July 6, 2017

Bialosky + Rust Belt Riders

A proud partner of Rust Belt Riders composting since 2017, we wanted to share how far we have come since then. We have diverted over 3,700 pounds of food waste from landfills and kept 3,270 pounds of harmful greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere.

This year, Bialosky Cleveland took a leap towards a more environmentally-friendly office, by separating our food waste from our landfill trash. Sustainability is an important principle at Bialosky Cleveland and we strive to act more green-minded. We focus on sustainability in our work, as many of our employees have LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifications and our firm takes on many LEED projects. By adding an environmental initiative to our everyday lives, we remember the purpose behind the sustainable principles we apply to our projects.

Since mid-February, Bialosky Cleveland collected over 528 pounds of food waste. This is equivalent to keeping 464 pounds of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere. When food waste goes into a landfill, it cannot break down properly and it produces large amounts of the harmful greenhouse gas, methane. By separating our organic food waste and allowing it to decompose naturally, we prevent methane from being created and keep the air a bit cleaner.

Our food waste is picked up every Friday afternoon by a Cleveland composting company called Rust Belt Riders and is transported to various local community gardens, where it is used as organic fertilizer.


Rust Belt Garden in downtown Cleveland, OH.

I recently toured Rust Belt Garden in downtown Cleveland with Michael Robinson, CFO of Rust Belt Riders. At this location, people in the neighborhood take care of the garden and receive fresh fruit and vegetables grown with compost in return.

Plants were grown with compost in Cleveland, OH.

The employees at Rust Belt Riders are knowledgeable about the biology and business of compost and they ensure Bialosky’s food waste is re-used in ways that best serve the community and environment. The company also services other well-known Cleveland businesses, such as University Hospitals, Spice Kitchen, and City Club of Cleveland.

Rust Belt Riders are creating compost with food waste.

We recently added an architectural touch to our composting bin – a wooden cover cut with our in-office laser cutter out of reclaimed wood. A few Bialosky architects and designers collaborated on the design and creation of the cover.

Compost cover made by Bialosky designers.

Composting our food waste keeps sustainability on the minds of Bialosky employees and reminds us to be more environmentally conscious in our professional and personal lives.

January 16, 2014

BPA Goes to Greenbuild 2013

Philadelphia Greenbuild Once a year, for about a week, all eyes in green building culture turn towards a single focus - it’s been San Francisco, it’s been Toronto, Chicago, Phoenix, and Boston.  Every year it is a new city for Greenbuild, the world’s largest conference and exposition dedicated to the green building industry.  This year, its 20th year running, it was Philadelphia.  I had the pleasure of representing Bialosky + Partners Architects at Greenbuild 2013 this past November.  The international convention and expo hosted approximately 30,000 attendees from 90 different countries and touted speakers as varied and prestigious as Rich Ferizzi, President & CEO of the USGBC; Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia; Nate Silver, author of The Signal and the Noise; and the keynote address was given by former Secretary of State and former First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Greenbuild 2013 Philadelphia Convention Entry Greenbuild is more than just a world-class convention.  It is also a networking smorgasbord and showcase of all things sustainable.  This year the expo hall was packed with over 800 exhibitors of sustainable products and services.  Huge multinational corporations displayed their full suite of green products right next to small startup companies rolling-out their newest gadget or software to a captive, and captivated, audience. Greenbuild 2013 Convention Multiple parallel tracks of educational sessions provided a plethora of learning opportunities.  Lectures ranged from changes in the newest version of ASHRAE 90.1 to low energy lighting strategies, and from net-zero design to insights on the commissioning of existing buildings.  Some of the most highly anticipated and well attended sessions dealt with LEED v4, which was officially introduced at Greenbuild 2013.  It’s a lot to wrap your head around. Throughout the entire convention, a simple but powerful idea kept presenting itself to me… this is not an isolated, short-lived movement.  This is not a passing fashion.  This is not a fad. Greenbuild 2013 Philadelphia Convention Floor Whether the adjectives used to describe it are “earth-friendly”, or “sustainable”, or “eco”, or “green”… the fact is, the world is changing.  Greenbuild is one time a year when those people keeping track congregate and try to direct that change to be something manageable, and positive, and fun.  Another successful year… now on to 2014… this time it’s New Orleans.

February 20, 2013

BPA Achieves LEED Silver for OSU’s Mason Hall Rennovation

Bialosky + Partners Architects teamed with Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects, a Boston-based firm with an outstanding international reputation for excellence in design in the last forty years, to design the renovation of Mason Hall for the OSU Fisher College of Business. The project included conversion of library stack and study space into a first floor student resource center with breakout rooms, conference rooms, a reading room and a café, and second floor offices, a learning center, shared flex space for students and temporary workers and multipurpose space for group study, receptions, presentations and symposia. Additional student and staff space was also renovated on the 3rd and 4th floors.

 Some quick facts about the project:

Year of completion: 2012

Total square footage: 31,000

Construction Budget: $4,000,000

Project team: Bialosky + Partners Architects in association with Kallmann McKinnell & Wood

Principal in charge: Bruce Horton

Project manager: Ryan Parsons

Interior designer: Tracy Sciano-Vajskop

MEP: Korda Engineering Inc, a sustainable-minded engineering firm, based in Columbus,OH, who has won over 90 engineering design awards.

Once we got the good news about the LEED Silver Certification, I sat down for a quick Q&A session with our Project Manager, Ryan Parsons, about the design choices and LEED process:

Q: What obstacles or opportunities were unique to the sustainable strategy for Mason Hall?

A: The greatest challenge was coordinating all of the supporting documentation with the many team members involved and making sure the information was formatted properly for submission  and/or translated correctly to the on-line forms.  Constant issues with the use of LEED On-Line with the newest versions of Adobe Reader or Acrobat made this challenge even more difficult.

Q: How fantastic to incorporate recycled content and recycled materials – what are the most special instances of this materiality at Mason Hall?

A: Many components of the project included recycled content – lay-in ceilings, acoustical ceiling plaster, acoustical wall and ceiling panels, metal studs, cabinetry, aluminum windows, structural steel, and de-mountable partitions are just some examples, but one with a “cool factor” was the unique solid surface material comprised of recycled paper with a 100% water-based binder system  used for work surfaces in the Café and Reception areas.

Q: When we think of green buildings, we typically think of systems. What innovative system strategies were put into play?

A: An energy saving lighting control system was provided that automatically adjusts light levels in each space based on the amount of natural lighting the space receives.  The system is flexible in that each space was provided with individual controls to override the system should tasks require more light.

Q: What was the most important take-away from this LEED project that can be applied to future projects?

A: It takes considerable time and effort from all team members to collect and format the information required for LEED Certification.  The earlier everyone starts the process the better.  Coordination and organization are critical in creating a LEED success story.

Bialosky Announces Transition Plan