Consistent with the Environmental Center’s mission, the new facility is designed to be a teaching demonstration of sustainable design building principles. The building, which is located on a south-facing slope, will employ many passive design strategies, including natural ventilation, daylighting and green roofs, to minimize energy consumption. Water will be collected and reused on the site for irrigation, and regional materials such as stone, concrete and glass will be featured throughout the new building. The design team has targeted the highest LEED rating, the Platinum level, for the project.
The new Center will include indoor and outdoor classrooms, a teaching laboratory, public assembly and exhibit spaces, and offices. The project is now in fundraising. IKM has assisted the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy with design renderings and presentations to foundations to enlist support for the $6 million project.