« All Events Member-Only LEED Tour and MAKEnight: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

What better way to spend a chilly night than at the innovative and whimsical Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh? Event guests will receive a tour of the LEED-Silver certified space, enjoy great food and drinks, and get a chance to make something cool with the museum’s MAKESHOP staff. Join us!

One of our city’s top museums for children and families has a lot going for it. Not only has it been listed as one of Parents Magazine’s Top 15 children’s museums in the country (2015), but in 2006 it was the first  museum of its size in the country to achieve a LEED silver designation. The space incorporates sustainability, health and high-performance into the museum experience too, with features like a demonstration solar energy system and a vegetated roof. Other green features include dual flush toilets, a composting system in the museum cafe, reused and salvaged building materials, and 100% renewable energy used for electricity.

This unique tour offers GBA members insight into the sustainable aspects of the museum along with a networking happy hour in the building’s foyer. To top it off, guests can try their hand at crafting a little something to bring home with them. The tour, led by museum Deputy Director Chris Siefert, will include details about how the building’s LEED certification has impacted operations, visitor experience, and employee satisfaction in the years since it achieved its Silver status. Siefert, who oversaw all aspects of the museum’s LEED Silver expansion, earned his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in landscape architecture from Cornell University. He regularly presents at conferences and webinars addressing issues of non-profit leadership, sustainability, and the roles of institutions in their communities.


5:30 – 6:30 p.m. – LEED tour of the muesum

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. – Food, drinks, networking, and making our own silk screen craft to take home

Learning Objectives:

1.Discover how the LEED NC rating system can be applied to a museum, and used in ongoing education of even the youngest audiences.

2.Learn how a LEED NC certification can impact building operations over a long period of time.

3.Explore the LEED NC certified space of the Children’s Museum and learn about the features implemented and credits pursued.

4.Learn how iconic Pittsburgh buildings like this one are leading their industries in healthy and high-performing buildings.

More information at this link!


our downtown Pittsburgh apartment experiences

We have lived at two different apartment buildings (soon to be a third) in downtown Pittsburgh. We’ve looked at almost every one in the city.

Apartment buildings we’ve lived in:

The Penn Garrison at 905 Penn Ave. It’s run by PMC Property Group:

We ended up taking over a lease in what I think was the best unit in the building – 1A on the Mezzanine level. We had no neighbors on two of the four sides of the unit (below and beside). We were able to open the windows that faced Penn Avenue and actually talk to people on street level. It was cool to watch the city go by like that. Our unit was a 1,000 square foot, one bedroom apartment with the only bathroom access through the bedroom. It seemed to have a lot of wasted space as the bedroom and bathroom were along a hallway that came from the front door of the unit. We could hear our next door neighbors pretty easily. The drywall that made up one set of walls wasn’t fastened to the studs properly and we could plainly hear the neighbors on the other side of the wall.

The building has a great gym and deck on the 9th story. From the deck you can look down the Ohio River and see into PNC Park and Heinz Field. The deck was the BEST feature of the building!

We were able to get repairs pretty quickly and the property manager was responsive to our overall concerns. I was able to introduce them to Uber when they first got to town and the GetCreative classes at the Art Institutes.

I’m not going to say what we paid in rent but it was comparable for similar size apartments in Pittsburgh.

Lofts at Liberty at 915 Liberty Ave. It’s run by a husband and wife team:

Large (500 more square feet than our unit at the Penn Garrison), box like split-level open floor plan with 20 foot ceilings and windows that are almost as high. The unit is so open and large I feel cramped in a more traditional floor plan. The building is small – 8 units – so you could live your life without seeing anyone for days or weeks. There is no front door security but the front door of the building is a small store front and you get a key. The rent was a little bit less than what we paid at Penn Garrison for much more space.

As of April 10, we’re waiting to get our security deposit back. We cleaned, painted and fixed everything we could.

We are now living in River City Flats in uptown Pittsburgh.

Uptown has been called one of the area’s up-and-coming neighborhoods. Costs are low and it actually can make renting just as smart of a financial decision as buying. We have two – very close – areas where we can park. We are paying a lot less in rent than the average 1 bedroom in the Golden Triangle.

I noticed this site is coming up in searches for a downtown Pittsburgh grocery store. The blunt answer to any question about that search term is…THERE IS NONE. I talk about what is available in a few other posts but figured it would be a good addition to this page. In downtown Pittsburgh proper (also called the Golden Triangle) the closes thing is the Market Street Grocery but it is sorely lacking in…almost everything. The costs are high unless you go in for omething very specific and my wife has been panhandled inside the store twice. I tweeted to the store about it twice…with no response.

Take some time and walk to the strip or to the Shop n Save in the Hill District. You’ll get more for your money.

…more information to come…

#pittsburgh http://bit.ly/1okeifO