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March 28, 2002

Building America's IBACOS Program Helps Turn Brownfield in Pittsburgh into Site of Energy Efficient Homes

Building America's IBACOS (Integrated Building and Construction Solutions) team is working with developers of the Summerset community at Frick Park in Pittsburgh to transform an abandoned slag heap—a byproduct of the City's steel industry—into a new community of cutting edge, efficient homes.

Summerset is a redeveloped Brownfield that is using land recycling, smart growth planning and urban infill to create a new urban community of traditionally styled single family homes, townhomes and apartments that offer the latest in technology. The new homes will feature the latest advances in building materials and technology and embody a commitment to quality, energy efficiency, low monthly operating costs and value.

The project goes beyond the residential development to address the needs of the larger community. In redeveloping the site, almost 140 acres will be dedicated to the expansion of Pittsburgh's historic Frick Park and the creation of new neighborhood parks. A stream, watershed and the surrounding hillsides will be restored and a trail system developed to provide riverfront access.

In a ceremony complete with local news coverage and tremendous community turnout, Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, the entire Summerset development team and the U.S. Department of Energy's Assistant Secretary Mark Ginsberg officially opened the Summerset at Frick Park model homes on February 24, 2002. Energy efficiency was a primary goal in the construction of the five completed and furnished model homes, and this message was clearly evident through the words of the development team and Mayor (and of course, Deputy Assistant Secretary Ginsberg) during the ceremony. Each was built to a minimum HERS rating of 86. All the homes at Summerset will be built to this standard, which will qualify them as EnergyStar homes.

Eight additional homes are in varying stages of construction, and IBACOS has completed preliminary review of townhouse designs. Field support and inspections continue to occur on a weekly basis. Several of the homes have been installed with long-term monitoring equipment to enable IBACOS to monitor home performance.

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