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Leading in Wellness & Sustainability
University Place 3.0 anticipates double LEED and WELL Platinum Certifications in 2024. Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, the LEED Rating System is the internationally-accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. LEED is an acronym for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.” The WELL Building Standard is a new green building certification administered by the International WELL Building Institute. WELL prioritizes occupant health and well-being based on scientific and medical research. Both LEED and WELL award points for various sustainable strategies and the total point score determines the level of certification, such as Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum. University Place 3.0 shall be the first in WELL Platinum project in Philadelphia. Also, University Place 3.0 will be the first LEED and WELL Platinum laboratory building in the United States.
Superior Indoor Air Quality
LEED Category: Indoor Environmental Quality, WELL Concept: Air
University Place 3.0 features a high-performance ventilation system that provides superior indoor air quality, including additional outside air, superior MERV 14 filtration media, and UV lights that kill germs, viruses, mold spores, bacteria, and fungi as they pass through the air handling system.
• The building maintains a no smoking policy in the building and on site to ensure a healthy indoor environment. Furthermore, smoking is not permitted on the accessible green roof. Smoking is communicated to guests via signage.
• An Indoor Air Quality Management Plan was implemented during construction to reduce indoor air contaminants resulting from construction activities. For example, the ventilation system was protected with plastic protection and additional filtration to ensure the dirt and dust from construction process is not present during occupancy. Some tools were equipped with dust guards.
• Many newly installed building materials emit indoor air contaminants called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These contaminants may be odorous or irritating to installers and building occupants and are especially harmful to people with asthma and allergies. VOCs are commonly known as “new car smell” or the smell of fresh
paint. The interior building materials installed in University Place 3.0 release little or no VOCs, thereby creating a safe, healthy working environment. The low-emitting materials used in the project include adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings, carpet, flooring, walls, doors, ceilings, insulation, furniture, and composite wood.
• Each floor features a wall-mounted indoor air quality sensor that measures and reports in real-time. The intent is to continuously monitor for improved results.
• The building is equipped with natural gas boilers that use combustion to generate hot water heating in the building. Boilers were carefully selected and upgraded to emit less outdoor air pollutants thereby protecting occupants and neighbors.
Water Quality and Efficiency
LEED Category: Water Efficiency, WELL Concept: Water
The City of Philadelphia has a combined sewer and stormwater treatment system, so large storm events can cause Combined Sewer Overflows, or release of untreated sewage into local waterways. Managing stormwater run-off improves water quality of local rivers and streams. University Place 3.0 is equipped with state-of-the-art stormwater management plan that captures and retains volume from 90th percentile rainfall event. Green roofs infiltrate stormwater and evapotranspirate through plantings. Rainwater and condensate from the tower roof are collected into basement cisterns to be reused in the building cooling system and irrigation.
• The accessible green roof requires light irrigation during dry summer months. The irrigation system features water efficient upgrades, such as drip irrigation and rainwater reuse. In total, the project achieves 100% reduction in potable water use in irrigation.
• Low-flow plumbing fixtures achieve 35.9% potable water savings in restrooms. Reducing potable water consumption conserves natural resources and ensures healthy drinking water supplies for surrounding communities.
• Rainwater harvesting will be reused in the building cooling system, resulting in 31.8% potable water savings. In total, the system saves over 300,000 gallons per month.
• Each floor is equipped with filtered water fountain and bottle filler to promote drinking water access.
• As part of the WELL certification process, the building shall undergo water testing to ensure healthy drinking water is accessible to all occupants.
Maximized Lighting and Daylighting
Large, full height glazing provides ample daylight to penetrate deep into the space. Also, large windows provide excellent views of the exterior. The Project Team created a 3D computer simulation daylight model of the building to analyze daylight access throughout the year. 43% of tenant areas have access to beneficial daylight throughout the year.
University Place 3.0 utilizes a high-performance building envelope featuring electrochromic glazing. A sensor on the roof automatically senses daylight conditions combined with a 3D computer simulation daylight model of the building to automatically tint glazing based on incoming daylight. This technology maintains superior views of the exterior while reducing uncomfortable solar heat gain and glare.
WELL Concept: Nourishment
The building features signage in communal spaces promoting healthy eating.
The building is located within 0.25 mile walking distance of two markets offering fresh fruits and vegetables.
LEED Category: Location & Transportation, WELL Concept: Movement
The project site is located in a high-density urban neighborhood with excellent access to local neighborhood amenities and public transportation options. There are over 517 available transit trips per weekday within half-mile of the project site.
Single-occupant vehicle usage consumes fossil fuels and generates air pollution. University Place 3.0 offers amenities on-site to encourage active forms of transportation, such as showers and bicycle room with indoor bicycle racks, lockers, air pump, and bike maintenance tools. Across the street are 2 electric vehicle charging spaces reserved for University Place 3.0 occupants.
