Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s Frick Environmental Center (FEC) in Pittsburgh will be publicly unveiled September 10th. The FEC is the first municipally owned, free and public Living Building Challenge targeted facility. The project is also built to LEED Platinum standards.

The FEC will act as an environmental education center for an estimated 20,000 students from Pittsburgh public schools, along with thousands of other visitors. Located in the 644-acre Frick Park, the project will provide support spaces, fully equipped classrooms, and offices for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. The FEC will be free and open to the public, and available for event rental by spring 2017. A public “living room” and gallery will welcome visitors to learn about the park’s history, its extensive trails, the building itself.

(Nic Lehoux/Courtesy Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)

(Nic Lehoux/Courtesy Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson collaborated with the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy on the project. The team also worked with more than 1,000 community stakeholders on the design. Along with the new building, other portions of the park will be restored, including historic gatehouses, an alleé, and fountain.

To achieve the Living Building Challenge and LEED Platinum standards, the project uses 35% less energy than baseline structures. With a goal of net zero energy and water, the building will also ground-source heat pumps, radiant floors, a photovoltaic array, and a reclaimed water system. All building materials were sourced within 1,200 miles of the site and subcontractors and tradespeople were hired from the region. Bohlin Cywinski Jackson has also had a local office in Pittsburgh for the past 40-years.

“The September 10 celebration will give a sampling of the beautiful building and grounds, environmental education programming, and community spirit that the Center will have to offer our city for generations to come,” explained Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy founder and CEO Meg Cheever.

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