Thursday, August 20, 2009

LEED in Monroeville

John Silvestri is on the board of The Cedars, a local assisted living and skilled nursing facility in Monroeville. John spoke previously at our July meeting about his experiences with the current "green" addition that is being built right now. The plan is to construct the first LEED building in Monroeville, and it is scheduled to be completed before the UPMC structure.

This could develop into something wonderful for the entire Municipality of Monroeville. John is incredibly engaged with the project and pushing the limits of what what initially proposed. It is all fabulous! I'm not sure if John is aware of how much stormwater management is on the minds of the municipal officials at this moment; however, in cooperation with Sustainable Monroeville, we will be able to educate council and the community about sustainable building practices.

Cooling Off With Rain Barrels

Rain barrels are one of those hot topics this summer. Saving water and helping your vegetables go hand in hand, but where do you buy them? One option is simply making them yourself by buying the hardware online or buy a food grade barrel from DeLallo's. A second option is to buy one from Penn Barrel, already assembled, or just go to Nine Mile Run Watershed Association. Many of these options work with diverter kits that are available online from The Garden WaterSaver. Total investment is $25.00.

In our experience, many citizens still don’t understand the benefits of rain barrels. For one, not all have of them have to be expensive. Some are aesthetically pleasing; yet can easily be portable or tucked behind a fence or stone barrier. The City loves it because during major storms less water rushes through the sewers reducing back-ups and overflows. Personally, we like it because it saves water – simply that! Whether it is a lot of water or not, we don’t care. It simply provides nourishment to my vegetables, herbs, roses, and plants. Given our public discussion, we also learned that the average roof sheds 160 gallons of rainwater per hour during a moderate rainfall. So I have a 50-gallon barrel – do the math!