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Project Stats

Name: Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL)
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Size: 24,350 square feet
Type: Commercial Office
Certification: WELL Platinum Pilot

Certification Timeline

Late 2010

Construction begins

December 2012

CSL opens

Fall 2013

CSL registered as WELL Pilot project

January 2014

Documentation submitted for review

March 2014

Extensive on-site performance verification audit conducted

June 2014

Results of audit and suggestions for higher performance

Summer 2014

Additional optimizations implemented

September 2014

Additional documentation submitted for review

October 2014

Awarded Platinum WELL Building Certification

Certification Features

The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based certification system that focuses on the health and wellness of building occupants. It contains seven categories. Click below to reveal more information about each:



Indoor air quality isn’t always the best. VOC levels indoors can be up to five times higher than outside! To help combat this problem, none of the interior finishes and furnishings used at the CSL contain any items on the Materials Red List, a list of chemicals and materials that are harmful to humans. Indoor and outdoor air quality sensors at the CSL also monitor conditions to determine when outdoor air quality is better than indoors and opens the building’s windows to let in fresh air.

Air Features Pursued:


  • Air Quality Testing
  • Direct Source Ventilation
  • Healthy Entrance
  • VOC Reduction and Smoke Elimination
  • Cleaning and IAQ Protocol
  • Humidity Control
  • Healthy HVAC


  • Toxin Elimination
  • Combustion Free Air
  • Materials Red List

Score: 10/10 — PLATINUM


Potable water provided by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority meets all specified criteria for suspended solids, dissolved materials, chlorine, fluoride, and water hardness. All non-potable water, or storm and sanitary water, generated by the CSL is treated onsite with filters and is used for toilet flushing. Once treated, the non-potable water is cleaner than municipal water!

Water Features Pursued:


  • Healthy Source Water Protocol
  • Impurity Reduction
  • Chlorine and Fluoride Reduction

Score: 10/10 — PLATINUM


Café Phipps features local and organic foods and utilizes produce grown in on-site display gardens. All food provided at the CSL contains 100% organic produce and vegetarian-fed meat and dairy free of growth hormones and antibiotics. Filtered water is available for all staff and visitors.

Nourishment Features Pursued:


  • Food Preparation Equipment –Microwave Ovens
  • Food Preparation Surfaces
  • Food Habits
  • Hydration Station


  • Healthy Food and Storage
  • Healthy Ingredients
  • Organic Workplace Foods

Score: 10/10 — PLATINUM


From building siting to interior fixture reflectivity, the CSL’s daylight harvesting system was designed to allow natural light to illuminate the space 80% of the time. Indirect, dimmable ambient light and LED task lighting provide additional illumination as needed.

Light Features Pursued:


  • Window Performance and Design
  • Surface Design
  • Activity Based Lighting Levels
  • Color Spectrum
  • Interior Sun and Glare Control


  • Automated Lighting Controls
    Circadian Lighting Emulation

Score: 10/10 — PLATINUM


The design of the CSL promotes stair usage. Additionally, the building is situated within Schenley Park, which provides ample trail access for staff to enjoy. 

Fitness Features Pursued:


  • Interior Exercise Space


  • Access to Fitness Infrastructure
  • Professional Fitness Program

Score: 7/10 — GOLD


Comfort is highly subjective. To maximize individual modifications, humidifiers, personal fans, standing desk top height adjustment stands, and adjustable chairs are provided and building occupants can adjust zoned temperature controls to address thermal comfort and ergonomics.

Comfort Features Pursued:


  • Thermal Comfort
  • Universal Design
  • Electromagnetic Field Protection


  • Ergonomics
  • Healthy Surfaces
  • Thermal Optimization
  • Biophilic Sound

Score: 8/10 — GOLD


Biophilic design principles are incorporated throughout the CSL, including the use of light, nature-inspired artwork, tall ceiling heights, and expansive views. Information about current and historic building metrics, including air quality parameters and energy usage, is accessible to all staff.

Mind Features Pursued:


  • Wellness Literacy


  • Beauty and Design
  • Environmental Display
  • Water Feature
  • Healthy Product Transparency
  • Wellness Concierge
  • Knowledge Transfer

Score: 9/10 — PLATINUM

Green Building Toolkit: Achieving the WELL Building Standard

Download the Case Study

To learn more about the features of WELL Certification and dive deeper into how the CSL achieved compliance, download our case study.

WELL Scorecard


For more detailed information on the WELL Building Standard, visit the WELL website.

Photos © Michael Tessler; Paul g. Wiegman; Denmarsh Photography, Inc.; Renee Rosensteel