Penn’s LEED Buildings

Weiss Pavilion: Penn’s Fifth Certified LEED Building
The George A. Weiss Pavilion (at left), (Almanac November 9, 2010) Penn’s intercollegiate
athletic weight training room and recreation center within the north arcade of
Franklin Field, has been recently been certified LEED Gold by the United States
Green Building Council (USGBC). Penn had applied for LEED Silver rating but
exceeded that standard. The state-of-the-art Robert A. Fox Fitness Center
inhabits the space of the arches on two levels and connects the interior
concourse space under the stadium bleachers with the new east-west exterior
pedestrian promenade.Weiss Pavilion exhibits one of the University’s oldest architectural
traditions—preservation through adaptive reuse. The former site of parking spots
has been revitalized by 52,000 square feet of space that includes a weight
training facility for Penn student-athletes; a fitness center for students,
faculty, and staff; and retail establishments. The project’s innovative
combination of excavation and infill has redefined Penn’s hundred-year-old
football stadium and has added new usable space without increasing the
building’s footprint.

Approximately 95 percent of demolition and construction waste from Weiss
Pavilion was diverted from disposal in landfills by salvaging, reusing, and
recycling materials. The excavated soil from the site was utilized in the
construction of the landforms at Penn Park. Inside the facility, high efficiency
restroom fixtures reduce water use by up to 30 percent. High performance
building systems optimize energy performance and a green cleaning plan
implements sustainable cleaning products and methods for better indoor air

While natural light accompanies views to Penn Park and the future site of
Shoemaker Green from the first and second floors of the Fox Fitness Center,
glass panels embedded in the concrete outside the façade allow daylight to reach
even the basement, which houses a state-of-the-art varsity strength and
conditioning center.

Weiss Pavilion is Penn’s fifth facility to become LEED Certified, following
the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine (Silver), Music Building (Gold),
Morris Arboretum Horticulture Center (Platinum), and Joe’s Café (Gold,
Commercial Interiors). Penn’s Environmental Sustainability Committee has been
seeking LEED certification for all new buildings since 2008. LEED® (Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the
design, construction, and operation of high performance green

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania was
awarded Platinum Level LEED Certification, the highest rating of the United
States Green Building Council (USGBC) for its new $13 million Horticulture
Center at Bloomfield Farm (at left), across the street from the
Arboretum’s public garden (Almanac November 23, 2010). It’s the first
LEED Platinum certified building for the University of Pennsylvania, and only
the second in the state of Pennsylvania.

Environmentally friendly design features at the new Horticulture Center
include an efficient ground-source heat pump that will provide heat and
air-conditioning for the building, photovoltaic panels that provides on-site
generation of renewable energy and other sustainable elements, including
geothermal wells to help keep office temperatures comfortable, green roofs that
showcase drought-tolerant plants and cisterns that catch rainwater and make it
available to be used to irrigate the landscape. The Center provides flexible
work space for the Arboretum’s horticulture, education, maintenance, and
facilities staff, providing important infrastructure for staff and equipment.
The 20,840-square-foot facility provides space for staff to manage their
extensive responsibilities for the Morris Arboretum’s 167-acre property in the
most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

The Horticulture Center, a model for eco-friendly construction, combining
natural elements with contemporary design, was designed by architects from
Overland Partners, of San Antonio, TX, Muscoe Martin of Philadelphia’s m2
Architecture, and Andropogon Associates, the Arboretum’s Philadelphia-based
landscape planners since 1977.  The contractor for the project was W.S. Cumby.
The mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineer was Bruce Brooks &
Associates, and the site/civil engineers were Hunt Engineering.

The Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine (at
, designed by Perkins Eastman and Rafael Viñoly Architects, was built
to create a comfortable and easy-to-navigate environment for patients and their
families (Almanac October 7,
). The soaring glass atrium creates a central welcome space adjacent to
a café and retail space. The Perelman Center conserves resources, reduces carbon
dioxide emissions and encourages environmental stewardship. Built with recycled,
locally-sourced materials and wood from sustainable forests, it is 15 percent
more efficient than older buildings and is among only a few US hospitals to earn
the prestigious Silver LEED certification for “green buildings.” The Center will
keep approximately 3,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide—the amount produced by
700 cars—out of the environment each year. A green housekeeping program uses
non-toxic chemicals to clean, and the building stocks only recycled paper
cleaning products. Energy saving components include motion sensor lights and 21
electric car charging stations in the underground garage. Bike racks and shower
facilities encourage employees to bike to work.
When the Music Building (at left) was renovated in
2010, it was originally designed to meet LEED Silver requirements, but it
exceeded these targets with efficient lighting, occupancy sensors, controls and
mechanical and plumbing systems, passive storm water management techniques,
reduced site water use with selection of drought resistant plant species and
“smart” controls that adjust irrigation based on rainfall levels. Also noted,
when it was certified LEED Gold, were the project’s recycling or salvaging 95
percent of construction waste, its use of recycled and regionally produced
construction materials such as steel and concrete, its interior finishes and
Greenguard-labeled furnishings made with sustainable and recycled materials as
well as the ongoing use of “green” housekeeping methods and cleaning products.
The exterior facade includes louvered sun shades, reducing heat loads. The
project was designed by Ann Beha, Architects (Almanac April 27, 2010).
Joe’s Café, a new eatery in the Wharton School’s Steinberg
Hall-Dietrich Hall (at left), was built to achieve a LEED Gold
designation for its commercial interior renovation, food-service practices,
recycling, composting and chemical-free cleaning methods. The Café—Penn’s first
sustainable commercial interior—replaces a smaller café that closed in 2009. It
was designed by Voith & Mactavish Architects, LLP (Almanac March 29, 2011).

The concept of a sustainable cafe was conceived when Penn launched its
Climate Action Plan in 2009, outlining strategies to reduce the University’s
carbon footprint, including incorporating green building methods, increasing
recycling and decreasing waste output and energy use.

Joe’s Cafe earned two innovation credits that recognized going above and
beyond to green the facility—one for green cleaning and the other for
sustainable café operations. At Joe’s, the staff has incorporated green cleaning
by minimizing and often eliminating cleaning chemicals altogether, and where
they are necessary or required by law, environmentally-preferable products are
sought out. The Café was also recognized for sustainable café operations: for
providing local, organic and healthy menu options, as well as committing to
divert 50 percent of total waste from landfills via a combination of recycling
and composting, both pre- and post-consumer.







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