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UNECE and Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance launch International Centre of Excellence on High Performance Buildings

Published: 13 September 2019

UNECE and Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance (GBA) signed an agreement launching Pittsburgh’s International Centre of Excellence on High Performance Buildings. Pittsburgh joins New York City’s Building Energy Exchange as the 2nd Centre of Excellence in a global network of sustainability experts tasked with disseminating and deploying UNECE’s Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings. As part of UNECE’s high performance buildings initiative, the Centres will distill best practices in design, construction, training, and policy into scalable solutions, catalyzing economies based on human health and equitable opportunity.

“Of all the approaches to addressing the world’s climate challenge, improving the energy performance of buildings stands out.  Beyond reducing our carbon footprint, this action will enhance quality of life, reduce energy bills, improve health, create jobs and encourage innovation, explained UNECE Director of Sustainable Energy Scott Foster at the launch ceremony on 12 September. “The UN is pleased and proud to partner with Pittsburgh’s Green Building Alliance in support of our high-performance buildings initiative.”

“The International Centres transform how we build cities, from the materials we use, to building design and construction, to the policies that set new standards for the future,” notes GBA Executive Director Jenna Cramer. “We have the unparalleled opportunity to champion cutting-edge innovation while transitioning our workforce to create a healthier future.

Pittsburgh’s International Centre represents a collaboration among regional partners, including the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, connecting with, contributing to, and benefiting from the global network of international centres. Building on the success of GBA’s Pittsburgh 2030 District, the largest in the world, the Centre will unite Western Pennsylvania’s most influential developers, business leaders, and policymakers to dramatically advance sustainable solutions.   

Note to Editors

About UNECE’s high performance buildings initiative

One of the five regional commissions of the United Nations, UNECE promotes international policy dialogue and cooperation among governments, industry and other stakeholders. UNECE’s work on sustainable energy is designed to improve access to affordable and clean energy for all and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of the energy sector, supporting member States in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and commitments under the Paris Agreement.  UNECE’s high performance buildings initiative aims at fostering partnerships to disseminate its Framework Guidelines for Energy Efficiency Standards in Buildings.

About Green Building Alliance

Green Building Alliance (GBA) advances innovation in the built environment by empowering people to create environmentally, economically, and socially vibrant places. As Greater Pittsburgh’s authority on sustainable design, GBA drives the market for healthy communities while equipping designers, manufacturers, developers, and policymakers to catalyze systemic change. GBA manages the largest 2030 District in North America, and in 2019, established Pittsburgh as the 2nd International Centre of Excellence on High Performance Building in the world. GBA partners across Western Pennsylvania, with strategic alliances including the Green Schools National Network, the United Nations and International Living Future Institute.


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