Phipps Achieves Highest BREEAM USA In-Use Rating

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes was awarded a BREEAM Outstanding rating, placing it in the top 1% of buildings globally for building performance

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a green leader in sustainability, and BRE Global, a multi-disciplinary building science organization, announced that the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) has been certified using the BREEAM USA In-Use standard for existing buildings. The CSL is the first building in the United States to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating and the first building certified under BREEAM in the state of Pennsylvania. The achievement will be celebrated with the presentation of a BREEAM plaque and a reception at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes on March 10, 2020 at 10 a.m.

BREEAM USA In-UseBREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) was developed in 1990 by BRE Global, the first assessment method for buildings in the world. Today BREEAM is internationally recognized as the most comprehensive and holistic environmental assessment method, with over 2,280,000 registered projects and 570,000+ certified buildings across 85 countries.

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 CSL is the first facility in the world to meet four of the world’s highest green construction standards—The Living Building Challenge, WELL Building Platinum, SITES Platinum, and LEED® Platinum—and it now adds the distinctive BREEAM Outstanding In-Use rating to its resume.

“At Phipps, we believe that public gardens have a role to play in mitigating the challenge of climate change, and we believe the answer lies in regenerative thinking that extends to our buildings, programs, and operations,” said Richard Piacentini, Phipps’ president and CEO. “The achievement of the BREEAM rating helps us to communicate the value of green building to new audiences while placing us in the company of some of the world’s most innovative sustainable building projects.”

BREEAM In-Use is used to assess and rate the performance of existing buildings around the world. BREEAM USA In-Use has been adapted to reflect differences in American standards and practices while still providing the global comparability and rigor that distinguishes the BREEAM standard. Certification is achieved through independent, third-party assessment conducted on-site, giving stakeholders’ confidence about their building’s performance and recognition that a building meets, and continues to meet, the robust BREEAM In-Use sustainability standards.

3R Sustainability supported the Phipps team throughout the assessment process and the certification was carried out by BREEAM USA In-Use licensed Assessor Julia Craighill of Ensight Consulting.

Shamir Ghumra, Director of BREEAM at BRE Global said, “This is a significant achievement and another milestone for BREEAM in America. The Phipps team, working closely with Julia Craighill at Ensight Consulting, have gone beyond best practice and have really set the bar in terms of the BREEAM rating achieved. With so many visitors coming to Phipps every year we hope that this certification will inspire others to do the same.”

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