PHILADELPHIA – Penn Medicine’s new office tower located on Civic Center Boulevard in Philadelphia – has been awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification. The 300,000 square-foot, 10-story building, which opened in 2018, provides a state-of-the art collaborative workplace for crucial health system support functions including Information Technology and Human Resources.
A LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol that promotes achievement in sustainable design and construction. In order to become LEED certified, a building must accrue a certain number of credits based on specific environmental criteria both in design and construction ranging from the use of energy efficient systems and healthy materials to the recycling of construction waste.
“At Penn Medicine, we have set a firm goal to have all of our buildings reach LEED Silver or better, and we were able to accomplish that soon after this facility opened,” said Bruce Hunt, a project manager in Real Estate, Design, and Construction at Penn Medicine, who led the project from concept to completion. “We worked closely with the architect Perkins and Will, and the construction manager IMC Construction, from the beginning of the project to carefully incorporate specific LEED features.”
Among many others, these features include a full green roof that absorbs rainwater and controls the storm water runoff. The building takes advantage of the nearby University of Pennsylvania chilled water plant to limit environmental impact, and employs an innovative “chilled beam” HVAC system that provides highly efficient heating and cooling to the office spaces. In addition to these systems, the building was designed to use many locally sourced materials, limiting the carbon footprint that would result from shipping nationally and internationally. Additionally, over 70 percent of the packaging materials that arrived at the construction site were sorted and recycled in an effort to limit trash waste. To promote eco-friendly modes of transportation, the site features more than 200 bike racks both inside the parking garage and outside the main entrance for employees and visitors.
Over the past ten years, Penn Medicine placed significant emphasis on its sustainability and design in new building projects. In 2018, the health system broke ground on the new Penn Medicine Radnor with LEED in mind, in 2014 the Penn Medicine Valley Forge location earned LEED certification, and in 2011 – two years after its opening – the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine reached LEED certification. Penn Medicine’s newest hospital, the $1.5 billion Pavilion, which is currently under construction and slated to open in 2021, is being designed with mechanisms for water re-use, will utilize 100 percent outside air, and will be home to a park-like, outdoor green space for patients, families and staff.