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Rainwater is captured and continued from previous page
measured on the CSL’s green roof
as part of an extensive CEC led fi nal development of the strategy connected landscape communities that
monitoring system.
that addressed the Water Petal and its two continue the main conservatory experience
imperatives: net-zero water and sustainable throughout the CSL site.
water discharge. The strategy included “High-performing buildings don’t just
on-site sanitary treatment, stormwater get switched on,” said Michael Takacs,
management, and water reuse systems. CEC Principal and head of the Landscape
A closed-loop system for the biological Architecture practice. “They require
treatment and fi ltration of sanitary water additional time to adjust and fi ne-tune their
includes two constructed wetland cells, two operational parameters. All of the circuitry
sand fi ltration beds and an ultraviolet fi lter and programming for these components
to disinfect water for reuse as greywater are in place, but making them talk to one
(or fl ush water) within the CSL. This system another the way they are intended must
signifi cantly reduces the CSL’s need to be adjusted manually over time.”
draw potable water from the city’s system,
in addition to minimizing the impact on Phipps has been conducting performance D
municipal sewage treatment. monitoring of all the diff erent spaces for
treatment on site. “As a conservatory and
The design also involved harvesting the botanical garden, it’s important to know
Pittsburgh region’s abundant rainwater. A exactly what is being put on the plants. A
1,700-gallon underground cistern stores big part of what we’re doing now is periodic
d rainwater for irrigation at the CSL, as well water quality testing to examine what is
as backup water for the sanitary reuse
going in versus what is coming out,” said
modular rainwater harvesting tank
CEC is monitoring the effi ciency and system. An 80,000-gallon underground Jason Wirick, Phipps’ Director of Facilities
and Sustainability Management.
eff ectiveness of the CSL’s green roof captures additional site stormwater runoff . “Our hope is to showcase the performance
through the use of data loggers, which Harvesting some of the estimated 2.7 of more passive and sustainable site water
incorporate sensors that measure million gallons of rainwater that will fall systems,” Wirick said. “CEC cares about
temperature, water discharge rate and on the CSL site annually will signifi cantly the project and about what we’re doing at
quantity, and soil moisture. reduce the burden on the city’s stormwater
management system and the entire Phipps Phipps.”
The green roof has reduced runoff by campus’s need to pull potable water. The CSL achieved LEED Platinum certifi cation
more than 87% annually, while any water A lagoon system manages runoff and from the U.S. Green Building Council in
not absorbed by the roof has ended up serves as a biological stormwater treatment September 2013, and received a Green
in the site’s stormwater recovery tanks system, similar to the natural treatment that Design Citation at the AIA Pittsburgh Design
or rain gardens (bioretention areas). No occurs in wetlands and marshes. With its Awards in October 2013. Along with the
measured runoff went to the storm sewer, refl ecting pool-like quality, trickling water Living Building Challenge, the CSL is currently
even during Hurricane Sandy in October sounds, elegant landscaping and inviting pursuing the Sustainable Sites Initiative™
2012, when the CSL experienced a storm boardwalk, the lagoon is one of several SITES™ certifi cation for landscapes. ■
event with more than 2.8 inches over a
24-hour period.

The CSL is on target to meet the net- The lagoon’s plants and their
zero demands of the Living Building symbiotic root microbes absorb
Challenge’s Water Petal imperative. ■ organic and mineral nutrients in
a multi-step fi ltration process.


SITES certifi cation

First to earn 4 stars
November 18, 2013
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