Phipps Conservatory Achieves Highest BREEAM In-Use Rating in the United States

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

Pittsburgh, PA – Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a globally recognized green leader in sustainability and BRE Global, a world leading, multi-disciplinary building science organization, today announced that the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) has been certified using the BREEAM USA 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 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 worldwide 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, USA. 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.”




Phipps Conservatory
Joe Reed
T: +1 412 622-6915 x3801

BRE Global
Breana Wheeler
T: +1 415 747-5152

About Phipps
Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA is a globally recognized green leader with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Encompassing 15 acres including a historic 14-room glasshouse, 23 distinct indoor and outdoor gardens and industry-leading sustainable architecture and operations, Phipps attracts more than half a million visitors annually from around the world. Learn more at

Watch TEDx: What We Can Learn From an Old Glasshouse: A look at the evolving way we connect people to nature at Phipps, demonstrate how human and environmental health are inextricably connected, and show that to age gracefully, we must continually reinvent ourselves to evolve with the rest of the world.

About BRE Global
BRE Global is the world’s leading building science organization: an innovative group of researchers, scientists, engineers and technicans who share a common goals – to make the built environment better for all.. BRE Global’s sustainability, safety and security services, the BRE Academy and our Innovation Centers, are used by customers to deliver on their social, environmental and economic goals.  BRE uses independent cutting-edge research to generate standards like BREEAM that are used around the world to create and maintain buildings and communities that are sustainable, resilient, healthy and productive.  Learn more about BREEAM at and follow us on LinkedIn and @BRE_BREEAM on Twitter for the latest updates.

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