US University Building Certified LEED Platinum

28 February 2011 (Last Updated February 28th, 2011 18:30)

The $13m Horticulture Center at the University of Pennsylvania's Morris Arboretum has been rated LEED Platinum, the highest certification possible, by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The Horticulture Center is housed in a 1,936m² building located in the Bloomfield Farm in

The $13m Horticulture Center at the University of Pennsylvania's Morris Arboretum has been rated LEED Platinum, the highest certification possible, by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

The Horticulture Center is housed in a 1,936m² building located in the Bloomfield Farm in the Morris Arboretum.

It incorporates several sustainable features including geothermal heating, rainwater harvesting, rooftop photovoltaic panels, green roofs, and locally sourced materials and construction debris recycling.

Penn environmental sustainability coordinator Dan Garofalo said, "The Horticulture Center presented a perfect opportunity for us to actively pursue aspects of every goal in our climate action plan. The new centre will use 40% less energy than conventionally built facilities, we diverted 75% of construction waste from landfills, and we achieved the highest level possible of LEED certification."

Designed by Overland Partners Architects, Andropogon Associates and m2 architects, the building houses work stations for 28 employees, conference rooms, a staff lounge, mechanic's shop and garages and two carpentry shops.