University of Pennsylvania's most recent LEED certified building fifth on campus

February 1, 2012

The George A. Weiss Pavilion, the University of Pennsylvania's intercollegiate athletic weight training room and recreation center in the the north arcade of Franklin Field, has recently been certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), according to the University of Pennsylvania Almanac.

The news source reported that this marks the fifth building for the university to receive the highly-sought LEED certification. Penn had initially applied for the Silver rating, but was able to exceed the expectations for that standard.

According to the Almanac, the insitution's energy efficient buildings have been selected for certification due to the move by the university to sustainable design. These structures exhibit Penn's oldest architectural traditions, which have favored preservation through adaptive reuse.

Environmental Leader reported that a new study by the National Trust for Historic Preservation showed that renovating old buildings is better for the environment than building new structures, as the reduction of the impact on climate change was higher for retrofits.

The Almanac reported that 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 footprint that the building is responsible for.

According to the news source, Penn's Environmental Sustainability Committee has been seeking LEED certification for all new buildings since 2008. Methods for better indoor air quality, high efficiency restroom fixtures, water reuse technology and natural light supporting glass panels were all improvements that contributed to the award for the university.

The university also has the second LEED Platinum certified building in the state of Pennsylvania, as the Morris Arboretum was given the award for its new $13 million Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm, across the street from the Aboretum's public garden. The institution now has three Gold buildings, one Silver and one Platinum.

The University of Pennsylvania is committed to energy efficient buildings, as it is a member organization of the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy Efficient Buildings.

This effort, headquartered at the historic Philadelphia Navy Yard, relies on a consortium of institutions from the private sector, academia, energy development industry and government to help position itself as a leader in the green building sector, create jobs in the area and design and develop energy efficient buildings and technology.