One of the World's Greenest Buildings Comes to Life at Historic Phipps Conservatory Site

Feb 28, 2012, 09:15 ET from Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Dynamic new living building rises in Pittsburgh as an innovation for the world.

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is setting a new standard in sustainability with the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL), a 24,350-square-foot research, education and administrative complex slated to emerge as one of the greenest buildings on Earth.


Upon completion this spring, the CSL—built to meet or exceed the Living Building Challenge, LEED® Platinum certification and the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES)™ certification for landscapes—will be the largest building in operation pursuing Living Building status in the United States. Designed to function as efficiently as a flower, it is expected to achieve net-zero energy with solar photovoltaics, geothermal wells and a vertical axis wind turbine, as well as net-zero water by capturing, treating and reusing all water on site.

Additionally, the CSL will interact with the landscape as a vital part of its operation, blurring the lines between the natural and built environments. As a global pilot SITES™ project, it will feature a restorative landscape with nine plant communities and a demonstration green roof garden. Other site features include a lagoon, water distillation system, rain gardens, and constructed wetlands.

"Designed and built by people from Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania as an innovation for the world, the CSL will serve as a model for how reconnecting with nature can inspire an abundant and harmonious future," says Phipps Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini. "This addition will give visitors the opportunity to explore, find inspiration and immerse themselves in the beauty of green."

A leader in green building and operations, horticulture and outreach, Phipps' other accomplishments include the construction of the first LEED® visitor center in a public garden—featuring a 3-star Green Restaurant Certified® cafe—and the most energy-efficient tropical forest conservatory in the world at the time of its opening in 2006.

Built in 1893 at the height of Pittsburgh's industrial prowess, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens now stands as an eco-champion among America's public gardens with its mission to inspire and educate visitors with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and worldwide biodiversity through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse.

Contact: Liz Fetchin
Director of Marketing and Communications
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
412/441-4442, ext. 3801

SOURCE Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens