Building in Bloom


Building in Bloom


Building in Bloom tells the fascinating story of how a historic Pittsburgh conservatory endeavored to achieve the world’s most rigorous green building certification with its Center for Sustainable Landscapes.

Pittsburgh’s Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens has long been recognized as an environmental leader for its deeply green campus and its mission to advance sustainability, and promote the well being of both people and the planet.

For the final phase of a three-part expansion, Phipps took a revolutionary step. In 2007, it accepted the Living Building Challenge to guide the design and construction of its new research, education and administration facility. When the Center for Sustainable Landscapes opened to the public in December, 2012, Phipps demonstrated that commitment and collaboration can turn an ambitious idea into a high-performance building that operates as efficiently, cleanly and beautifully as nature’s architecture.

Combining project-specific details with reflections from the design team, Building in Bloom tells the story of how this remarkable structure came to life – from concept to ribbon cutting. This book, enhanced by its superb full-color imagery, is the first in a series of publications about leading-edge Living Building projects connected to the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge.

Additional information


Mary Adam Thomas

About the Author

Mary Adam Thomas is an independent writer who plays with words through her business, Thomas Communications. She is the collaborative author of Jason F. McLennan’s collection of essays, Zugunruhe: The Inner Migration to Profound Environmental Change and of The Web-Savvy Patient: An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the Internet When Facing Medical Crisis by Andrew Schorr. In addition, Mary contributed the introduction to McLennan’s follow-up essay collection, Transformational Thought: Radical Ideas to Remake the Built Environment. Her broad portfolio of written work includes essays and editorial pieces that have appeared in a wide variety of print and online publications catering to consumer and professional audiences. Mary lives in the Seattle area with her husband and their two children.


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