PA Women's Center & Shelter Awarded LEED
In an emailed press release, the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh (WC&S) recently announced that it was awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for its building renovation.
“Achieving LEED certification is more than just implementing sustainable practices. It represents a commitment to making the world a better place and influencing others to do better,” said Peter Templeton, President and CEO, USGBC. “Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role buildings play in that effort, Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh is creating a path forward through their LEED certification.”
About the Project
According to the release, the center’s renovation achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
“Safety in all forms is a primary goal at WC&S,” said Nicole Molinaro, WC&S President and CEO. “This building renovation and the high standards set forth by LEED help prioritize the comfort and health of survivors of domestic violence and their children. The increased life cycle of the materials and energy conservation allow us to operate at a reduced cost and commit more resources to the safety and healing of survivors.”
To complete the project, WC&S partnered with local architecture and urban design firm, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, to create a sanctuary environment for survivors of domestic violence and their children. According to WC&S, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative won the Social Equity in Design Award in 2019 by the American Institute of Architects, Pittsburgh Chapter, for the project.
“The creation of the sanctuary environment is focused on making a warm and welcoming space that helps to rebuild trust in oneself and others,” said Melanie Buzgan Dower, Principal at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative. “By utilizing familiar, natural materials and elevating access to nature, light, and modulated control of one’s surroundings, we were able to align the goal of creating a home that fosters healing, connections, and recovery from trauma with the creation of a healthier and more sustainable building.”
To complete the project, WC&S partnered with local architecture and urban design firm, Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, to create a sanctuary environment for survivors of domestic violence and their children. (Above: WC&S Dining Room.)
For construction, Pittsburgh-based contractor Rycon Construction Inc. was brought on to carry out work throughout the entire facility. The team was reported to have completed the project in phases to assure uninterrupted and secure functioning of the vital shelter services provide by WC&S.
Throughout the project, the Rycon team was noted to have collaborated with Rothschild Doyno and real estate consultants Dunham reGroup LLC. Playing the role of Owner’s Representative, Dunham reGroup guided decision making as a steward of the economic implementation of the project.
As in most renovation projects, though, one of the last tasks to be completed was the painting of the structure. In adopting sustainable solutions for the project to meet LEED certifications, Rycon brought on subcontractor Thomarios (Pittsburgh) to select the specific coatings and ensure that they met the necessary VOC requirements.
The team was reported to have completed the project in phases to assure uninterrupted and secure functioning of the vital shelter services provide by WC&S. (Above: WC&S Toddler Area.)
For WC&S, Thomarios was reported to use a variety of PPG coatings. According to the subcontractor’s LEEDv4 VOC Submittal Form, the following products were used:
“Green building standards like LEED provide third party assurance that design, construction, and building operations are completed in a way that enhance human health for all occupants, minimize environmental impact, and create economic savings through reduced operating costs,” said Jenna Cramer, Executive Director at Green Building Alliance.
“Those benefits are extremely important for a place like WC&S and benefits all those they serve. The LEED certification contributes to our region’s long legacy of leadership in green building and sustainable design.”
According to WC&S, more than 49,300 commercial and institutional projects are currently participating in LEED, comprising more than 2.6 million square feet of construction space in all 50 states and more than 178 countries and territories.