For Immediate Release: Mon., Sept. 11

Contact: Julie LaBar | Director of Marketing and Communications
412/622-6915, ext. 3801 ǀ jlabar@phipps.conservatory.org

Sustainability Leader Phipps Conservatory Supports International Living Future Institute at 2017 Living Product Expo
Global event in Pittsburgh brings together thought leaders dedicated to creating a healthy future including Phipps’ Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini, igniting a revolution in the way materials are designed, manufactured and delivered.

Pittsburgh, Pa. — In its continued commitment to sustainability, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens proudly supports the International Living Future Institute’s groundbreaking Living Product Expo held in Pittsburgh Tues., Sept. 12 – Thurs., Sept. 14 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. 

The Living Product Expo brings together product manufacturers, designers, scientists and subject matter experts with a shared vision for a regenerative, healthy future.  Now in its third year, the Expo sparks new ideas and technologies that will reshape the materials landscape, accelerate the pace of innovation and bring more living products to market. 

This year’s event features notable speakers, including Paul Hawken, author of New York Times bestseller Drawdown, Environmental Working Group Co-Founder and President Ken Cook, and Biofabricate Founder Suzanne Lee, in addition to interactive workshops and sessions. 

Phipps’ Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini will discuss “Leveraging the Living Building Challenge to Achieve Healthy, High Performing Spaces” on the Expo’s Regenerative Design track panel held Wed., Sept. 13 from 12:30 – 2 p.m. at the Convention Center, room 323.  Piacentini, alongside other environmental leaders, will share his insights on how Living Building Challenge projects meet the highest standard for environmental performance while ensuring healthy, high performance spaces.

“Phipps Conservatory and International Living Future Institute are united in achieving a common goal to create a healthy future through smarter workspaces, buildings, products and communities,” stated Piacentini.  “By challenging the status quo, Phipps has become a global model of sustainability that is inspiring the world — a catalyst for positive change.”

A leader in sustainability, Phipps is home to one of the greenest building in the world:  The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL).  The CSL is a net-zero energy and water building and the only building to meet the Living Building Challenge®, in addition to achieving LEED® Platinum, 4 Stars Sustainable SITES™, and Platinum WELL® Building certifications.  The CSL provides significant environmental, health and wellness benefits, addressing environmental issues while providing access to fresh air, daylight, and connections with nature, showcasing the healthiest, high performance space of its kind.

Phipps will also host a reception for Expo attendees on Wed., Sept. 13 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m., including tours of the CSL at Phipps Conservatory, 1 Schenley Park in Pittsburgh.

Purchase 2017 Living Product Expo tickets here.


About Richard V. Piacentini: Richard V. Piacentini is executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Since 1994 he has guided the Pittsburgh organization from public to private management and is responsible for the green transformation of its facilities and operations, including: the opening of the first LEED® certified visitor’s center in a public garden; the first LEED® certified greenhouse (LEED® Platinum EBOM); the Tropical Forest Conservatory, one of the most energy-efficient conservatories in the world; and the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a net-zero energy and water building and the only building to meet the Living Building Challenge®, LEED® Platinum, 4 Stars Sustainable SITES™ and Platinum WELL® Building certifications. 

The sustainability efforts Piacentini initiated at Phipps are based on recognizing the vital connections between people, plants, health and the planet. This systems-based way of thinking influences the organization’s actions and programs, particularly those focused on awakening children to nature, and promoting human and environmental well-being. 

Piacentini serves on the board of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) as past chair and secretary and on the Mission and Community Needs Committee for Magee-Womens Hospital. He is a member of the Biophilic Design Initiative Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee for the Biophilic Cities Network.  He is a Past President and Treasurer of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), and has received ILFI, USGBC, and APGA leadership awards. 

Piacentini holds a Master of Science degree in Botany from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island. He is a Registered Pharmacist and a WELL® Accredited Professional.

About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens 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. Learn more: phipps.conservatory.org.

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Select photos © Mark Dixon