Archive for February 6th, 2013

February 6, 2013

February Inspire Speaker Series: Healthy Places and Indoor Air Quality

by Melissa Harding

inspire feb

GBA and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are excited to present the fifth session of the INSPIRE Speakers Series with national expert, Steve Ashkin, and local experts, Vivian Loftness and Erica Cochran!  

WHERE students learn matters. School buildings can enhance a student’s ability to learn by keeping them healthy, attentive and present. By improving indoor air quality, healthy and high performing schools can improve the health of students, faculty and staff.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, students in America miss approximately 14 million school days per year because of asthma. More than 65 percent of asthma cases among elementary school-age students could be prevented by controlling exposure to indoor environmental factors (according to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine). Improved attendance affects a school’s financial bottom line due to federal funding that is linked to average daily attendance. According to the Department of Education, more than 20 percent of public schools report having unsatisfactory indoor air quality.  Carnegie Mellon University studies have shown that improved indoor air quality can have an average overall health improvement rate of 41 percent.

Join us on Valentine’s Day to talk about loving healthy learning spaces! The indoor environments in schools impact student and teacher health and productivity, as well as finances. The lecture will address:

  • The effects of building design, operations, and maintenance on student and teacher health and productivity
  • The business case for healthy indoor environments in schools
  • Easy low to no-cost steps schools can take to improve indoor air quality
  • New innovations in the fields of green cleaning and maintenance

We have an excellent lineup of national and local experts who will discuss how to create healthy indoor environments:

  • Vivian Loftness, FAIA, LEED AP, is a University Professor and former Head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University. She is an internationally renowned researcher, author and educator with over thirty years of focus on environmental design and sustainability, advanced building integration, climate and regionalism in architecture, and design for performance in the workplace of the future.
  • Steve Ashkin, known as the “father of green cleaning,” has been working in the cleaning industry since 1981 where he has held key technical and management positions for leading commercial and consumer products companies, and has worked on the issue of “green cleaning” since 1990.
  • Erica Cochran, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor and PhD Candidate at Carnegie Mellon University and an Architectural Designer. Erica’s doctoral research investigates the impact of school building and neighborhood physical and environmental characteristics on student and teacher health and performance.

 Learn more about the speakers at

 For the February lecture only, attendees can bring a guest or date for only $10 (GBA and Partner Organization Members) or $15 (Non-members).  We will also give away a few gift certificates to local eateries so you have a chance to enjoy Valentine’s Day dinner on us!

 WHEN: Thursday, February 14th from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

The event will be held in the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes building (learn more about one of the greenest buildings in the world!)

 Registration Information:

  • GBA Member Fee: $25.00
  • Member of Partner Organization Fee (Phipps Conservatory or Tri-State Area School Study Council): $25.00
  • Non-member Fee: $45.00
  • Student Fee: $25.00
  • Bring a Date or Guest! Select “Group Registration”:
    • Member of GBA or Partner Organizations: $35 for 2 Attendees
    • Non-members: $60 for 2 Attendees


 For group rates and scholarship information, please contact Jenna Cramer.

February 6, 2013

Upcoming Events: Celebrate! Valentine’s Day

by Melissa Harding

Phipps Science Education 169

This month, join us in celebrating love and family at Celebrate! Valentine’s Day. Each Celebrate! program is a half-day camp for children ages 4-5 and 6-9 scheduled for the second Saturday of the month. Every seasonally themed camp is filled with fun crafts, a cooking activity and tour of Conservatory.

Celebrate! Valentine’s Day focuses on the importance of showing your love and appreciation to friends and family, as well as the environment. Campers will create beautiful valentines out of recycled materials, pot heart-shaped plants, and cook delicious chocolate treats. They will also learn how chocolate is made while visiting our Tropical Forest.

Please join us on February 9 for Celebrate! Valentine’s Day!
Ages 4-5: 10 a.m. -12 p.m.

Ages 6-9: 1-3 p.m.

Costs are $12/member and $15/non-members.

If you would like to sign up your child for this or any other seasonal camp program, please contact Sarah Bertovich at (412)-441-4442 ext. 3925. For a complete list of all our spring programs, please visit our website.

We hope to see you there!

The above photo was taken by Melissa Harding.


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