Best of 2022: Our Pittsburgh Office’s Top Highlights and Milestones

Best of 2022: Our Pittsburgh Office’s Top Highlights and Milestones

As the year draws to an end, we reflect on the amazing project work we have collaborated on with our partners. We want to highlight a few key milestones from the last 12 months from our Pittsburgh Office.  It’s hard to choose a few from a great many, so sorry if we missed your project!

1. Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) Airport: the Terminal Modernization Program begins at PIT

Just over a year ago, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) broke ground on its massive $1.5 billion terminal modernization project. With the New York Times calling it the “Airport of the Future,” the terminal modernization will transform the terminal once built to serve as a major connection hub into an innovative and technologically advanced hub for aviation.

The design is based on a unique philosophy of nature, technology and community — NaTeCo — developed by the design team joint venture of architecture firms Gensler and HDR in association with luis vidal + architects. Buro Happold is providing building service (MEP) engineering and energy consulting as part of a large multidisciplinary team of architects, engineers, and contractors. As 2022 drew to a close, vertical steel work was underway near the existing X-shaped midfield terminal, which first opened in October 1992.  

The engineering design includes energy recovery air handling units, external shading, clerestories at the departures level for natural light, displacement ventilation on the arrivals level, as well as heat recovery systems within the baggage handling area to optimize efficiency. Buro Happold is thrilled to continue to work with a world class team. Gensler and HDR, in association with Spain-based Luis Vidal + Architects, are leading the design team. While construction is being led by Hunt Construction Group and PJ Dick.  

View of Pittsburgh Airport interior
The Terminal Modernization Program at Pittsburgh International Airport. Image: Gensler + HDR in association with luis vidal + architects.

2. Oakland Energy Master Plan: Momentous Energy Planning Collaboration

In January of 2022, the Oakland Energy Master Plan (OEMP) kicked off Phase One of the energy planning efforts. The OEMP brought together Oakland based institutions to develop a comprehensive understanding of Oakland’s current energy demand and future opportunities, while addressing the climate crises through the development of a practical energy plan for Oakland residents and occupants.  

Buro Happold is the lead consultant for the Green Building Alliance who is managing the work for the Institutions. The Buro Happold team includes BUSS, Advantus Engineers, K&L Gates, and others. In 2022, the teams successfully developed a comprehensive energy baseline, a future projections model, and digital twin (digital replica of Oakland) that details current conditions in Oakland while providing a virtual environment for scenario and intervention testing.

Digital Twin Replica of Oakland, CA. Image: Buro Happold.

3. University of Pittsburgh: A Growing Partnership

It all started back in 2016 with Buro Happold helping to develop the University of Pittsburgh Sustainability Plan to more recently leading MEP engineering, low voltage, energy modeling, and sustainability services on the Hillside Residential building. Buro Happold has had the pleasure of building a great partnership with the University of Pittsburgh over the last six years. The University of Pittsburgh continues to be a leader in how it integrates ambitious sustainability goals in all of its projects and Buro Happold is thrilled to partner to support the successful delivery of these projects.

University of Pittsburgh Projects from 2022 include:  

  • Forbes Pavilion 
  • Hillside Residence 
  • Hillman Library  
  • University Hall 
  • University of Pittsburgh Mentorship Program 
  • Oakland Energy Master Plan

Additionally, Buro Happold is proud to be a part of the University’s mentorship program where we partner with a local small minority owned business to share ideas, work together on projects, and help teach and learn new technical and business improving skills. 

Aerial Shot of University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh. Image: Mindaugas Dulinskas.

4. Tree of Life: A Memorial and Center for Fighting Antisemitism

The Squirrel Hill synagogue building that was the site of the worst anti-Semitic attack on U.S. soil is being reimagined as a museum, memorial and center for education to be known as Tree of Life. Buro Happold is honored to be part of team who is working to transform the building into a revitalized space with a new and expanded mission to combat the antisemitism that has marred its history. 

Working with renowned architect Daniel Libeskind and Pittsburgh-based Rothschild Doyno Collaborative, Buro Happold is supporting this vision by delivering structural engineering, building services (MEP) engineering, energy analysis, low voltage engineering, façade engineering, acoustic engineering, and sustainability consulting. 

