A former school building in Pittsburgh's Hill District is going green. Plans have been unveiled to turn the old Connelly Tech building, which was erected in 1929 but vacant for the last 6 years, into a lab for future technology.
The group Pittsburgh Green Innovators is in the process of purchasing the building from the school district and will begin renovations this fall. Green Innovators Vice President Deno de Ciantis says the building's power infrastructure will be deeply retrofitted...
"We're looking at geothermal, solar, wind and micro-turbines using different kinds of fuel. The integration of all those different energy systems will allow for a tremendous educational opportunity....as well as dealing with higher performance glazing and high performance materials."
Green roofs and wastewater treatment projects will also be employed.
De Ciantis says much of the infrastructure will remain in the open and control panels will be installed to allow all of the building's energy production and consumption to be monitored. The plan is for the building to become a lab for teaching sustainable building and maintenance techniques. Funds are in place to build out 80,000 of the building's 188,000 square feet of space. As more money becomes available, the other floors will be refurbished and rented to tenants.
Pittsburgh Gateways will do the work on the building with most of the money coming from grants and Gateways financing some of it. Pittsburgh Gateways Vice President Bill Miller says they will use all of the greenest construction practices available and strive for the greatest women and minority participation possible.