Former empty parking lots and derelict buildings have become a new center of retail, office and living space in East Liberty, once Pennsylvania’s third densest neighborhood. Completed in 2006, evolveEA managed the LEED for Core and Shell (CS) certification process for the Eastside II Retail Project. After working together to successfully certify Eastside II as one of the first LEED Gold CS projects in the US, the Mosites Company asked evolveEA to assist with sustainable strategy and certification management for Eastside III, a mixed-use residential and retail development on an adjacent site.
At Eastside II, evolveEA advocated for a rainwater catchment basin under the retail site. Rainwater is now routinely pumped from the basin into a cart that physically irrigates the plantings—a solution that simultaneously mitigates stormwater runoff and saves money on irrigation. evolveEA also composed a handbook of tenant guidelines to inform building occupants about how the building design supports a healthy environment; how the building saves water, energy and resources; and what tenants can do to synergize these efforts. For instance, if employees bicycle to work, washing facilities are available.
Eastside III, branded as Eastside Bond, is designed to support sustainable urban lifestyles. The project was the first completed LEED ND Gold project in Pennsylvania and also achieved LEED for Homes Gold certification for its three mixed-use residential buildings. The development is in a walkable neighborhood with immediate access to shopping, entertainment, recreation, public transit and biking routes. Adjacent to Eastside Bond is Port Authority’s MLK East Busway that provides rapid transit bus service linking East Liberty to Downtown Pittsburgh and suburban communities. Eastside Bond’s three five-story buildings have shops, restaurants and common facilities at street level and apartments above. Parking and bike storage for residents is located in an underground garage.
The project’s pedestrian bridge to and across the Busway provides improved access between the East Liberty and Shadyside neighborhoods. The master planning, streetscape, public amenities, landscaping and building design incorporate LEED for Neighborhood Development’s measurable benchmarks to foster a highly sustainable neighborhood. LEED for Homes criteria were used to systematically design, construct and operate the residences and associated common spaces in a healthy, energy-efficient, water-conserving and resource sustaining manner. Both LEED Certifications require that sustainable features be tested and verified during and following construction.