skip to main content

Technical Tours

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

History & Heritage Boat Tour: History of Waterways and Bridges in Pittsburgh

Note:  The boat leaves the dock at 3:00 PM, sharp!

The best way to see Pittsburgh is from the river. Learn about Pittsburgh’s past, present, and future from her most perfect point of view – the Three Rivers. Join us on a boat tour to experience the history of the region's bridges, locks and dams, and surrounding neighborhoods. Hear from Todd Wilson, senior project manager and chair of the ASCE Pittsburgh's History & Heritage committee, and Werner Loehlein, retired engineer and current professor, founding chair of EWRI Pittsburgh and past president of the ASCE Pittsburgh section.

This Pittsburgh boat tour will begin on the Monongahela River and will continue on both the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers while a technical guide relays interesting facts, and engineering history that makes Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania so special. You’ll be treated to the view of the lush landscape, towering skyscrapers, and all the amazing sights along the banks of the Allegheny, Ohio, and Monongahela Rivers. Come on down to the river and let us show you Pittsburgh!

The tour will meet in the Wyndham lobby at 2:30 p.m. and walk to the boat docking station.  The boat leaves at 3:00 p.m.  Do not miss it.

The dock is located through the walking tunnel at Point State Park, across the street from the Wyndham Grand Hotel on the Allegheny River side of the park.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

2:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Triboro Ecodistricts (Etna/Millvale/Sharpsburg) & Green Infrastructure 

Tour to include built green infrastructure sites and workshop around future green infrastructure sites that will help solve wet weather issues of these riverfront communities. Tour to also include discussion about the Triboro Ecodistricts and ALCOSAN’s GROW program.

The Triboro Ecodistrict was formed to promote the coordinated sustainable community development throughout the boroughs of Millvale, Etna and Sharpsburg. These Allegheny River towns are building on a strong collaborative history to promote sustainable community development through the shared lenses of: food, water , energy, air quality, mobility, and equity. Tour attendees will visit green infrastructure sites throughout the Triboro Ecodistrict followed by a discussion with representatives from the boroughs and ecodistrict to learn about this important and impactful partnership.

Buses for this tour will stage in front of the Wyndham at 2:15 p.m., and leave at 2:30 p.m. sharp.

Phipps Conservancy Center for Sustainable Landscapes & Frick Environmental Center & Panther Hollow Lake Storage Retrofit Project

Join us to explore the two Living Buildings in Pittsburgh as well as a retrofitted lake designed to reduce flooding. Both the Phipps Conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Frick Environmental Center are certified Living Buildings; their design and construction followed a strict standard for many aspects of the building such as creating their own energy, harvesting their own rainwater, treating their own sewage, and incorporating beauty into their structures.

The solar-powered smart valve system at Panther Hollow Lake is designed to allow lake water levels to rise safely during rain events to store and retain stormwater. After the storm event, water is gradually released form the lake and conveyed downstream via combined sewers.

This retrofit project will both reduce combined sewer overflows as well as surface flooding. All 3 of these projects have been recognized for the importance to design and construction, in-line with the urban ecosystem in which they sit.

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens generates all of its own energy and treats all storm and sanitary water captured on‐site.

It is the first and only building to meet four of the highest green certifications:

  1. Living Building Challenge, the world’s most rigorous green building standard;
  2. LEED® Platinum — tied for the highest points awarded under version 2.2;
  3. Four Stars Sustainable SITES Initiative™ (SITES™) for landscapes project (pilot);
  4. WELL Building Platinum project (pilot).

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will have installed a new solar‐powered smart valve system at Panther Hollow Lake that uses remote monitoring and adaptive control technology. This innovative stormwater management system will reduce millions of gallons of combined sewer overflows.

The Frick Environmental Center, the first free and public, municipally owned, Living Building – certified project in the country is a world class center for experiential environmental education. The Frick Environmental Center is a certified Living Building and a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building.

Buses for this tour will stage in front of the Wyndham at 2:15 p.m., and leave at 2:30 p.m. sharp.

ALCOSAN Plant Tour

Located along the Ohio River on Pittsburgh’s Northside, the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) provides wastewater treatment services to 83-communities, including the City of Pittsburgh. The tour of the facility will provide attendees the opportunity to see how 250 million gallons of wastewater is processed into clean effluent each day at one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in the Ohio River Valley. The tour will provide a full overview of the plant process beginning at the main pump station and continuing through primary treatment, secondary treatment, and disinfection.

Buses for this tour will stage in front of the Wyndham at 2:15 p.m., and leave at 2:30 p.m. sharp

Eden Hall Campus at Chatham University - FREE TOUR (limited seating)

Register Now

Eden Hall CampusEden Hall is an academic community dedicated to sustainable living and the modeling of sustainable approaches to energy, water, food and agriculture, air quality and climate, and the interaction of natural and built systems. The Eden Hall Campus is home to the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment at Chatham University.

Join us on a free tour of the Eden Hall Campus, which is nestled on 388 acres of rolling woodlands and fields in Richland Township, PA. Here, you will find the world’s first university campus designed to be a showcase for sustainable solutions. With the campus serving as an educational canvas, faculty, students, and the public engage in a collaborative, hands‐on approach to learning to develop tomorrow’s leaders in sustainability.

Stormwater is managed by five rain gardens that collect and direct water flow to gravel walkways that make it easier for rainwater to reach the soil below, and a rainwater harvesting system that gathers and cleans the water and then uses it for crop irrigation. Eden Hall also treats wastewater onsite through a six‐step process that mimics nature. The system can handle up to 6,000 gallons each day.

We generate a third of our electricity from solar power and have dramatically cut our heating and cooling bills by using a geothermal loop system.

All our new buildings are LEED platinum and we have experimented with both high and low tech sustainable conversion of old farm buildings as well has converting our farming operations to full organic certification.

Buses for this tour will stage in front of the Wyndham at 2:15 p.m., and leave at 2:30 p.m. sharp.

jump to top