Each year the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment (COTE) recognizes ten projects that use an integrative approach to provide built solutions that protect and enhance the environment. COTE examines projects based on their design and innovation, integration with their community, land use and effect on site ecology, bioclimatic design, energy and water use, approach to light and air, materials and construction, long-life considerations, and feedback loops. This year Phipps Conservatory’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) was selected to receive this prestigious award.
The CSL is the latest project evidencing Phipps’ ongoing commitment to sustainability. By utilizing an integrative design approach, this 24,000 sf education, research and administration facility maximized efficiency and sustainability earning it “living” status under the Living Building Challenge (LBC), LEED NC v2.2 Platinum certification, WELL Building Platinum certification, and four stars under the SITESTM 2009 landscape rating system (the first project to achieve this level of certification). To learn more about the strategies and technologies engaged by CSL to be the first and only facility to meet these four highest green certifications, please visit the CSL webpage.
Earning these rigorous certifications was no simple feat, and was made possible by engaging an integrative design process led by 7group through a series of integrative design charrettes involving a wide-range of project team and owner representatives to inform the site and building design. Using the ATHENA® Impact Estimator for Buildings, 7group prepared models to assess different options for all major building assemblies and optimized materials choices. Energy modeling, daylighting analysis, and measurement and verification are technical services employed in 7group’s efforts towards making CSL one of the greenest buildings in the world.
7group is honored to have been a part of such an inspired team led by The Design Alliance Architects, whose efforts resulted in a nationally acclaimed project recognized for its impressive performance and groundbreaking sustainable features. In addition to being named as one of AIA’s COTE Top Ten Green Projects of 2016, the CSL has also won awards from such organizations as the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Urban Green Council and more (additional details available here). This project and its design process are also highlighted in several videos by 7group partner Tom Keiter, including Performance by Design, Phipps Conservatory: Sustainable Building and The Evolving Green Story of Phipps: A Living Building Takes Shape, which can be found on the CSL webpage and in 7group’s video resources.
This project clearly demonstrates the inseparable connection between human and environmental health, and evidences that we can develop our built environment in a way that contributes to the health of place rather than take from it.