Philadelphia Navy Yard flourishing as the growing city by the sea

February 13, 2012

Located on the water at the edge of the city, the Philadelphia Navy Yard is in a stage of development and growth and may be the key to the future of the metropolis, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

According to the news source, the Navy Yard can be easily reached by Philadelphia residents, as they merely have to walk down South Broad Street, under I-95 and into the site.

"Clearly you're in a different place," Mark Sanderson, whose architecture firm DIGSAU is busy on two Navy Yard projects, told the Inquirer.

The news source reported that the Navy Yard is the one place in Philadelphia that is a boomtown of commercial real estate, as the rents are up and cranes are flying. The technological innovation, high design and progressive urbanism of the site are helping residents see the potential for the city.

The increasing quality of the development, and quickening pace at which it is occurring, is raising the stakes for architecture and design, and this growth is heightening the likelihood that a Broad Street subway extension will be one day approved.

According to the Inquirer, almost everyone who is at work at the site is part of an effort to construct more energy efficient buildings and technology.

Known as the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings (GPIC), the effort is headquartered at the Navy Yard and was designated by the Department of Energy as a national innovation HUB for the development of these structures and sustainable building technology.

"You can see that this place could be a model," James Freihaut, technology and operations director for the GPIC, told the news source.

According to the Inquirer, the goal of the GPIC is no less than to reinvent the building industry using an integrated systems approach that is demonstrated on structures in the Navy Yard. This will be accomplished due to the ability of the staff for the project.

"The amount of prime-time, high-design talent in this space is incredibly impressive," Brian Berson, Liberty Property Trust's director of leasing and development at the Navy Yard, told the news source.

Mondaq reported that the GPIC effort could help to make a positive change in the construction sector, as the technology that is developed may begin to substantially alter how building owners think about energy efficiency in relation to their structures.