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The Building Green Exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center. Open November 2006 What does it mean to be GREEN?

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the building green exhibit at the carnegie science center
The Building Green Exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center

Open November 2006

What does it mean to be GREEN?

Pittsburgh is a national leader in green building – constructing buildings with an emphasis on improving the health of humans and the environment, conserving energy and materials, and maintaining a high quality of life. See and feel which materials are used in green buildings, test different types of insulation, and measure how much energy is used in a light bulb. See how our impacts add up by making choices in a green home and a conventional home. Right now, engineers in southwestern Pennsylvania are on the cutting edge of developing new materials to replace those that are potentially hazardous to the environment and our heath, and to consume less energy when used in our homes. Visit Carnegie Science Center today to discover the science of being green.

Support for the project made possible by:

Collaborating Partner:

thanks to our design team
Thanks to our Design Team

Ron Baillie, Carnegie Science Center

Nino Balistrieri, Carnegie Science Center

Tom Flaherty, Carnegie Science Center

Brad Peroney, Carnegie Science Center

Joe Ventura, Bayer MaterialScience

Mark Witman, Bayer MaterialScience

Indigo Raffel, Conservation Consultants Inc.

Theresa Rohall, Powdermill Nature Reserve

Eric Beckman, University of Pittsburgh

Gena Kovalcik, University of Pittsburgh

Robert Ries, University of Pittsburgh


Making Changes

When people include green design in their homes, their impact on the environment is lessened by using fewer natural resources and reducing pollution. The two houses displayed here may look the same, but the one on the left has green technologies in place while the one on the right uses conventional technologies.

By answering a series of questions the individual will see what kind of a difference going green can make if you lived in either of these houses. You can also enter other answers to see how making different choices impacts our energy and water usage. The display shows the amount of energy used in each case.


The outside temperature is [average February temperature]. What is the temperature in your home?

[Homes that are properly insulated use about 20% less energy on climate control than improperly insulated homes.]

How many10-minute showers do you take each day?

[Green home uses low-flow fixtures; brown home uses conventional]


Lighting Options (left)

Visitors view three seemingly identical lights contained in frosted cylinders. When they lift the frosted sections, they see three very different sources for the light: an incandescent light bulb, a compact fluorescent bulb, and an LED array. By using more energy efficient light bulbs in our homes, we can immediately use less energy and spend less money on utility bills. The display visually demonstrates how many bulbs of each type are needed for 100,000 hours. (incandescent 20, compact fluorescent 6, LED 1)

Example, for every 60W incandescent bulb we replace with a 15W CFL results in preventing about 800 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, and a financial savings of about $8 per year on utility bills.

Windows (right)

Demonstrates how various insulation choices impact energy use. Compares single pane windows with various 2-pane options.


Insulation Choices

At this exhibit, visitors use a laser thermometer to gauge the effectiveness of various insulation materials that are embedded in a heated chamber. Some of the materials are green; some of the materials are conventional. Demonstrates that by using insulation to resist the flow of heat, we need to use less energy to heat (or cool) our homes.

Close the Loop

This exhibit features three spinning tiers. The first tier contains materials that people can recycle at home, the second tier gives a brief description of the recycling process, and the bottom tier contains finished goods made from the recycled materials.