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Phipps Debuts New Exhibit Staging Center, Old Public Works Garage Turned Green Building

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has opened its new Exhibit Staging Center (ESC), a run-down public works garage that has been transformed into a green building.

Phipps says it took the deteriorating building -- windowless and made of block walls -- and reconstructed it into the conservatory's latest green building. The ESC is designed to meet three of the highest sustainable building certifications: the Living Building Challenge, LEED® Platinum and WELL Platinum. It's expected to generate all of its own energy within a year, says the conservatory.

phipps green building
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The building -- which includes a green roof, vegetative wall and a yoga studio -- will be home primarily to maintenance staff and grounds crew, Phipps says. However, it will also offer a behind-the-scenes look at past and future flower shows for interested visitors.

With its latest green building -- contingent on the successful completion of the Living Building Challenge's one-year performance period -- Phipps says it will have three Living Buildings on site. This would make it "the first multi-facility living system of its kind in the world," the conservatory says.

"We look forward to sharing the experience of visiting three of the greenest buildings in the world with our guests," stated Richard Piacentini, Phipps' president and CEO. "As people spend the majority of their time indoors, each building type - new, modular and existing - demonstrates the critical connection between human and environmental health and the potential that every building holds to improve our lives."

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