PATH - A Public Private Partnership for Advancing Housing Technology


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May 14, 1999

PATH National Pilot Project: Builders Begin to Transform Industrial Site into Summerset Model Energy Efficient Community

PITTSBURGH, May 14 -- Dignitaries gathered on Pittsburgh s Squirrel Hill May 14 for a groundbreaking ceremony to launch a construction project to transform a former waste site for the steel-making industry into a community of energy-efficient, affordable homes.

The community to be called Summerset at Frick Park is one of five national pilot communities in the federal government's Partnership in Advancing Technologies in Housing (PATH), an initiative announced by President Bill Clinton in May 1998.

Summerset is a "Brownfield" redevelopment initiative, in which abandoned former industrial site is recycled into productive urban residential use. According to Mark Schneider, Summerset Land Development Associates representative, builders will grade the site, which is currently a slag hill, and install utilities in 1999. They will build the first homes in the first quarter of the year 2000. Summerset will include 336 single-family homes, 121 townhouses and 256 apartments. Fifty-seven percent of the 244 acre site will include open space new neighborhood parks and playgrounds and a major expansion of neighboring Frick Park. This urban infill project is a demonstration of how blighted and underutilized areas can be transformed into a vehicle for urban revitalization.

The Summerset project seeks to build the most energy efficient homes in Western Pennsylvania by incorporating the latest energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies without comprising comfort, quality, or durability. The homes will be built to meet guidelines for energy consumption, efficient use of water and lumber, and the use of recycled products. The result will be homes that offers superior energy performance with lower operating expenses at no additional cost.

In a message sent to the ceremony, Department of Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said, "The PATH program is helping transform the face of American communities." He said, "Through PATH and our Building America program, the Energy Department is proud to play a role in the revitalization of the nation s cities. By working with the private sector, we re achieving real success in our efforts to lower consumer energy costs and protect the environment by increasing energy efficiency."

The Department of Energy s Building America program is working with builders, designers, material suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and financial institutions to produce energy-efficient, environmentally sensitive, affordable and adaptable residences across the country. With four teams comprised of more than 80 companies, Building America plans to build 2,000 energy-efficient homes nationally by the year 2000. Building America teams will play a major part in the Summerset redevelopment effort.

Participants in the groundbreaking ceremonies included: Department of Energy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Dan Reicher; Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy; Pennsylvania State Rep. Dan Frankel; Pittsburgh City Council President Bob O Connor; Allegheny County Board of Commissioners Chairman Mike Dawida; Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary Denise Chamberlain; and Summerset Land Development Associates Representative Mark Schneider.

Content updated on 3/8/2005

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