The Giving Trees

Tree Pittsburgh, Headquarters & Classroom Space

To Project Types

Pittsburgh, PA | 3 acres

Tree Pittsburgh’s net-zero energy campus is a model for
sustainable design.

Dedicated to growing the urban forest, Tree Pittsburgh wanted a sustainable headquarters that gives employees and volunteers easy access to the 100,000 trees they nurture and plant each year. Sited on a former steel mill above the Allegheny River, the simple, open building is comprised of nine double height modules, prefabricated in nearby Clarion, PA.

Using prefabricated modules reduces on-site construction waste and creates a tight thermal seal for the building. The modules sit lightly on the land, anchored by foundation piles that compress, rather than displace existing soil.

Artboard 1

You could basically duplicate this anywhere. It’s a model for one of the most affordable ways to create a net zero building that doesn’t just look like a modular box.

Artboard 1 copy
- Matt Plecity, GBBN

Strategically placed doors and windows capture views and bring in light. A long, linear porch serves as an outdoor space for staff to relax and for guests to gather at an event. Photovoltaic solar panels on the south-facing roof will provide their power, helping Tree Pittsburgh achieve net zero energy.