Pitt Ohio already has one LEED Gold terminal and is setting its sights on a second.
Pitt Ohio’s first LEED Gold certified building is in Harmar Township, just outside Pittsburgh. The 96,000 square foot building spans 32 acres, and has a 100-door trucking terminal, mechanic shop, and office space. The second, set for fall 2017, is in Ohio.
A recent feature in Green Building Alliance’s Viride details the elements of the Harmar Township terminal that led to its certification. The terminal includes a geothermal well system, with a 500-foot-deep pipe under the building that supplies heat in the winter and serves as a “heat sink” in the summer by keeping the building cooler. In addition to more than 70% of the three-building Harmar terminal being made out of recycled materials, the terminal also features low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, locally-mined bricks, low-flow faucets, waterless urinals, LED lighting, and plenty of natural light from the building’s windows.
Pitt Ohio’s trucking fleet itself is becoming more fuel efficient. The 20% reduction in carbon emissions came from innovations in engine components, the switch to compressed natural gas in some vehicles, using a diesel exhaust fluid system, and switching to electronic forklifts. Green Building Alliance in Viride adds that electric forklifts have “not just eliminated waste oil, but greatly increased the machines’ lifecycles and reduced their maintenance costs,” taking their green impact beyond just emissions.
The land outside the terminal contributes to Pitt Ohio’s LEED certification, using drought-tolerant and native plant species in its landscaping, with room for renewable energy production. The terminal’s 180 solar panels and 20kW WindStax vertical wind turbine power the terminal through the building’s own microgrid, a project led by Greg Reed of the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering. The microgrid project includes an on-site laboratory at which “students can use to learn about direct current power, experience a real-life, behind-the-meter microgrid, and test and verify if design considerations are actually yielding results,” Green Building Alliance describes in Viride.
President and owner of Pitt Ohio, Charles L. Hammel III, says that the company’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond just the new LEED-certified buildings. In an interview with Green Building Alliance he explained that Pitt Ohio’s “approach to sustainability is really a common sense approach centered around people, planet, and profit…we need to sustain our trained workforce in order to provide customers with exceptional service, so we work diligently on our culture. In addition, we feel a sense of responsibility to help preserve our planet by making better use of natural resources and reducing our carbon footprint. Lastly, we need to sustain our profits in order to continue to be a viable organization moving forward.”
The sustainability consultant for the Harmar Township terminal, Marc Mondor, managing principal and co-founder of evolveEA, told the Pittsburgh Business Times that the Harmar and Ohio projects will make Pitt Ohio the first trucking company to have two LEED Gold certified terminals.
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