Dedicated to growing the urban forest, Tree Pittsburgh wanted a sustainable headquarters that gives employees and volunteers easy access to the 100,000 trees they nurture and plant each year. Sited on a former steel mill above the Allegheny River, the simple, open building is comprised of nine double height modules, prefabricated in nearby Clarion, PA. Using prefabricated modules reduces on-site construction waste and creates a tight thermal seal for the building. The modules sit lightly on the land, anchored by foundation piles that compress, rather than displace existing soil. Strategically placed doors and windows capture views and bring in light. A long, linear porch serves as an outdoor space for staff to relax and for guests to gather at an event. Photovoltaic solar panels on the south-facing roof will provide their power, helping Tree Pittsburgh achieve net zero energy. A 3,000-gallon temperature-controlled water tank provides the campus with its potable water; sensors alert staff when supply is low.
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