Hazelwood Neighborhood Center

Hazelwood had not seen any development in over 20 years. The new development is the renovation of a 14,000 sq ft structure that is in the heart of the main commercial area and has a deep history with the community. The ground level is portioned into three leasable office spaces for local non-profit groups, including The Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center, and The Early Learning Hub of Hazelwood, an initiative of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children. The upper floor is the new home of the Hazelwood branch of the Carnegie Library, enabling them to double the size of their space. A two-story entry vestibule was added to the Second Avenue street face. This addition includes an elevator and vertical glass curtain wall that contrasts the elongated masonry structure. The project was developed and delivered as Grade B office space.

The project was designed and built to Passive House Standards. The structure was insulated from the inside because the client was attached to the low-maintenance quality of the existing masonry facade. The basement had a high ceiling height making it possible to insulate the slab from the top and add a new finish floor. Despite primary orientation along the north-south axis it was possible to hit all of the Passive House Energy Targets. Rain gardens and bioswales catch the rainwater, and a small exterior patio is planted with grasses to soften the street edge.

AIA Pittsburgh, Award of Excellence in Sustainable Design, October 2015


  • 14,724 sq ft
  • Built for $117 per sq ft for core and shell
  • EUI of 24



“The project demonstrates the potential in creative planning by increasing the useable size of an existing building and reducing the environmental impact at the same time. Metrics matter and this building made a point of demonstrating what the metrics of its sustainable design yielded.”

Jury, AIA Awards