WV's EDISON.21 Team to Connect with Pittsburgh Innovators

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Explorers in cutting-edge urban and rural revitalization will visit top high performance, adaptive reuse, and community design sites in southwestern PA.

"This trip is designed to open a new conversation about how to deal with problems that are common in every community.”

The EDISON.21 Project, a program dedicated to cultivating innovative thinking that leads to new business development, heads to the Pittsburgh area Thursday for its first full immersion in sustainable community design.

The EDISON.21 team, a group of 12 young adults, plus design and construction professionals, mentors and program sponsors, are slated to visit several sites that are the world’s first examples of high performance building in several categories.

The three-day tour will include stops at Bakery Square, where the group will meet and talk with developer Todd Reidbord of Walnut Capital; Consol Energy Center, the world’s first LEED Gold Certified hockey arena; and the David L. Lawrence Center, the world’s first “green” convention facility.

“We’re visiting some of Pittsburgh’s best-known examples of commercial and residential high performance, adaptive reuse, and neighborhood revitalization projects,” says Sarah Halstead Boland, executive director of WV GreenWorks. “These types of projects helped redefine Pittsburgh, making it easier to attract and retain creative talent, and grow new opportunities. Emphasis on sustainability and resource management has proven to be good for business, according to owners of these facilities.”

The first tour day, dedicated to commercial development, will wind up with dinner at the LEED gold-certified Fairmont Hotel followed by a tour of the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

The second day, Saturday, includes a tour of Sota Construction Services, Inc. projects such as Riverside Mews, the South Hills High School adaptive reuse project, and the urban biophillic pavilion located atop a nineteenth century row house. EDISON.21 team members will travel to meet Slippery Rock University faculty and tour the Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems, and will visit a Slippery Rock Watershed Association wetlands project that addresses coal mine acid drainage at Jennings State Park.

On Sunday, the group will visit Fallingwater, a rural mountain residence designed in 1935 by Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the world’s best-known organic architects.

“We’re making it a point to introduce the EDISON.21 team to projects and people with proven track records of transformative success,” Sarah Halstead Boland explains.

She says Jason Clark, of MaGrann Associates, a company that is a national pioneer in Energy Star and LEED project consulting, will join the group on Friday and Saturday. “Clark is a Pittsburgh native and an innovator in sustainable design and efficiency. It’s always good to see a place through the eyes of an insider.

“Mentoring programs are often difficult to establish and manage,” Halstead Boland continues. “WV Greenworks is grateful to the Workforce West Virginia Region I Investment Board for their wisdom and innovative spirit in supporting this groundbreaking program. This trip is designed to open a new conversation about how to deal with problems that are common in every community.”

The Region 1 Workforce Investment Board is also working with the Southern Workforce West Virginia GREENUP Council. For more information on the EDISON.21 Project, email Sarah at WVGreenWorks dot com.


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