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Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh, USA

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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, USA. Designed and built to generate all of its own energy while treating and reusing all water captured on-site, the first facility in the world to meet four of the world’s highest green construction standards- now adds the distinctive BREEAM Outstanding In-Use rating to its resume.


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. The CSL had to overcome an array of challenges to set new standards for efficiency and occupant health:


  • the sun, earth and wind had to be optimised to light, heat and cool the interior;
  • all water had to be captured and treated onsite for reuse;
  • every occupied space had to afford views of nature;
  • a lifeless brownfield project site had to be rebuilt from scratch to host thriving,
  • and all materials suppliers had to disclose their products’ content to meet a stringent toxic materials red list.

Project Details:


  • Scheme: BREEAM USA In Use
  • Rating Achieved: Part 2: Building Management- Outstanding

Project Team:


  • Client: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
  • BREEAM Assessor: Ensight Consulting
  • Consultant: 3R Sustainability

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