Greenbuild Attendees to Tour Penn

October 1, 2013

The Greenbuild 2013 International Conference and Expo visits Philadelphia, November 20-22.  A plus for Penn, being located in the host city, is that the University will get to show off its green spaces, LEED-certified buildings and other infusions of environmental sustainability into its historic campus to Greenbuild attendees.  More than 40,000 attendees are expected, and many of them will sign up for pre- and post-conference tours in the Greater Philadelphia area, including six that will visit Penn’s campus. 

(Students: Volunteer for Greenbuild and attend for free! See details.)


Monday, November 18


Majoring in Minimum Impact:  The University of Pennsylvania Master Plan

The University of Pennsylvania is the region’s largest employer, and also one of the region's largest users of energy and resources. This trolley/walking tour will demonstrate how planners are reducing the University’s environmental impact and operating costs while inspiring sustainably-minded students.  Green cleaning, stormwater management, chilled beams, healthy interiors and world-class design complement the fabric of this 302-acre urban campus.  The Music School renovation, the Wharton School addition, Shoemaker Green and the are just a few of the LEED projects that will be viewed on the walking tour of this venerable Ivy League school of 24,725 students.

Friday, November 22


State-of-the-Art Research Facilities:  University City District Labs

The Philadelphia region is home to many world-class research facilities. This trolley/walking tour will focus on four research facilities in the University City District in nearby West Philadelphia. University of Pennsylvania’s Translational Research Lab showcases site planning, design, materials selection, daylighting strategies, healthy building initiatives, and best practices for its successful repurposing of a building in an urban university campus. Within a few blocks on Penn’s leafy campus is the Richard's Medical Lab Building, designed by world-famous architect Louis Kahn. This National Historic Landmark is being renovated to  LEED-CI Silver certification. Attendees will hear about the challenges of adaptive reuse of an iconic modern structure that was no longer well-suited for its original purpose.  Within several blocks is Drexel University’s Papadakis Integrated Sciences Facility. This recently constructed LEED-Gold research facility features a multi-story living wall which enhances indoor air quality and the perception of a healthy building. Nearby is the Science Center’s LEED Gold research facility at 3711 Market Street. As the nation’s oldest urban research park, the Science Center has launched nearly 350 technology oriented companies, such as SEI, Centocor, Bentley Systems, 3-D Pharmaceuticals and Morphotek. 

Reclaiming the Schuylkill River with Sustianable Sites

After years of hodge-podge development, our universities, nonprofit organizations, and private developers are making strides toward reconnecting with our natural resources with sustainable interventions and planning.  What was once a formerly industrial no-man’s land is now a sustainable space that encourages recreation and alternative transportation along the tidal Schuylkill Corridor. This greenway helps people become and stay healthy by creating a welcoming environment for physical activity, while keeping the river and air clean by filtering stormwater, cleaning carbon out of the air, and reducing vehicle miles traveled. In less than a decade, the Center City portion of Schuylkill Banks went from virtually no public use to more than 19,000 user trips per week, and the Grays Ferry Crescent greenway is becoming an increasingly popular spot for fishing, dog walking, picnics, and other community gatherings. Access to this beautiful riverfront space has also increased nearby property values and facilitated development of new residential, commercial and office space along the trail, accelerating economic development within the community. Take a look at two innovative University of Pennsylvania projects as well as Bartram’s Garden, named for world-famous horticulturalist John Bartram.

Saturday, November 23


Connecting Families to Nature: Zoos, Arboretums, and Playgrounds

Enjoy the day by exploring several of Philadelphia’s latest green buildings and ecological landscapes.  Experience a visit to the Morris Arboretum and its LEED Platinum horticulture center.  Set in the historic Bloomfield Farm, the newly constructed Morris Hort Center includes an experimental living roof and a waste-wood burning hydronic heating system. This year’s 2013 Greenbuild Legacy Project at Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, a historic facility in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park.  Join us as we explore this dynamic project that provides new outdoor space designed by local youth, including interactive elements and structures that provide opportunities for natural play and education about sustainability.        Visit the Philadelphia Zoo’s new Hamilton Family Children's Zoo and Faris Family Education Center to tour and discover how this LEED certified, adaptively-renovated historic facility teaches about vegetated roofs, rainwater harvesting, energy and water while making connections with live animals.    This tour is an excellent choice for Conference Attendees interested in unique educational projects and landscapes – and plenty for families to enjoy as well!

Innovations in Healthcare Design:  Healthy Hospitals and Bottom-Lines

Healthcare is big business in the Philadelphia region, and more and more healthcare facilities are helping patients and their bottom lines through green design.  Visit two facilities in Philadelphia and one across the river in Camden, NJ that are leading the way for the industry.  The first stop on the tour will be the Lankenau Medical Center Patient Tower Expansion, targeting LEED Silver, and featuring evidence-based design, lean principles and smart “green” technology for real-time energy monitoring.  The second stop will take us across the Delaware river to New Jersey, where the relationship between providing healing environments and designing a sustainable building have been interwoven with Cooper University Hospital's new Cancer Center featuring a sustainable facility and a healing garden for patients.  The final stop will be back in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania Health System’s medical office building, Penn Medicine at 8th and Walnut, which has embraced LEED not only due to energy savings, but health consideration for their patients.  8th and Walnut is a build-to-suit project that acknowledges the needs of the current medical user while allowing adaptive flexibility for a future yet- unknown user at the completion of the current lease tenants. Incorporating LEED practices into such a commercial development demonstrates the relevance of sustainable design practices even in today’s demanding economy.

Win-Win Sustainable Sports

Philadelphia is home to some of the most passionate sports fans. Take a behind the scenes look and understand why sustainability is more than a deep green movement for Philadelphia sports teams, and how it is also part of their game. Tour the LEED Gold sports and fitness facility at the University of Pennsylvania. It is constructed within the undercroft of the historic Franklin Field stadium and demonstrates adaptive reuse of a historic structure on a dense, urban university campus. The utilization of found space showcases site planning, design, materials selection, daylighting strategies, healthy building initiatives, and best practices in design & technology. The Drexel University Athletic Center features rainwater harvesting, a white roof, daylight harvesting, lighting control and efficient lighting. Lincoln Financial Field is the home of the Philadelphia Eagles professional football team. The 68,532 seat stadium integrates sustainable energy solutions such as solar panels and micro wind-turbines that together provide annually about six times the power used during all Eagles home games, and their robust sustainable operations program distinguishes Lincoln Financial Field as one of the greenest major sports facilities in the US and the world.

Majoring in Minimum Impact:  The University of Pennsylvania Master Plan

2nd tour offered


Penn’s Climate Action Plan 2.0 includes a goal to increase the University’s recycling rate to 30% by 2019.

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