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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden Prepares to Open New Facility Meeting or Exceeding Highest Green Standards

Pittsburgh, PA, USA (May 7, 2012) /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Opening on May 23, 2012 at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, the new 24,350-square-foot Center for Sustainable Landscapes(CSL) will emerge as one of the greenest buildings on Earth. Seeking to achieve or exceed the world’s highest sustainable standards, including the Living Building Challenge, LEED® Platinum and Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES) certification for landscapes, it will also be the largest operational structure pursuing living building status in the U.S. when it opens.

Constructed with local talent and mostly U.S.-made materials, the CSL—home base for environmental education and research—aims to achieve net-zero energy consumption with solar photovoltaics, geothermal wells and a vertical axis wind turbine, as well as passive cooling, heating and lighting methods. It will also save resources by treating and reusing all water captured on site.

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

“Designed and built by Pittsburghers and Pennsylvanians 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,” says Phipps’ Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini. “It will also give visitors the opportunity to see just how beautiful and practical green can be.”

A leader in green building and operations, Phipps has also constructed the first LEED® visitor center in a public garden—complete with a 3-star Green Restaurant Certified® cafe—and the world’s most energy-efficient tropical forest conservatory when it opened in 2006.

Established in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 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.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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