Sustainable Practices

 

Forward thinking with Peoples Gas and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA).

 
 

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. 

—Buckminster fuller

Over the past two years, we have invested a great deal of time experimenting with potential ways of growing food. We also experimented with ways to control and collect storm water runoff to use for irrigation. Working alongside Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) helped us understand that the impervious roofs and paving at our site contribute to an estimated annual 137,916 gallon load to the City’s sewer system.

 Combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) provides on-site, independent power system that revolutionizes kitchen and greenhouse efficiencies.

Combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) provides on-site, independent power system that revolutionizes kitchen and greenhouse efficiencies.

A partnership with People’s Gas has led to a plan to install a new, innovative system—a combined cooling heat and power (CCHP) system. The CCHP system generates electric power in the same way as traditional electric generators but it also captures and supplies heat, making it more efficient and less carbon intensive. The CCHP to be installed by People’s Gas will initially run on natural gas, but long-term, our plan is to use composting to create renewable natural gas (RNG – also known as biogas). In that way, the system becomes self-contained and sustainable. The CCHP will provide heating, cooling and electrical power for the bakery (oven, lights, equipment), and carbon dioxide (C02) for a hydroponic greenhouse to be erected on-site.