Phipps Conservancy Unveils New Exhibit Staging Center

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The Conservancy now has three of the world’s greenest buildings on one site

Phipps Conservancy’s new Exhibit Staging Center (ESC) will transform a dilapidated public works garage into a state-of-the-art, fully sustainable building.

The ESC’s goal is to achieve three of the most rigorous building certifications in the world, The Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, and WELL Platinum.

Upon completion of the one year long performance period, the ESC will become the third building on Phipps’ campus to achieve the Living Building Challenge. This achievement would make Phipps the first and only multi-facility living building system of its kind in the world. The ESC’s biophilic design creates healthy impacts on the buildings occupants and guests.

The 10,568 square foot building costs $6.3 million to build, but that cost will soon be offset by the buildings own energy and water conservation.

“This building will never have an electric bill, a heating bill, a cooling bill, and those benefits will only grow over time,” said Phipps President and CEO Richard Piacentini.

A vegetative living wall, rooftop solar panels, and underground geothermal wells will allow the building to harness enough natural energy to be net positive and produce its own energy.

A lagoon adjacent to the ESC will be used to store rainwater and replicate the natural filtering processes of marshes and wetlands. The water will then be treated and recycled to bring the building to net zero water usage.

The building officially opens on May 16.


Julie Labar, Director of Marketing and Communications, 412.622.6915 ext. 3801 or

Jenna Bodnar, Communications Coordinator, 412.622.6915 ext.3702 or


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