The project at Garden Dreams will include construction of two new net zero energy greenhouses powered by an on-site solar array. Other project features include a wash and pack work area, walk-in refrigeration, a teaching kitchen, educational space, event space for community gatherings, and expanded outdoor growing space. A re-developed and community land trust-protected Garden Dreams location will serve as a source for quality plant starts, an education and workforce development site for young and emerging urban farmers, a gathering space for community events, and an essential food-growing resource for generations to come.
The Garden Dreams project team includes evolveEA, JASE Construction Services, and EIS Solar. Construction is set to begin in October 2020 with completion by February 2021. The solar array will be installed and operational in Spring 2021.
Thanks to Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, Neighborhood Allies, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, Proteus Foundation, The Segal Family Foundation, and other generous supporters for making this project possible.
Garden Dreams Sustainability Features
A 14.5kW solar array will offset 100% of the farm’s electricity needs (net zero), including a rooftop array and a solar canopy along the east side of the greenhouses. Other energy efficient features of the greenhouses include an energy curtain system and a climate control system.
The greenhouse will employ an automated irrigation system designed to conserve water. Rain barrels, trees, and garden beds on site will help capture stormwater.
Location & Transportation:
Garden Dreams is one block away from the Port Authority’s Hamnett Station on the East Busway, making it easily accessible for residents throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region. There are several community gardens, as well as the school garden at Kelly Elementary, which are located within walking distance.
Materials & Resources:
An abandoned building on site was deconstructed by hand to reduce disturbing the soil, and its materials were donated to Construction Junction for re-use.