The Pizitz awarded green building certification

Pizitz Food Hall. Photo courtesy of the Wilbert Group

Just in time for Earth week, The Pizitz, one of Birmingham’s newly restored iconic downtown buildings was awarded LEED certification, a globally recognized rating standard for green buildings.

The beautiful Pizitz building – via Wade Cline

Earlier this week, Bayer Properties announced that The Pizitz had been awarded LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The green building rating standard is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

Formerly a 1920’s department store that sat vacant for nearly three decades,The Pizitz is part of the revitalization that is occurring in the heart of the theatre district downtown. Instead of a hollow empty building, The Pizitz, which opened to multifamily housing in December 2016 is now home to 143 multifamily residences featuring 29 affordable units. In early 2017, The Pizitz Food Hall, Alabama’s first food hall opened along with several retailers and Forge, a modern co-working office space.


The Pizitz before the restoration. Photo courtesy of the Wilbert Group.
The “greening” of the Pizitz

Bayer Properties CFO Jami Wadkins expressed pride in the building’s LEED certification.

“Our team worked with some of the best talent in the southeast to ensure that the building renovations were sustainably designed to promote a healthy environment and green lifestyle. We are proud to receive this distinguished certification.”

The Pizitz building incorporated various design and construction aspects to meet LEED qualifications. They included:


Sustainable Sites
Well-known existing building repurposed and existing parking structure revitalized

Water Efficiency
Incorporated low-flow fixtures to reduce domestic water consumption

Energy & Atmosphere
Added an open-air atrium to allow daylight to pour into all units, reducing dependence for artificial lighting. Incorporated new thermally efficient window units, building and roof insulation


Materials & Resources
Recycled 17 percent of building materials and 13.5 percent of building content. Diverted 65 percent of construction waste from landfill

Indoor Environmental Quality
Used low VOC emitting stains, paints, carpet adhesives

Innovation in Design
Kept existing high ceilings, reused original flooring where appropriate, restored the original terracotta façade


new apartments
Image courtesy of the Pizitz

“The revitalization of The Pizitz is part of a larger renaissance happening in downtown Birmingham. Through this restoration project, we brought appeal back to a historical development and created a vibrant gathering place for the community to relish,” concluded Wadkins.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.