The Guest Lecture “When Less Bad is Not Good Enough Anymore: Lessons for a Regenerative World”

14 DECEMBER 2016

You are cordially invited to SDE : The Guest Lecture:

Title: “When Less Bad is Not Good Enough Anymore: Lessons for a Regenerative World”
Speaker: Mr. Richard V. Piacentini | Executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Date: 9 January 2017 (Monday)
Time: 5pm to 7pm
Venue: LR 425, SDE 3, Level 4, National University of Singapore.


We need a major paradigm shift in the way we build and operate our buildings and live our lives. Being less bad, which is what most green building programs help us achieve, is not going to help us solve some of our major human and environmental problems such as climate change, habitat destruction, loss of biodiversity, chronic diseases and social injustice. At Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens this revelation evolved as a result of a capital program that eventually led to our building the first LEED certified visitor centre in a botanical garden, the first greenhouses to get LEED certified, one of the most energy efficient conservatories in the world, a net-zero energy and water classroom and one of the greenest buildings in the world, the Centre for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) a net-zero energy and water building designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the most rigorous standard in the world today. The CSL is the only building in the world to meet all four of the highest green building standards: The Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, 4 Stars Sustainable SITES and Platinum WELL Building certifications. The evolution of our green building program led us to recognize how human and environmental health are inextricably connected. This resulted in a major shift in all of our programs and operations to reflect this connection and, additionally, research and outreach programs related to biophilia. We often focus on the symptoms of the problem, like climate change and cancer, and not the root cause of the problem, which is related to our unstainable use of natural resources and lifestyles. Greening our buildings can have a major impact on human and environmental health and lead us toward a regenerative world where everyone has a chance to share in the earth’s resources and live in harmony with nature.


Mr. Richard V. Piacentini is the executive director of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Since 1994 he has guided the Pittsburgh organization from public to private management and is responsible for the green transformation of its facilities and operations, including: the opening of the first LEED® certified visitor’s center in a public garden; the first LEED® certified greenhouse (LEED® Platinum EBOM); the Tropical Forest Conservatory, one of the most energy-efficient conservatories in the world; and the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a net-zero energy and water building and the only building to meet the Living Building Challenge®, LEED® Platinum, 4 Stars Sustainable SITES™ and Platinum WELL® Building certifications.

The sustainability efforts Piacentini initiated at Phipps are based on recognizing the vital connections between people, plants, health and the planet. This systems-based way of thinking influences the organization’s actions and programs, particularly those focused on awakening children to nature, and promoting human and environmental well-being.

Piacentini serves on the board of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) as past chair, the board of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh and on the Mission and Community Needs Committee for Magee-Womens Hospital. He is a Past President and Treasurer of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), and has received ILFI, USGBC, and APGA leadership awards.

Piacentini holds a Master of Science degree in Botany from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island. He is a certified WELL® Accredited Professional.

Do register early as there are limited seats available. You may register at (Link: Registration starts now and ends on 8 January 2017, 7pm.

However, you may also attend the event without any prior registration but it will be subjected to seats availability.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on that day!

Note: Participants should be aware that National University of Singapore (NUS), authorized personnel for and on behalf of NUS and those at the event may take photographs and videos during the guest lecture. NUS may use photographs and videos it takes and/or taken by authorized personnel for NUS’ event reporting, marketing and publicity purposes in print, electronic and social media.