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For Immediate Release: Mon., Oct. 26
Contact: Joe Reed | Director of Marketing and Communications
412-622-6915, ext. 3801 |

Phipps Receives Prestigious Governor’s Award from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Phipps’ Campus of Cutting-Edge Sustainable Buildings Receives Top Honors for Environmental Excellence

Pittsburgh, PAPhipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is proud to announce that its complex of sustainable buildings — the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, Nature Lab and Exhibit Staging Center  — has been awarded a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. This award is a milestone in Phipps’ continued commitment to leading the sustainability movement locally and internationally by setting new standards for human and environmental health in the built environment.

Phipps’ sustainable efforts have reached a new level of excellence with the construction of three of the greenest buildings in the world on its campus: the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL, opened in 2012) which is also the only building in the world to achieve five of the highest certifications for green construction (Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, WELL Platinum, SITES Platinum and BREEAM Outstanding in Use); the Nature Lab at Phipps (2015); and the Exhibit Staging Center (ESC, 2019). Pending the ESC’s successful completion of the Living Building Challenge’s year-long performance period, Phipps will have three Living Future Institute-certified buildings on a single site, each representing a unique use and construction type — new, modular and adaptive reuse — and demonstrating the potential of integrated, regenerative design.

The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence is open to any Pennsylvania business, farm, government agency, educational institution, non-profit organization and individual that has created, or participated in, the development of a project that promotes environmental stewardship and economic development in Pennsylvania. Applicants from across the commonwealth nominated projects on energy efficiency, emissions reduction, watershed restoration and protection, environmental education opportunities, and smart growth planning and design.

The Governor’s Award is the latest in an outstanding series of sustainable achievements for Phipps in 2020. In the past nine months alone, the Exhibit Staging Center achieved its first performance standard, the WELL Health-Safety Rating, which was created by the WELL Institute to address building occupant health in a post-COVID-19 world, and Phipps sustainability efforts earned professional awards from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the American Alliance of Museums, The Construction Owner’s Association of America, Engineering News-Record, Preservation Pennsylvania and the Master Builders’ Association of Western Pennsylvania.

To learn more about Phipps commitment to human and environmental health through buildings, operations, programs and research, 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

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.