Music Building Kicks Off 2010 on a Good Note

February 2, 2010

The restoration and addition to Penn’s Music Building is an exhibit in sustainability, as the extensive acoustic and technological innovations in the new addition meet the practical demands of instruction and research while preserving its historic character.

“This project embodies the philosophy of taking care of our existing buildings and departments while preserving Penn’s legacy,” said University Architect David Hollenberg.

The Music Building will be the first LEED Silver academic building on Penn’s campus, utilizing sustainable construction practices, recycled and salvaged building materials, and green finishes and furnishings. Energy-efficient building systems, quality indoor environments, and a new green cleaning program ensure that the use and maintenance of the building will meet sustainability goals for the future.

95% of non-hazardous construction debris was recycled or salvaged, including materials from the demolition of the building’s pre-existing 1911 rear wing.

A high performance exterior facade with terra cotta rain screens and sunshades, in addition to an indoor air quality management system, will increase the longevity of the structure by extending the life of the building envelope, reducing heating and cooling loads, and offering natural daylight and ventilation to occupants.

As stormwater management becomes an increasing concern in Philadelphia, the building addresses the issue with a rainwater infiltration basin that will service new and existing buildings, with the capacity to contain and filter the first inch of rain. Outside, water used for irrigation will be reduced, while high-efficiency plumbing fixtures will conserve water inside the building as well.

Offices and other non-music-intensive rooms were relocated into the previously existing section of the building to allow the new space to feature the improved acoustic additions.

The building’s completion marks the beginning of a series of Penn Connects projects that will connect College Green to Penn Park.


Penn’s ReThink Your Footprint Campaign increases awareness of waste minimization strategies including enhanced recycling and composting efforts.

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