Monday, August 31, 2009

G-20 at Phipps

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome the G-20 leaders and their spouses to Pittsburgh at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on Thursday, September 24, 2009. Afterward, President Obama and the G-20 leaders will remain at the conservatory for a working dinner.

“Phipps is proud to be the site of this historic event,” says Richard V. Piacentini, the conservatory’s Executive Director. “The G-20 Summit is an opportunity for us to showcase the story of green innovation in Pittsburgh and at Phipps.”

The White House cites Phipps’ distinction as one of the world’s greenest public gardens in its announcement. The Victorian glasshouse that opened in 1893 is known today as “the Green Heart of Pittsburgh,” and is a national model for environmental leadership.

“Over the past decade, Phipps has made advanced green building practices, sustainable development and environmental awareness a focus at every level of operation,” says Piacentini.

Eco-friendly achievements include:

First LEED Certified Building in a Public Garden—Phipps’ earth-sheltered Welcome Center was awarded LEED Silver certification upon its completion in 2005.

World’s Most Energy-Efficient Conservatory—Phipps’ newest addition, the Tropical Forest Conservatory, is passively cooled, has no “greenhouse effect,” is very efficient for heating and is the only conservatory in the world powered by a solid oxide fuel cell.

Project Green Heart—All life depends on plants. Phipps’ commitment to environmental leadership includes sharing discoveries and providing resources on leading-edge practices in sustainable living, gardening and landscaping. Its “Botany in Action” program supports science and field research around the world and highlights the essential connection between
people and plants.

A Living Building—Plans are in place for construction of Phipps’ most innovative and ambitious green venture to date: a Living Building, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes which will be one of the greenest buildings in the world. This new Research, Education and Administration Center will exceed LEED Platinum certification and function at zero-net energy and water.


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