LEED Platinum Goes To Penn. Arboretum

The University of Pennsylvania is proud of the fact that it was the first Ivy League university to be part of the American College and University’s President’s Climate Commitment. Now, the college would like you to know that it has now received its first LEED Platinum certification for a college facility.

The $13 million Horticulture Center at the University’s Morris Arboretum opened back in October of last year, but its LEED Platinum certification just came through. According to the college, this is the second such designation for a not-for-profit project in the state of Pennsylvania.

The 20,840 square foot, multi-building university facility is located at Bloomfield Farm, a 70-acre site within the larger Morris Arboretum, and represents the last, key component of the university’s master plan–envisioned way back in 1977–for a modern botanical garden.

Morris Arboretum

image via University of Pennsylvania

Green and sustainable features include geothermal heating and cooling, extensive use of natural daylighting, operable windows, rainwater harvesting (for use in landscape irrigation and toilet flushing), a roof-mounted photovoltaic system and solar hot water collector, green roofs (planted with indigenous, low-maintenance plants), and stormwater mitigation, as well as a modular and durable design intended to accommodate the changing needs of the building over time.

The Horticulture Center includes 20% recycled content–including the project’s steel, concrete and other materials–and locally-sourced construction materials. Construction debris associated with the project was recycled.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.