2010 Alumnus Oversees Center for Sustainable Landscape at Phipps

Jason Wirick is director of facilities and sustainability at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a world-renowned, 110-year-old Victorian historic landmark in Pittsburgh. He is also a current project client who has challenged a team of our MBA students to develop a marketing strategy and launch plan for a new Phipps’ venture. Just three years ago, Jason was an MBA Sustainability student himself, putting his learning from across the MBA curriculum to work by solving contemporary challenges for our MBA consulting clients.

After earning a B.S. in building construction at Virginia Tech in 2006, Jason worked as a field engineer and assistant project manager on construction projects in the Washington, D.C., area before enrolling in our MBA program at Duquesne. During his year in our program, Jason examined opportunities to leverage environmental product declarations for PPG Industries and worked on an employee engagement initiative with Highmark. He traveled to Ecuador, China and Japan to investigate global challenges and best practices in sustainability. Shortly after graduation, he accepted a job offer from Phipps.

At Phipps, Jason oversees the team that preserves, maintains, and plans for future capital projects at the gardens. “Phipps is at the intersection of the built and natural environment,” Jason says. “We really need to plan for the future, and I am in the unique position where I can shoot for the ideal.”

That ideal is embodied in the recently opened Sustainable Landscape Center at Phipps, a living learning center that is vying to achieve or exceed three of the world’s highest standards: the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum certification and Sustainable Sites Initiative certification.

“We are in the pursuit of zero everything – waste, water, energy,” says Jason. “This is the future of where buildings are going.”

Post-Gazette Video of Jason http://www.post-gazette.com/video/?bctid=2152265665001

Post-Gazette Article on Jason http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/phipps-offices-aim-to-meet-worlds-highest-environmental-standards-674291/

Photo Credit:  Doug Oster- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Photo Credit: Doug Oster- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


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