Phipps Conservatory’s Certified Living Building Opens in Pittsburgh

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor The Center for Sustainable Landscapes is scheduled to open at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on May 23. It will be one of the world’s first certified living buildings. The 24,350-square-foot facility is the centerpiece of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ $20 million Phase III expansion project. The expansion is meant to [...]

by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes is scheduled to open at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on May 23. It will be one of the world’s first certified living buildings.

The 24,350-square-foot facility is the centerpiece of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ $20 million Phase III expansion project. The expansion is meant to upgrade and expand facilities, while emphasizing more green and sustainable building practices and operations. It also seeks to achieve or exceed the three highest green standards: the Living Building Challenge, LEED® Platinum and SITES Certification for landscapes.

The center has been designed to achieve net-zero energy consumption by employing solar photovoltaics and solar hot water collectors, geothermal wells, a vertical axis wind turbine, as well as passive cooling, heating and lighting methods. Other features include a lagoon, a water distillation system, rain gardens and constructed wetlands.

Home base for environmental education and research, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ new center aims to become a model of sustainability for architects, scientists, planners and anyone interested in green living.

In other news, dck Worldwide LLC will be an equity partner, builder and major tenant in the 120,000 square feet of office space proposed for The Gardens at Market Square, a new $86 million, mixed-used development.

Millcraft Industries Inc. is planning to build the development on seven city-owned properties in downtown Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Millcraft Industries established an agreement to buy the seven parcels on the south side of Forbes Avenue between Market Square and Wood Street from the Urban Redevelopment Authority last December.

Along with the office space, The Gardens at Market Square will include 25,000 square feet of retail space and a 176-room hotel. Millcraft industries will work from a design by Miami-based Arquitectonica and said it hopes to break ground in the fall. The developers say the project is expected to create 230 construction, and about 800 permanent, jobs and generate $4.3 million in annual tax revenues. An estimated completion date has been set for the first quarter of 2014, the newspaper reports.

Photo credits: http://phipps.conservatory.org