For Immediate Release: Thurs., Oct. 1

Contact: Joe Reed | Director of Marketing and Communications
412-622-6915, ext. 3801 | jreed@phipps.conservatory.org

Exhibit Staging Center Awarded WELL Health-Safety Rating Achievement
Phipps Conservatory Joins a Community of Organizations Pushing the Boundaries of What Health and Safety Look Like in a Post-COVID-19 Environment


Pittsburgh, PAPhipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is proud to announce that the Exhibit Staging Center has been awarded a WELL Health-Safety Rating from the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™). This certification is a milestone achievement in Phipps’ continued commitment to supporting human and environmental health. 

Launched in 2014, the WELL™ Building Standard is the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. WELL was developed by integrating scientific and medical research and literature on environmental health, behavioral factors, health outcomes and demographic risk factors that affect health with leading practices in building design, construction and management.

The new WELL Health-Safety Rating adapts the principles of WELL for facility operations and management, and was designed as a response to preparing spaces for re-entry in a post-COVID-19 environment. The Exhibit Staging Center was able to meet the standard by demonstrating support for such key operational items as cleaning and sanitization procedures, health service resources, air and water quality management, and stakeholder engagement and communication. A third party review process provides integrity and consistency, and results in a WELL Safety seal, communicating leadership and a commitment to prioritizing the safety of staff, visitors and stakeholders. 

The prioritization of safety at Phipps extends beyond the Exhibit Staging Center as well. Since reopening to the public in June, the Conservatory has surveyed more than 1,500 families for feedback on its protocols, receiving an average rating of 95/100 for measures taken to date.

The strategies within the WELL Health-Safety Rating have been informed by existing features within the WELL Building Standard, IWBI’s Task Force on COVID-19 and guidance by the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), global disease control and prevention centers and emergency management agencies, as well as recognized standard-making bodies such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions. Industry experts and researchers across the WELL Concept Advisories, the WELL Research Advisory, the WELL Advisory for Sports and Entertainment Venues, the WELL Advisory for Hotels and Resorts and the WELL Airport Advisory also provided extensive insights for the WELL Health-Safety Rating.

To learn more about the Exhibit Staging Center, visit phipps.conservatory.org/ESC. A gallery of images of the building can be found here and video footage can be viewed here.


About IWBI: International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) is leading the global movement to transform our buildings and communities in ways that help people thrive. IWBI delivers the cutting-edge WELL Building Standard, the leading global rating system and the first to be focused exclusively on the ways that buildings, and everything in them, can improve our comfort, drive better choices, and generally enhance, not compromise, our health and wellness.

About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA is a globally recognized green leader 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. Encompassing 15 acres including a historic 14-room glasshouse, 23 distinct indoor and outdoor gardens and industry-leading sustainable architecture and operations, Phipps attracts more than half a million visitors annually from around the world. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org.

Watch TEDx: What We Can Learn From an Old Glasshouse: A look at the evolving way we connect people to nature at Phipps, demonstrate how human and environmental health are inextricably connected, and show that to age gracefully, we must continually reinvent ourselves to evolve with the rest of the world.