Jeremy Sigmon

Like you, I’m sure, I am a big fan of energy efficiency. In my free time, I also enjoy a healthy dose of astrophysics. So what could be better than an evening this week with the stars of energy efficiency receiving awards named after galaxies and supernovae? 

How about all of that and also a top awardee that has made it clear that the sky is the limit for their commitments to sustainability in their super-green building?! Yes, the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh have a very green building deserving of the highest praise from the national energy efficiency community.

The Alliance to Save Energy’s annual awards event was nothing less than stellar. 

Honorary Chairman of the Alliance, Virginia Senator Mark Warner hosted much of the evening while doling out prestigious awards to individuals (like EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy) and organizations (like Nest) that have exceeded the expectations of even a room-full of the nation’s top nerds of energy efficiency. See the full list of award recipients.

The Innovation Award stole the show for green building enthusiasts. The award went to the Phipps Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a major contribution to deep green building design and superior performance in Pittsburgh and around the world. Importantly, it’s also a sustainability showcase to Phipps’s more than 300,000 annual visitors. Take a look at its credentials: LEED BD+C Platinum (earned in 2013), Sustainable Sites Initiative Four-Star (earned in 2013), Living Building – Net Zero Energy (earned in 2014, and pursuing full Living Building Certification). This recent net-zero energy achievement adds another fantastic green building project to the list released by the New Buildings Institute in January (read more).

After the ceremony, Green Building Alliance vice president, Christine Mondor and I took a celebratory picture with Richard Piancentini, executive director at Phipps. Hats off and a deep bow to all the winners and to all those who helped them with their fantastic contributions to energy efficiency, and a very special congratulations to Phipps.

Check out the project on GBIG and come learn more about it at Greenbuild!