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For Immediate Release: Mon., May 9
Contact: Joe Reed | Director of Marketing and Communications
412-622-6915, ext. 3801 |

Phipps’ Exhibit Staging Center Awarded LEED Platinum Certification
Restored Public Works Building Receives Prestigious Green Building Certification 

Pittsburgh, PA — Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is proud to announce its Exhibit Staging Center (ESC) has received LEED Platinum certification, their highest level of certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the most widely used green building rating system in the world and an international symbol of excellence.

The ESC achieved LEED Platinum certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. The ESC was developed as a workshop to construct and archive seasonal show props while encouraging mental and physical wellness amongst employees with a yoga studio, fitness center and meditation room.

Originally a 1960s public works building formerly operated by the City of Pittsburgh, the ESC underwent a dynamic retrofit in 2019 to become a one of the greenest buildings in the world, a space that prioritizes the health and safety of people and the planet. This building also holds WELL Platinum and WELL Health-Safety Rating for Facility Operations and Management from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), and Phipps is in pursuit of Living Building Challenge Certification.

“Earning LEED Platinum certification for the ESC clearly demonstrates that the healthiest, most efficient buildings in the world don’t have to be built from scratch,” says Phipps President and CEO Richard Piacentini. “The potential is there, in Pittsburgh and beyond, to transform countless existing structures into beautiful spaces that contribute to human and environmental health.”

The ESC is the fourth LEED-certified facility on the Phipps campus, following its Welcome Center (LEED Silver, 2006), Production Greenhouse (LEED Platinum for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance, 2012), and Center for Sustainable Landscapes (LEED Platinum, 2013).

“LEED is a transformative tool that ensures a building is designed and operated to achieve high performance, improve human health and protect the environment,” said Peter Templeton, president and CEO, USGBC. “By prioritizing sustainability, Phipps’ Exhibit Staging Center is leading the way in their industry and helping USGBC continue towards our goal of green buildings for everyone within this generation.”

To learn more about the ESC, visit




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

About the U.S. Green Building Council: The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a healthy, resilient and equitable future for all through the development of green buildings, cities and communities. For more than 20 years, USGBC has been advancing green building practices through the development of LEED, the world’s most widely used green building program. With the support of thousands of members, volunteers and partners, USGBC provides robust green building education courses, a rigorous professional credentialing program, and advocates for effective public policies. It convenes an international network of green building and sustainability leaders through the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and forward thinking programs, including the Center for Green Schools. For more information, visit and connect on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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.