Sewickley Tavern, Studio St. Germain aim to set air quality precedent

Thursday, December 12, 2019 | 12:51 PM

In September, construction commenced on the Sewickley Tavern, which will occupy the space at 409 Beaver St. that once housed the restaurant Bruneaux. After it opens early in the new year, the renovated building could become the first in the world to achieve a prestigious air quality standard, said Sewickley Tavern owner Courtney Yates.

Sewickley architecture firm Studio St. Germain has designed the building to meet RESET Air certification standards, the highest internationally recognized standard for indoor air quality. The standard sets limits on carbon dioxide, particulate matter and temperature.

Sensors in the building continuously capture data streamed to the cloud, allowing real-time adjustments to optimize the building environment, according to a press release.

Nathan St. Germain, founder of Studio St. Germain, said that air quality will be regulated through filtration and ventilation. Monitors on the roof track air quality.

“Once it comes in and enters, there’s monitors on the inside that also collect data,” St. Germain said in an interview.

He added that the filtration system can be adjusted based on the quality of the outdoor air.

RESET is an indoor air quality standard created by GIGA, an international organization that assesses the health performance of buildings.

Achieving the RESET standard is about providing a safe dining environment for diners and employees. Yates said she chose to use the system after her architect presented her with several options.

Studio St. Germain specializes in designing sustainable buildings and provided Yates with details on how to prioritize environmental friendliness with the new Sewickley Tavern.

The environment “was something I’ve always been interested in, and I didn’t know too much about environmental impact until I started speaking with the architect,” said Yates, who lives in Sewickley.

Studio St. Germain has developed a High Performance Program over the past two years to help owners achieve building environment goals.

“We spend 95% of our time indoors, and indoor air quality impacts our health, comfort and productivity. We wanted to help owners match up their goals with the latest building science available to get the outcomes they want. Because sustainability is not only about taking care of our planet’s natural resources, it’s also about taking care of us,” said St. Germain in a statement.

Sewickley Tavern will apply for RESET certification in two areas — Commercial Interiors, and Core & Shell. International RESET officers will visit the restaurant during the spring to certify censor data and verify that the standard has been met.

Smart systems inside the building will collect data and report it back to RESET to ensure continuous compliance. Air quality has to consistently meet RESET standards, said St. Germain.

In addition to RESET Air specifications, Sewickley Tavern will include features like rooftop solar panels for power generation, an acoustic plaster ceiling system to reduce indoor noise levels and a cloud-based dashboard for measuring energy consumption.

Once open, the restaurant will seat approximately 50 people on the inside and 60 people outdoors. The modern American fare served at the restaurant will be somewhat high-end for tavern food, but the casual restaurant will appeal to a broad audience, Yates said.

Pittsburgh-based Massaro Construction plans to finish this month.

“On behalf of the owner, the studio, and the entire project team, I am delighted and proud to put Pittsburgh on the map and to show that even small companies can be leaders in protecting consumer health,” St. Germain said in the release.

“In a region that consistently gets ‘F’ ratings for outdoor air quality,” he said.we are setting a new standard as best in the nation — and the world — with an A+ for performance-based, health-driven sustainable building,” he said.