For Immediate Release: Thurs., March 25
Contact: Joe Reed | Director of Marketing and Communications
412-622-6915, ext. 3801 | jreed@phipps.conservatory.org


Phipps Conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes Wins Prestigious BREEAM Award
The CSL Was Recognized as One of the Greenest Buildings in the World by BRE Group


Pittsburgh, PAPhipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is proud to announce that the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) achieved the 2021 BREEAM Award in the Commercial — In-Use category. The CSL achieved this prestigious award over projects from four other countries, proving through performance and impact that it is one of the greenest buildings in the world. The announcement was made during a virtual presentation of the awards on Thurs., March 25.

The BREEAM Awards, delivered by BRE Group, is an annual celebration that proudly recognizes the people, projects and organizations that are leading the way with significant achievements in sustainable building design, development and management. Commendations are awarded to the projects that, in the view of the judging panel, provide the best balance between high performance, replicability, innovation and the degree to which the project has gone beyond what would normally be expected for a similar project.

After the CSL was shortlisted for the Commercial – In Use category, Phipps submitted a case study, which a panel of independent judges reviewed and judged based on:

  • The balanced achievement of high levels of performance against the breadth of sustainability criteria covered in BREEAM
  • The degree to which the applicant has gone beyond typical or normal practice in design and construction, refurbishment or management. This took into account the nature of the project, complexity of the functional requirements and the level of budget available, as well as the degree of innovation that was demonstrated.
  • The replicability of the solutions adopted for other projects in the sector through the dissemination of best practice (including design; technology; construction; management practices; skills; new understanding; research; monitoring of performance; occupant behavior).

The CSL became the first certified BREEAM Outstanding In-Use building in the United States in March of 2020, and is the first and only building to meet five of the highest green certifications, including the Living Building Challenge, LEED® Platinum, SITES™ Platinum and WELL Building Platinum. It generates all of its own energy and treats all storm and sanitary water captured on-site. As Phipps’ education, research and administration facility, the CSL is an integral part of the Phipps visitor experience as a “living museum,” focusing attention of the important intersection between the built and natural environments, and demonstrating that human and environmental health are inextricably connected.

3R Sustainability supported the Phipps team throughout the assessment process and the certification was carried out by BREEAM USA In-Use licensed Assessor Julia Craighill of Ensight Consulting.


“Phipps is honored to accept this prestigious award,” says President and CEO Richard Piacentini. “We will continue to work to advance sustainability and make new strides in green building innovation, proving that the greenest buildings in the world are good for the people who inhabit them as well as the environment in which they exist.”

To learn more about the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, visit phipps.conservatory.org/CSL.



About BRE Group: BRE has been raising the standards of the built environment since 1921, and in the last few years has grown significantly, both through the achievements of our people and the acquisition of businesses with beliefs and goals aligned with our own. Our multi-disciplinary teams include leading experts – working in world-class facilities – in virtually every element of the built environment. They operate internationally, with offices, representatives and partners around the globe, and at our Head Office and major facilities in the UK. Our long heritage of putting progressive thinking into practice means that our customers and partners, wherever they are in the world, trust us to deliver. BRE is part of the BRE Trust, which uses the profits we make from our services to fund new research and education programs.

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.