Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Downtown Lunch and Learn: Introduction to the Sustainable SITES Initiative

February 14, 2018 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm EST

Join GBA at IKM Inc. offices for a Lunch and Learn featuring insights into the Sustainable SITES Initiative from Jason Wirick and Mark D’Amico of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

Register Now


The Sustainable SITES Initiative is a framework that ushers landscape architects, engineers and others toward practices that protect ecosystems and enhance the benefits they continuously provide our communities, such as climate regulation, carbon storage and flood mitigation. SITES-certified landscapes – which include college campuses, public spaces, museums, corporate headquarters, and botanic gardens – help reduce water demand, filter and reduce stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat, reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, improve human health and increase outdoor recreation opportunities.

Originally modeled after LEED, SITES was developed to fill the gap in addressing site sustainability. It can be used as a standalone system, but it was also developed to work with LEED to integrate natural and built systems in a more meaningful and efficient way. Many of the certified projects that participated in the SITES pilot phase (between 2010 and 2014) also achieved LEED certification. One such project in our region was Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden’s Center for Sustainable Landscapes (the CSL), which also achieved the Living Building Challenge and WELL Platinum certification.

At this Lunch and Learn, we’ll have an opportunity to hear from two Phipps team members who can provide us insight into their SITES certification, including:

  • Goals and motivation
  • Alignment with other rating systems
  • The certification process
  • Feedback and lessons learned


Jason Wirick and Mark D’Amico were both involved with the CSL’s SITES certification. They can help architects, landscape architects, engineers, sustainability consultants, and owners understand the ins and outs of the certification process in this introductory session.

Due to regional interest, Green Building Alliance will also likely provide a more in-depth SITES training later this year for anyone who is interested in learning more about this system.



11:30 – Lunch and Presentation

12:30 – Q&A Time

1:00 – Event Wrap-Up


About our Speakers


Jason Wirick, LEED AP, is the director of facilities and sustainability at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Jason works to advance sustainable design and initiate safe, healthy and green operating practices. He holds a B.S. from Virginia Tech University and an M.B.A., with a focus on corporate sustainability and social responsibility from Duquesne University. Jason has supervised hundreds of contractors on award-winning projects. In 2015, he was received Healthcare Garden Design Certification from the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.


Mark D’Amico, Studio Phipps’ manager has 36 years of experience practicing landscape architecture in the Pittsburgh area. He has a robust and diverse portfolio of land development design projects ranging from healthcare, to education, commercial, public housing, senior living, recreation, residential, ecclesiastic and community development projects such as urban parks and gardens. His work includes projects for the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Department of Energy NETL Morgantown, Hempfield Area School District, Westmoreland County Community College and St. Clair Park in Greensburg, PA. Since joining Studio Phipps, Mark has infused his diverse experience in landscape architecture with the knowledge of sustainable principles and practices that Phipps embraces.  Additionally, Mark has experience as a Penn State Master Gardener and U.S. Navy Seabees. In 2017, he received Healthcare Garden Design Certification from the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden. Mark has a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Ball State University.


This event is pending approval for 1.5 GBCI CEUs.

Partnering with USGBC, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits.  Please provide your GBCI number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events).  Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.


February 14, 2018
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Leslie Montgomery


IKM Inc.
11 Stanwix St., Suite 2200
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 United States
+ Google Map