Corridors and east stair are upgraded with artwork to encourage occupants to take the stairs and avoid the elevators. Signage encourages stair use.
The ground level features glazing and plantings to activate the streetscape and provide a high quality pedestrian experience for occupants and neighbors.
WELL Concept: Sound
The Main Lobby and Basement Property Management Office was designed with improved acoustics to ensure adequate sound levels for focused work activities. Additional insulation was included in ventilation ducts and mechanical equipment was evaluated for sound impacts.
LEED Category: Materials & Resources, WELL Concept: Materials
In total, over 500 installed building materials were vetted for LEED and WELL requirements.
The building shall implement a comprehensive recycling program that collects paper, cardboard, glass, plastics and metals. To further reduce the amount of waste entering landfills, the building shall collect batteries and e-waste for proper recycling.
81% of construction and demolition waste will be diverted from disposal in a landfill or incinerator. Landfills encroach upon available green space and have the potential to pollute air, water, and soil. The Construction Manager found a new innovative recycling solution for cementitious fireproofing waste, further increasing recycling rates for the project. Spent cementitious fireproofing waste is used to make solidification material to absorb liquid byproducts in drilling and mining industries.
Building materials achieved 27% sustainable criteria, such as recycled content and FSC-certified wood. Recycled content reduces the amount of waste entering landfills and minimizing impacts from processing virgin materials. FSC-certified wood is a special designation recognizing socially and environmentally responsible wood harvesting practices. FSC-certified wood can be seen in the interior and exterior wood ceilings.
Building materials have undergone life cycle analysis to generate Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). These modeled reports demonstrate environmental impacts from product manufacturer, installation, and end-of-life. In total, the building achieved 112 weighted products with EPDs.
The project achieved 77 weighted products with material ingredient reports, like a nutrition label, to disclose any harmful or environmentally damaging materials. In addition, the building features 12 weighted products with optimized material designation, meaning the manufacturer verified no harmful chemicals of concern in material ingredients.
The Project Team developed a 3D computer simulation whole building life cycle assessment to understand environmental impacts from the construction process. Compared to a typical, code-compliant building, University Place 3.0 achieves 18.6% reduction in embodied carbon in construction. The concrete in the building features 25-40% recycled material slag cement, which is a byproduct of the iron manufacturing industry.
WELL Concept: Mind
The building is equipped with over 18,000 total square feet of vegetated roofing, highlighting 25% native and adapted vegetation. Green roofs are visible from the interior, providing high quality views for tenant spaces. The premier 14,000 square foot accessible green roof features excellent views of Center City Philadelphia, native trees, shrubs, and flowers, and patio seating for tenant enjoyment. The accessible green roof includes a large open space for events or exercises classes. Lastly, the accessible green roof also serves as a restorative space for occupant relaxation. Green or vegetated roofs infiltrate stormwater, reduce heat island effects, and restore native habitat that supports local ecosystems and wildlife.
The building features biophilic design strategies throughout the interior. Biophilia is the concept that humans are innately attracted to nature. Studies have shown people who view nature scenes experience lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and positive boost in mood. Interior and exterior biophilic design strategies include wood finishes, artwork of natural images, and excellent views of surrounding green roofs and street trees. 77.5% of tenant areas have access to beneficial views.
WELL Concept: Community
A comprehensive education program will be shared with tenants each year to discuss the sustainability and wellness features of the building, with resources on how to improve their health and well-being.
Each floor features one unisex restroom to accommodate occupant preferences and needs. On floors 2, 4-8, the unisex restroom features a shower facility for those biking or exercising before work.
LEED Category: Energy & Atmosphere, WELL Concept: Innovation
The building provides superior energy efficiency confirmed via a 3D computer simulation energy model. University Place 3.0 anticipates 17.5% energy cost savings when compared to a typical, code-compliant building. University Place 3.0 includes the following energy efficiency strategies: chilled beam, electrochromic glazing, LED lighting.3.0 University Place anticipates 50.8% less carbon emissions when compared to a typical, code-compliant building. Carbon emissions directly impact our health and well-being as seen in severe storm events and poor outdoor air quality.The building is equipped with comprehensive energy and water submetering to benchmark and bill for actual utility use.
The Project Team included a Commissioning Authority to ensure that the building’s energy-related systems have been installed correctly and are operating to achieve maximum energy efficiency.
The project also pursued Envelope Commissioning. A building mock-up was constructed in adjacent parking lot and underwent testing to verify air and water leakage. The lessons learned from the mock-up construction were translated to the building construction. Also, the building envelope materials installed in-place underwent additional testing to ensure installation quality and consistency.
University Place 3.0 will benchmark ongoing energy and water performance, as required under LEED and City of Philadelphia benchmarking legislation. Benchmarking tracks utility consumption and establishes a baseline for continuous improvement.
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