Frick Environmental Center Honored by AIA Committee on the Environment
The Frick Environmental Center, designed by architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, has received a prestigious 2019 Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Plus Award. Sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment, this national honor is the industry’s premier program celebrating great design and great performance and highlights projects that meet COTE’s rigorous criteria for social, economic, and ecological value.
Completed in 2016, The Frick Environmental Center (FEC) embodies principles of equity, education, and stewardship. Free and open to all, the FEC is a four-season welcome facility, hub, and gateway to Pittsburgh’s 644-acre Frick Park. The net-positive, LEED Platinum, and Living Building-certified center is a project of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the City of Pittsburgh. Serving over 75,000 visitors annually, the FEC is part of an educational ecosystem for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and provides the community with a living classroom and active forum for hands-on lessons in and conversations about sustainability.
“We are thrilled to be a recipient of this prestigious award. The Frick Environmental Center is a vibrant, welcoming facility that educates and impacts on many levels,” said Camila Rivera-Tinsley, Director of Education for Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
The FEC is the only project of the ten awardees this year to be recognized with a Plus award, which highlights projects with exemplary performance data and post occupancy lessons. The FEC uses 40-percent less energy than comparable benchmarks, and the energy used is offset entirely via solar and geothermal capture. The building is also designed for net-positive water use, with rainwater harvested for non-potable use, over 636,000 gallons of stormwater diverted annually, and wastewater processing taking place on site. In the two-and-a-half years since the FEC opened, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy has reported a 142% increase in program participation, further testament to the value of this community asset.
“The Center’s pursuit of Living Building Challenge has reinforced the philosophy within our practice that sustainable design is not only the right thing to do ethically, but also an opportunity to make a richer and more evocative architecture,” remarked Patricia Culley, Senior Associate at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Project Architect for the FEC.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson collaborated with construction manager PJ Dick and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to design the Center.
This is the third COTE Top Ten awarded to a Pittsburgh-region project in the past four years, and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson’s fourth COTE Top Ten Award. This year’s award recipients will be recognized at the 2019 AIA National Conference on Architecture, June 6 – 8 in Las Vegas, NV.
Contact: Abby Addams