A major project highlight is the skylight, spanning the entire length of the roughly 45,000ft2 complex.  It is called “the Path of Light” and bisects the existing sanctuary and the rest of the building to invite light in to dispel the darkness of the events of the past. 

aerial shot of Tree of Life
Tree of Life. Image: Lifang Visioin Technology.

5. City of Los Angeles: New Construction Electrification Ordinance

Our Pittsburgh office also provides significant expertise on projects outside of the Pittsburgh area. One such example includes our policy work with the City of Los Angeles to develop an ordinance requiring all new construction to be all electric.

Leveraging our sustainability, analytics, and policy experts, Buro Happold spent six months helping to craft the technical requirements and quantify the impacts of an all-electric policy. On December 7th, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved an ordinance requiring that all new buildings within city limits be constructed all-electric. With this vote, Los Angeles became the largest city in the state and the second-largest city in the country to mandate a definitive shift away from fossil fuels in new construction. 

Buro Happold was commissioned to lead sustainability and energy analytics as related to the implementation of an all-electric ordinance, including the impacts, requirements, and exemptions. 

Aerial Shot of Los
Los Angeles Downtown. Image: Adobe Stock.

6. Science and Technology: Expanding our Portfolio

Throughout 2022, the Pittsburgh team has been collaborating on high-performance research and laboratory facilities including Carnegie Mellon University’s (CMU) Scaife Hall, CCAC Workforce Development building, and completing work at Mill 19.

CMU’s Scaife Hall is an exciting aspect of our 2022 portfolio, a cornerstone piece to the University Engineering Quad where Buro Happold has been an integral part of the team with work at Ansys and Porter Halls.   

Following our work on the CMU Tepper Quad project, CMU Tata Consultancy Services Hall, and ANSYS Hall, Scaife Hall represents the culmination of this technology hub for the campus. Teaming with Philadelphia-based KieranTimberlake, Buro Happold embarked on the design of this 87,000ft2 facility that will more than double the size of the existing Scaife Hall. The building beautifully blends modern, flexible classroom space with high-technology engineering lab spaces, including a 2-story drone arena. 

Exterior Rendering Shot of CMU Scaife Hall
Carnegie Mellon University’s Scaife Hall. Image: Carnegie Mellon University.

7. Penn State University, James Building: A Hub for Innovation

Finishing construction in 2022, the Penn State University James Building is a statement piece defining the edge of campus. The 6-story 85,000ft2 innovation hub, with its six-story “maker space facility,” replaces the original James Building, which was built in 1920.  

Buro Happold again partnered with the renowned architect KieranTimberlake on this historic project to lead the building services engineering (MEP), Energy Modeling and Sustainability Consulting. Winning the 2022 ENR Mid Atlantic Best Higher Education/Research Project, the PSU James project team created a beautiful and sustainable building that promotes Penn State’s position at the forefront of innovation. The building, which sits right off of main campus, has its own heating and cooling generation system, as it does not connect to the campus heating and cooling network.  The building is fully electrified with no gas burning equipment, paving the way to an electrified future.  Buro Happold is excited to continue working with Penn State University in 2023 and beyond.  

Penn State University’s Innovation Hub. Rendering: Courtesy of Penn State University

8. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens: Decarbonization Strategies

Built in 1893, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens encompasses over 15 acres. The property includes a 14-room Victorian glasshouse and 23 distinct gardens in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park, where it continues a tradition of seasonal flower shows that have delighted millions of guests over more than 125 years. Today, Phipps has expanded its mission and impact and is recognized as an international leader in sustainability and green practices with three living building challenge-certified buildings on its campus and many other sustainability accolades. 

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens contracted Buro Happold to evaluate the feasibility of decarbonizing the campus from the central heating plant. The campus is connected to the Bellefield Boiler Plant, a district steam system serving the Phipps Conservatory campus and a number of major institutions in Oakland. With Phipps Conservatory’s ambitions to decarbonize its campus, Buro Happold developed renewable thermal alternatives for the campus decarbonization strategy and climate master plan.  Following the initial demand assessment, four scenarios were assessed and presented to meet a future decarbonization strategy for the campus.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Exterior  With Pond
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden. Image: Adobe Stock.