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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Now that's a lot of green

Phipps to construct an energy efficient showplace

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Pittsburgh’s grand Victorian public gardens is constructing one of the greenest buildings in the world.

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is set to break ground on a zero net energy living office building that will generate all of its heating and cooling and capture and treat all of its water on site, the organization announced today.

"Phipps is committed to making the Center for Sustainable Landscapes a true living building," Richard V. Piacentini, Phipps executive director, stated in a news release. "We're working with an excellent team of architects, engineers and consultants who are all dedicated to creating a revolutionary building and advancing the future of sustainability. It will truly be a model of green building design and operations," Piacentini added.

Here is more information pulled from the announcement:

The project team will employ leading-edge and exploratory technology to set new standards for green buildings while using an integrative design approach to ensure a smooth construction process. The integrative process brought all design, engineering, construction representatives and consultants together from the beginning to accomplish the goals required to construct a living building.

This approach, combined with making the Center accessible to the public for education and inspiration, will make it a building of international significance.

To select the primary architects and engineers, Phipps limited the request for proposal for design to Pittsburgh-based companies. Additional consideration was given to teams made up of Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania firms. Therefore the Center for Sustainable Landscapes will be designed and built by people from Pittsburgh, and showcase local talent.

Phipps partnered with architects The Design Alliance for this project along with the best talent and organizations in the region's sustainable design and construction arena.

The glasshouse and its surrounding landscape are an inspiration to many people who visit the grounds. With the new building, the place will surely become even more of a showplace.

The groundbreaking will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, September 18, at Phipps' campus in Schenley Park. Teresa Heinz, Chair of the Heinz Endowments and wife of U.S. Sen. John Kerry, is supposed to be part of the ceremonies.

Click here to stay on top of the news at Phipps.

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