Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is now home to one of the greenest buildings on the planet. The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has broken ground after achieving Living Building Challenge™ certification for its Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL). Revered for its innovative sustainability research and science education programs, the center is now the first and only project to attain all four of the highest sustainable building certifications in the world. Feast your eyes on the breathtaking botanical center which thrives in near perfect harmony with nature.
Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) has reached a historical level of sustainability by achieving each of the highly regarded green certifications possible for any building. The CSL has become the first and only building to attain WELL Building Platinum certification and Four Stars Sustainable SITES Initiative™ certification. In addition to its LEED Platinum certification, it has now become the fourth building in the entire world to be certified as a ‘Living Building’ by the International Living Future Institute.
By attaining Living Building Challenge certification, the CSL has fulfilled an impressive goal of operating as cleanly and efficiently as an element of the natural world. The CSL’s unparalleled magnificently verdant landscape, conservatory and botanical gardens combined with its outstanding use of renewable energy, sustainable resources, and water conservation, allows the facility to exist in harmonious co-existence with nature, thereby meeting all six “petals” of the Living Building Challenge.
The CSL is expected to achieve net-zero energy by the end of the year, generating more power than it consumes with several forms of renewable energy, including a vertical axis wind turbine, 125 kW photovoltaic solar panels, 14 geothermal wells, as well as passive cooling, heating and lighting. The former brownfield site now brims with native plants and five rain gardens, a rainwater harvesting lagoon and constructed wetlands which treat all storm and sanitary water on the property.
According to Jason F. McLennan, CEO of the International Living Future Institute, “Phipps’ Living Building is one of the most important projects of its kind in the world, demonstrating to the design community and thousands of annual visitors a profound new paradigm for responsible design and construction.”
Images via Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes