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Pittsburgh Steel Company Receives Green Honor

Friday, November 12, 2021

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Historically, Pittsburgh has long been a city cursed by hazardous pollutions caused by big steel mills and other industrial plants.

However, despite the region’s reputation, the Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance recently awarded a local architectural roof and floor deck ceiling system manufacturing company for its green approach.

“We positively transform the world through the built environment to create a healthy, just and sustainable future for everyone,” said GBA Executive Director Jenna Cramer. “We focus on the built environment because we know it has the greatest impact on not just climate change, but also human health, social equity and creating a thriving economy.”

Epic Metals

Located in the Rankin neighborhood, Epic Metals was awarded GBA’s Enterprise Award—which recognizes ingenuity in product design, manufacturing and operations—at the organization’s Emerald Evening Gala in September.

Formed in 1993, the nonprofit employs roughly 100 people and is considered a world leader in promoting healthy and sustainable building techniques in Pittsburgh and beyond—including catalyzing the continent’s largest 2030 District in Pittsburgh.

Focused on sustainability from the start (and long before the concept became a trend), Founder of Epic Metals Donald Landis purchased a trolley barn in 1968 that had been constructed in 1900 to recycle into the company’s first manufacturing facility.

In making the facility more eco-friendly, over the years Epic installed solar panels at three factories and its home office, which also includes a solar parking canopy. Through November 2020, the solar panel installations have generated a combined total of 1,921,108 kWh of electricity. This has created an estimated reduction of 2,035,940 pounds of CO2, and is the equivalent of planting 26,107 trees.

In addition, Epic installed three (Pittsburgh-made) vertical Windstax wind turbines at its manufacturing facility along the Monongahela River and uses geothermal wells to help power most of the company’s headquarters.

Epic also has electric vehicle charging stations at its main office and plant in Rankin and utilized permeable pavers in its parking lot—a decision that works to reduce stormwater runoff, reduce the need for salt to defrost ice and snow and reflect more light at night.

Through November 2020, the stations have displaced the use of 6,322 gallons of gasoline estimated to reduce 122,637 pounds of CO2.

“If you have a green product but a brown company, you’re not getting all the way there,” Cramer said. “And I would say Epic is truly a model of what a manufacturer can do to think about how all of their operations, contribute to health and sustainability.”

Since its renovation, Epic has participated in 338 LEED-certified building projects in 40 states, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Hall at Cornell University and the Sarah Heinz House in Pittsburgh. Twenty-seven of these projects are LEED Platinum and 149 LEED Gold.

A full list of Epic’s projects can be viewed here.

Epic Metals has been a member of the U.S. Green Building Council since 2004 and a member of the GBA since 2010.

   

Tagged categories: Architecture; Awards and honors; Carbon footprint; Commercial / Architectural; Commerial/Architectural; Design - Commercial; Emissions; Epic Metals; Good Technical Practice; Green Building Alliance; NA; North America; Stainless steel; Steel; Structural steel

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