Sustainable Urban Science Center: Philadelphia, PA

Sustaining Science



Halkin Photography

The Sustainable Urban Science Center, a classroom/lab building that is part of a Quaker school in Philadelphia, is designed with the goal of capturing students' interest with visible reminders of the building's sustainable strategies. The building and grounds include photovoltaic panels, prominent cisterns collect rainwater for toilet flushing, and markings on the pavement indicate the ground source heat pump geoexchange field below. Although the tight urban site restricted building orientation options, rainscreen cladding on the exteriors of the south-facing classrooms mitigates heat gain. Ample daylighting, operable windows and radiant heating ceiling panels help minimize energy use, which was 43 kBtu/ft2 in 2010.

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