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For Immediate Release: Thurs., April 8
Contact: Joe Reed | Director of Marketing and Communications
412-622-6915, ext. 3801 |


Phipps Conservatory Announces Achievement of the WELL Health-Safety Rating for Oakland Campus
Phipps Conservatory Joins a Community of Organizations Pushing the Boundaries of What Health and Safety Look Like in a Post-COVID-19 Environment


Pittsburgh, PA – Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens announced today it has earned the WELL Health-Safety Rating for its Oakland campus through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). The WELL Health-Safety Rating is an evidence-based, third-party verified rating for all new and existing building and space types focusing on operational policies, maintenance protocols, stakeholder engagement and emergency plans to address a post-COVID-19 environment now and into the future.


Designed to empower owners and operators across large and small businesses alike to take the necessary steps in order to prioritize the health and safety of their staff, visitors and stakeholders, the WELL Health-Safety Rating can help guide users in preparing their spaces for re-entry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, instilling confidence in those who come through the building as well as the broader community.  Emphasizing the importance of building safety worldwide, IWBI has enlisted a group of world-renowned scientists, public health specialists and celebrities – including Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, Michael B. Jordan, Robert De Niro, Venus Williams, Wolfgang Puck, Deepak Chopra and others – as ambassadors to encourage people to look for the WELL Health-Safety seal at their favorite places.


“In keeping with Phipps’ mission to support human and environmental health, we are thrilled that our own Oakland campus was among the first projects to receive the new WELL Health-Safety Rating,” said Phipps President and CEO Richard Piacentini. “This certification proves that our efforts to create the healthiest buildings for the planet can also be the healthiest buildings for people, and Phipps is proud to be at the forefront of this important movement.”


In order to achieve WELL Health-Safety Rating, Phipps has implemented key operational items as cleaning and sanitization procedures, health service resources, air and water quality management, and stakeholder engagement and communication. Since reopening to the public in June, the Conservatory has surveyed more than 4,500 families for feedback on its protocols, receiving an average positive rating of 94/100 for measures taken to date.


The WELL Health-Safety Rating provides a centralized source and governing body to validate efforts made by owners and operators. It leverages insights drawn from the IWBI Task Force on COVID-19, in addition to guidance on the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections developed 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 associations such as ASTM International and ASHRAE, and leading academic and research institutions, as well as core principles already established by IWBI’s WELL Building Standard, the premier framework for advancing health in buildings and spaces of all kinds.

To learn more about Phipps’ efforts to promote human and environmental health, visit



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


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.