Archive: Mar 2019

  1. Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes First Project to be Awarded 2019 SITES Platinum Certification

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    One of the greenest buildings in the world, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes was also the first building to earn SITES 2009 Pilot Four Star certification

    Pittsburgh, PA, (Released Wednesday, March 20, 2019) — Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is proud to announce the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) is the first project in the world to be certified at the Platinum level under the Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES) v2 Rating System. Owned and administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), SITES is the most comprehensive program for designing, developing and maintaining sustainable landscapes.

    When it opened in 2012, the CSL was the first and only project to receive SITES 2009 Pilot Four Star certification. It continues to set new records as the first project to be certified as SITES Platinum. In order to achieve SITES v2 certification, the CSL needed to meet the new requirements of the SITES v2 Rating System, which builds on the prior SITES 2009 pilot rating system.

    The CSL is one of the greenest projects in the world, developed as an education, research and administrative building which was built over a previously documented brownfield. Dedicated to restoring this site, it has successfully reintroduced 100 native plant species to the surrounding area. The CSL is net-zero energy and net-zero water, generating its own energy through photovoltaic solar panels and a wind turbine, and capturing and treating all water onsite for reuse.

    The SITES rating system is based on the understanding that land is a crucial part of our built environment and by fostering its resiliency, we elevate its economic, environmental and social benefits. SITES provides best practices and benchmarks projects against performance criteria, enabling the market to be rewarded for their leadership in sustainability. Used by landscape architects, engineers, architects, developers, policy makers and others, SITES creates regenerative systems and fosters resiliency; ensures future resource supply and mitigates climate change; transforms the market through design, development and maintenance practices; and enhances human wellbeing and strengthens the community. SITES-certified projects are better able to withstand and recover from floods, droughts, wildfires and other catastrophic events. Projects can help reduce water and energy demand, improve air quality and promote human health and wellbeing.

    SITES was originally developed through a collaborative, interdisciplinary effort of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden. The rating system can be applied to development projects located on sites with or without buildings and draws on the experience gained from a two-year pilot program involving more than 100 projects. Projects that have achieved certification include corporate headquarters, national and city parks, academic campuses and streetscapes. Learn more at

  2. CJL Engineering Chosen for Civil Project in Indiana County

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    Stormwater plan approved

    Mar 14, 2019 

    White Township’s board of supervisors approved a long-discussed stormwater management ordinance Wednesday night.

    Assistant Manager Chris Anderson said the ordinance covers all commercial and multi-residential properties in line with Chapter 275, the township’s existing land development ordinance.

    “It basically encompasses any earth disturbance,” Anderson told the board.

    Supervisor Eugene Gemmell moved to adopt the ordinance, with Supervisor Gail McCauley seconding the motion.

    “Some of this has been very difficult,” McCauley told Anderson. “We applaud what you have done.”

    Vice Chairman George Lenz joined Gemmell and McCauley in approving the ordinance.

    Chairman Robert Overdorff was absent, while another chair will be empty for a while as the township copes with the death of supervisor Jerry Boucher. Lenz called for a moment of silence after the roll call to honor Boucher, 82, who passed away last week.

    McCauley moved and Gemmell seconded what happens next: the filling of a vacancy through year’s end, with the remaining two years of Boucher’s term to be filled in this year’s election.

    Interested residents will have until Wednesday to submit an application that can be found on the township website.

    The supervisors also named to the township’s vacancy board William J. Smith, who also serves on the White Township Municipal Authority and the committee working on an updated comprehensive plan for the township.

    The board of supervisors also approved an ordinance setting a 25 mph speed limit on White Farm and Pinecrest roads. Township Manager Milt Lady said a study by the staff found most motorists travel 25 to 30 mph on those roads.

    The board also chose CJL Engineering of Johnstown to draw up the final engineering and design plans for the new traffic signal planned for Warren and Ben Franklin roads. CJL was chosen over H.F. Lenz Co., also of Johnstown.

    “We have a good track record with (CJL),” Lady said. “They’ve done good work for us.”

    PennDOT is providing $172,545 for the signal, with the township providing a 20 percent match, or $43,200.

    Lady also reported that street sweeping began on township roads Monday, and crews are filling potholes.

    A stormwater agreement was approved with Indiana County for the new Alice Paul House to be erected along Saltsburg Avenue. Lady said it is a standard agreement and construction should begin soon.

    The board also voted to renew an agreement first approved with the county in 2008 for the use of S&T Bank Arena for emergency operations, should a natural or man-made disaster require a move from the courthouse in downtown Indiana.

    “We would be reimbursed for any lost revenue or expenditures that might be incurred,” Lady said. McCauley moved to approve the agreement, Gemmell seconded that motion.

    The township still is wrestling with what should be done to replace 8,500 square feet of carpeting in the arena’s lobby.

    After a previous plan to purchase 60-pound, 4-foot-by-6-foot rubber sheets ran into a problem because it might not meet township fire code regulations, Recreation Director Ryan Shaffer said the solution may be recycled vulcanized rubber that is fire-resistant.

    Gemmell said the township should check with its insurance company as well.

    The board also approved a resolution recognizing April as “Pennsylvania 811 Safe Digging Month,” at the request of PA OneCall.

    The township manager received letters from state Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-White Township, and Sen. Don White, R-Indiana, regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposal to require municipalities using Pennsylvania State Police to contribute toward the cost.

    In White Township’s case, a proposed sliding scale set by the Wolf administration could mean a $2.1 million assessment, or $133 per person, one of the highest amounts proposed on that scale.

    “I am concerned about the governor’s plan and other initiatives that dictate how municipal governments should provide police protection,” White wrote.

    “Instead, I prefer proposals that would allow a municipality without its own police force to enter into a contractual arrangement for state trooper services in exchange for compensation.”

    It was one of the senator’s last statements on public policy before his retirement from the Senate took effect Feb. 28. A special election will be held on primary day, May 21, to choose a successor who would finish out the last 19 months of White’s term.

    “As a White Township resident myself,” Struzzi wrote, “I would support a modest fee for state police service, though I think the governor’s proposal may not be a one-size-fits-all answer. Perhaps a more reasonable approach would be to implement a population-based fee scale through which more populated municipalities that require more intensive police coverage pay a slightly higher fee, while rural municipalities, who may not utilize state police coverage as much, pay a slightly lower amount.”

    In his report, Code Enforcement Officer Matt Genchur said a master plan is in development for some two dozen acres that would be part of the Allegheny Arboretum project on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus.

    Genchur is on the committee working on that plan, which could be ready for consideration by the IUP Council of Trustees later this spring.