Phipps Wins Design & Build with FSC Award for the Center for Sustainable Landscapes

 

The CSL at Phipps is one of the Greenest Buildings in the world.

The CSL at Phipps is one of the Greenest Buildings in the world.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has been named as a recipient of a Design & Build with FSC Award from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Celebrated in November at a ceremony held at Greenbuild 2013 in Philadelphia, the Pittsburgh public garden received the highest honor at this ninth annual event for its use of 100-percent FSC certified as well as reclaimed wood at the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL), one of the greenest buildings on Earth.

A state-of-the-art facility designed to generate its own energy, and treat and reuse all water captured on site, the CSL is expected to be the first building anywhere to achieve the world’s highest green building standards, including the Living Building Challenge™. Since opening, it has been awarded LEED® Platinum, the highest distinction offered by the U.S. Green Building Council, and Four Stars Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) certification for landscapes, becoming the first project to ever earn this rating.

For more information on the CSL, read the 2012 feature article in TEQ magazine.

“Designed and built by Pittsburghers and Pennsylvanians, the CSL is a global model for how we can all help make our communities healthier, safer and more supportive of all life,” says Phipps Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini. “We are honored to have our efforts and environmental commitment recognized by the FSC, as well as the opportunity to call attention to the importance of using responsibly sourced wood products and implementing sustainable building practices.”

Founded in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from well-managed forests, the FSC sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to those buying wood or wood products. According to the nonprofit, 5,400 companies and 175 million acres of forestland are certified under FSC standards in the U.S. and Canada, including 2.1 million acres in Pennsylvania.

About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more: phipps.conservatory.org.

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One of Earth’s Greenest Buildings Opens Today at Phipps

Opening to the public today, Feb. 12, 2013, the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has emerged as one of the greenest buildings on Earth, and is the first of its kind anywhere in the Pittsburgh region. Designed and built by Pennsylvania-based talent to achieve or exceed all three of the world’s highest sustainable architecture and landscape standards—Living Building ChallengeLEED® Platinum and Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES) certification—this addition will now serve as an extension of the public garden’s guest experience.

A home-base for Phipps’ environmental education and research programs, as well as a place for visitors to explore, the CSL is a global showcase of innovation. The facility not only produces all of its own renewable energy with solar panels, geothermal wells and a wind turbine, but will also treat and reuse all water captured on site. Additionally, the CSL is surrounded by a restorative landscape highlighting native plants and a green rooftop garden with a view of Oakland. Other features include a lagoon, rain gardens and constructed wetlands that guests will be able to observe in action.

Inside of the CSL, interpretive signage and an interactive kiosk will greet visitors and guide their investigation of the facility’s inner-workings; a Green Gallery on the first floor offers changing photography and art exhibits; and a state-of-the art classroom will soon house many of Phipps’ programs for children focused on topics like ecology and healthy living. Starting in the spring, visitors will also be invited to explore the outdoor environs, which include meandering paths, a boardwalk, a hillside amphitheater, a serene fountain, thriving wildlife habitat and scenic panoramas of Panther Hollow.

“The CSL was created to act as a model for how we can all work together with nature to make our communities healthier, safer and more supportive of life,” says Phipps Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini. “It will also give our guests the opportunity to see just how beautiful and practical green can be, and we are very excited to share this inspiring new space with Pittsburghers in the days to come.”

Self-guided tours of the CSL are included in the price of Phipps admission, which is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors (62+) and students with valid IDs; and $11 for children two-18. Kids under two and Phipps members enter for free. Pre-arranged group tours of the facility are also available for an additional $2 per person. Required reservations can be made by calling 412/622-6915, ext. 6501. A 10-percent discount is available for groups of 15 or more. For more details about the CSL, visit phippscsl.org.

Link to TEQ magazine article featuring the CSL: www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ptc/teq_2012spring

About Phipps: Built in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more: phipps.conservatory.org.

