Rujumba, of the PHLF, says historic preservation is a fundamental aspect of green building.  Saturday’s event seeks to demonstrate that innovations in green building can be applied to older structures, as well as new.

The free workshop is part of an ongoing series, located in the Landmarks Housing Resource Center, in Wilkinsburg.  To RSVP, contact Mary Lu Denny at 412-471-5808.  744 Rebecca Ave, Wilkinsburg, PA 15222.

Writer:  Andrew Moore
Source:  Karamagi Rujumba; Ian Miller, Janice Webb Donatelli
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