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Center for Sustainable Landscapes

The Design Alliance Architects


Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

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24,350 sq. feet
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Project Description


The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) is a 24,350-square-foot education, research and administration facility at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a public garden attraction in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Designed and built to generate all of its own energy while treating and reusing all water captured on-site — the result of an integrated design process guided by the principles of the International Living Future Institute — the facility is the first in the world to meet all four of the world’s highest green construction standards: The Living Building ChallengeTM, awarded in March 2015; WELL Building Platinum, awarded in October 2014; Four-Stars Sustainable Sites InitiativeTM (SITESTM) certification for landscapes, awarded in November 2013; and LEED® Platinum, awarded in August 2013. The core function of the CSL is to increase awareness of the interconnection between the natural and built environment, and the efficacy of sustainable systems. By employing a design that invites exploration while seamlessly integrating with the guest experience of Phipps — a 120-year-old institution which receives over 400,000 visitors annually — the CSL is uniquely positioned to showcase renewable energy technologies, conservation strategies, water treatment systems, and sustainable landscaping to a broad audience, including many engaging with these topics for the first time.
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