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Phipps’ Center for Sustainable Landscapes Chosen to Test New Green Design Rating System

Pop City Media

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes, which is in its final phase of design, has been selected to join 175 other pilot programs to test a revolutionary new rating system for green landscape design called The Sustainable Sites Initiative, or SITES.

Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes

SITES is similar to the LEED building rating system, only for landscapes, and is set to become the international standard for eco-friendly landscape practices. The Center for Sustainable Landscapes was asked to join the testing program, because of the new building’s impressive list of sustainable features.

The $20 million Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a research and educational institution, will be a Living Building, going far beyond LEED certification, by generating all of its own energy with renewable resources, and capturing all water on site. It features a green roof, rain gardens, permeable paving, locally harvested and salvaged materials, and a wetland and lagoon system. Landscape practices at the building will include protecting and restoring soil conditions, native plant landscaping and ecosystem restoration, and revolutionary energy efficiency.

“The opportunity to combine cutting edge building technology with the highest standards of sustainable landscape design will allow Phipps to present a complete picture of how important it is to sensitively integrate our buildings into the environment and how important plants are to our lives,” says Phipps’ Director Richard Piacentini.

The pilot phase for SITES is scheduled to run through June 2012, and feedback from The Center for Sustainable Landscapes as it nears the end of its design phase and enters construction, will help SITES finalize their rating system by 2013.

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Writer: John Farley

Sources: Liz Fetchin, Communications Director for Phipps Conservatory
Richard Piacentini, Director of Phipps Conservatory

Image courtesy Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633