illustration of pittsburgh city skyline and hazy polluted sky.

Which buildings in Pittsburgh emit the most greenhouse gases? See how they compare.

Pittsburgh’s biggest challenge to meeting its climate change goals is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from its buildings. Buildings in the city produce four times as many emissions as vehicles. The city’s most substantial effort to do something about it was released last month: It made public the energy use of the city’s largest buildings. The hope is that transparency will encourage building owners to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. 

To that end, we are publishing a map of where these emissions are coming from to help readers understand, across the city, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, which buildings emit how much. 

The biggest source of greenhouse gases by building type are the hospitals and universities that drive the city’s economy. But collectively the city’s many office buildings emit more.

SpringHill Suites on the Southside was one of the most energy efficient hotels in the city according to new data released. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

The greenhouse gas emissions of Pittsburgh’s largest buildings are now public. The city hopes transparency will make them cleaner.

Pittsburgh passed an ordinance requiring all building owners with 50,000 or more square feet to report information about their energy and water use. But it hadn’t released the information until now. The city released the information to PublicSource for 2017 and 2018 and is working on a report and dashboard that will include data from 2019.

PWSA Executive Director Will Pickering photographed near the Highland 1 reservoir in Highland Park. (Photo by Ryan Loew/PublicSource)

As PWSA looks past the lead crisis, its new leader faces $1 billion in upgrades and rising water bills

PWSA is committed to replacing aging infrastructure, including lead service lines, to the tune of more than $1 billion over five years, a rapid increase in spending. This also means it’s begun raising rates and has proposed even more increases, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has left significant economic uncertainty in the region and required the authority to suspend water-shutoffs.

Pittsburgh controller says the city must collect the parks tax but needs to add more internal controls before it does

As the Pittsburgh City Council is nearing a vote on whether to start collecting a parks tax that voters approved by referendum last year, City Controller Michael Lamb said the city has no choice but to start collecting the tax. "At this point, I think council has got to move forward with this and I think they are legally required to move forward with this," Lamb said. "I don't think there is too much wiggle room in getting out of it given the wording of the referendum." PublicSource reported last month that at least two city councilors preferred not to collect the tax at all. But Lamb said at a press conference Thursday that his understanding is that the council will vote to start collecting the tax in 2021.