Phipps Wins International Green Award as One of the World’s Most Sustainable NGOs

Check out TEQ’s coverage of the Center for Sustainable Landscapes in the Spring 2012 issue.

At a ceremony in London on November, 20 2012, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens was awarded a bronze level of honor in the Most Sustainable NGO category for the seventh annual International Green Awards™. Judged in eight key areas—energy, water, waste, resources, carbon, supply chain, transport and social—the Pittsburgh public garden was one of five finalists selected to demonstrate the globe’s most innovative approaches to sustainable leadership. Accepting the award on behalf of Phipps was Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini.

Starting with an ambitious green campus expansion effort that has resulted in the first LEED® visitor center in a public garden; a tropical forest conservatory that now stands as the most energy-efficient structure of its kind; and the first-ever LEED Platinum greenhouses, Phipps has most recently raised the bar with the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL). Earning international attention as a state-of-the-art facility that will generate its own renewable energy, and treat and reuse all water captured on site, the CSL is expected to be the first building in the world to achieve Living Building Challenge, LEED® Platinum and Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™). These additions are also supported by an equally green set of operations—from Phipps’ Green Restaurant Certified® café to its sustainable gardens.

“As part of our mission to highlight important connections between plants, people and the planet, Phipps is deeply committed to making our buildings and operations as sustainable as possible, setting a new standard for nonprofits and businesses worldwide,” says Richard V. Piacentini, the visionary behind Phipps’ green transformation. “We are honored to be among the winners of this prestigious award.”

Established in 2006, the International Green Awards are judged by eco game-changers across a wide spectrum of public sectors and recognize the efforts of organizations, corporations and celebrities around the world. Other winners include: Prince Charles (Lifetime Achievement); Vampire Diaries actor Ian Somerhalder (Most Responsible Celebrity); Interface (Most Sustainable Large Corporation); Yealands Estate Wines (Most Sustainable Medium Business); AJDR (Most Sustainable Small Business); Songpa-Gu Council (Most Sustainable Government); Sahabat Alam (Most Sustainable NGO); Bentleigh Secondary College (Most Sustainable Educational Institution); and YouGen (WWF Green Game Changer).

About Phipps: Built in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more: phipps.conservatory.org.

Phipps Conservatory hosts Center for Sustainable Landscapes Grand Opening

Phipps Executive Director, Richard Piacentini, giving a media tour of the Center for Sustainable Landscapes.

When it is fully operational next month, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will be one of the greenest buildings in the entire world. Designed to meet the highest environmental building standards, including the prestigious Living Building Challenge, the CSL is a net-zero energy structure that produces all of the power it uses on site. The CSL will also capture, treat and reuse all water that is used on-site.

This morning, Phipps Executive Director Richard Piacentini led a tour of the facility for several members of the local media and will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony tonight at the CSL for civic and social benefactors. Piacentini said that the building will be completed by June and will be used as office space for Phipps’ staff, as well as a community research and exhibition center to engage students of all ages, from pre-K to Ph.D. level, around the benefits of sustainable building practices.

TEQ magazine featured the CSL on the cover of its Spring issue providing in-depth coverage of the

TEQ magazine featured the Center for Sustainable Landscapes on the cover of its Spring 2012 issue.

sustainable technologies integrated into the facility. It is notable that all of the materials, contractors and technologies used in the construction of the CSL were locally sourced, with several local tech companies getting involved including, Epiphany Solar Water Solutions, PPG Industries and Berner International. To read more about the green technologies used in the CSL, check out the interactive edition of Spring TEQ.

“Designed and built by Pittsburghers and Pennsylvanias as an innovation for the world, the CSL will serve as a model for how we can all work together with nature to make our communities healthier, safer and more supportive of life,” Piacentini said in a statement. “It will also give visitors the opportunity to see just how beautiful and practical green can be.”

Click here for more information on the Center for Sustainable Landscapes.