2017 Groundbreaker Project Finalists

Clockwise from upper left corner: 

Chester Arthur School

FMC Tower at Cira Centre South


The Whitehall

University of Pennsylvania, New College House

Wynne Senior Residences

Learn about the 2017 Groundbreaker Awards and register!

Chester Arthur School 

Project Team

Architect/Designer | SALT Design Studio
Engineer | University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center
General Contractor | BrightLine Construction
Owner | School District of Philadelphia
Landlord/Property Manager | School District of Philadelphia & Philadelphia Water
Additional Project Team | 
Friends of Chester Arthur
The College of New Jersey: Center for Excellence in Stem Education
Cornerstone Consulting
Shift Space Design
About the Project
SALT was commissioned to redesign the Chester Arthur schoolyard and translate STEM curriculum for outdoor learning. Designed with a holistic approach, the new schoolyard promotes sustainable city living through understanding and stewardship of natural systems that we use every day. 
This project uses green stormwater infrastructure as a triple bottom line tool for place-making, and redefines the traditional schoolyard model for the School District of Philadelphia. A new native landscape initiates dialogue about vital habitat in an urban environment, and renovations provide important gathering space to a densely populated and transitional area of Philadelphia. Dynamic social space has been integrated into the schoolyard, which has increased opportunities for positive interaction among residents in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood. Through the efforts of a public-private partnership, the Chester Arthur schoolyard now serves as a model for city schools, showcasing the benefits for changing urban schoolyards into high-performance, deep-green community hubs.
FMC Tower at Cira Centre South
Project Team
Architect/Designer | BLT Architects (Architect of Record, Residential Architect, Amenity Space Interior Designer, LEED Consultant)
Engineer | BALA Consulting Engineers (MEP/FP Engineering)
General Contractor | Turner Construction Company
Owner | Brandywine Realty Trust
Occupant/Tenant | FMC Corporation
Landlord/Property Manager | Brandywine Realty Trust
Additional Project Team | 
Design Architect: Clarke Pelli Architects
Civil Engineer: Pennoni Associates 
Structural Engineer: Thornton Thomasetti 
Occupant/Tenant: University of Pennsylvania
Hotel, Residential & Amenity Operator: AKA
Restaurant Operator: Walnut Street Café
Landscape Architect: Ground Reconsidered
Vertical Transport: Lerch Bates, Inc., Andrew Foutes 
Code Consulting: Arup
Signage: Calori & Vanden-Eynden
Lighting Design: CBB Lighting Design
Wind Study: RWDI
Exterior Envelope: Curtain Wall Design Consulting
Pool Consultant: STO Design Group
Acoustical Consultant: Cerami Associates
Interior Designer: Asfour Guzy (Interior Designer, Residential Lobby/Units)
Interior Designer: Lissoni Associati (Interior Designer, FF&E for AKA)
About the Project
FMC Tower at Cira Centre South is a new vertical neighborhood with over one million square feet on 49 floors, approximately 725 feet tall, with 18 residential/hotel floors above 25 office floors, and shared amenity spaces and common services. Designed, built, and managed as a green building, it is on the path to LEED Silver Certification. The high-performance tower saves energy and water use while offering great views, green roofs, and plazas. The tower uses both on-site micro-turbines and purchased green power to reduce energy impacts. Brandywine continues its commitment to monitoring water and energy use, and comprehensive green housekeeping programs. The design takes advantage of its site location within walking distance of an extensive transit hub, two great universities, the park, and the riverfront, providing a great example of the economic benefit of high quality, transit-oriented development.
Project Team
Architect/Designer | Bright Common
Engineer | Larsen + Landis
General Contractor | Steve Yutzy-Burkey
Owner | Burkey Holdings LLC
Occupant/Tenant | PlayArts
Landlord/Property Manager | Burkey Holdings LLC
Additional Project Team | 
MEP Engineer: Hutec Engineering LLC
About the Project
Built in 1907, this once public bath house at Front and Thomson Streets sits at the cross roads of three neighborhoods: Fishtown, South Kensington, and Northern Liberties. Today, a locally grown, play-based arts and enrichment center for kids and their parents sits within. This Passive House level, deep-energy retrofit, hosts art and music instruction, adventure-based play, and a small café, and is one of many structures to spring up along the burgeoning Front Street corridor. The project excelled due to an integrated design team of architect, general contractor, and consultants, as they explored the best and most natural ways to renovate this building for deep energy savings, long term durability and a high level of indoor air quality. PlayArts sits as a model for how to enter into an unknown, energy-descent future where the whole community can thrive.
The Whitehall 
Project Team
Architect/Designer | Architectural Concepts PC
Engineer | BSEG LLC/Building Systems Engineering Group
General Contractor | CH and E Construction
Owner | Mission First Housing Group
Landlord/Property Manager | Columbus Property Management Inc.
Additional Project Team | 
Passive House Rater, HERS Rater, Energy & Green Building Consultant: MaGrann Associates
Passive House Consultant: Onion Flats
Structural Engineer: Baker Ingram & Associates
Civil Engineer: Cedarville Engineering Group LLC
About the Project
The Whitehall, located in Spring City, PA, and developed by Mission First Housing Group, is a truly unique project. It is an outstanding example of how high performance building design and construction can be achievable for the affordable housing segment of the building industry. Occupants of The Whitehall enjoy well designed, energy efficient units that will save them money on their monthly energy bills, as the project generates significantly less energy use because of its Passive House design and construction. Numerous other green features in the project include: ENERGY STAR appliances and lighting, ERVs and other high performance HVAC and ventilation equipment, high performance windows and elevator systems, low- or no-VOC paints, sealants, adhesives, formaldehyde-free materials, and low flow fixtures and faucets. 
Installation of a fitness center, open space, and a community garden all contribute to a healthier lifestyle for residents. And residents benefit from The Whitehall’s on-site supportive/social services and links to the Coatesville VA Medical Center.
The Whitehall is helping to promote further revitalization in Spring City and Chester County while helping create a bridge to new opportunities for residents through on-site supportive services, convenient mass transit connections,  and accessibility to employment. The Community Room, planned activities, and the adjacent Community Garden at The Whitehall all encourage a sense of community and social interaction among residents.
University of Pennsylvania, New College House
Project Team
Architect/Designer | Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Engineer | Pennoni
General Contractor | Intech Construction
Owner | University of Pennsylvania
Additional Project Team | 
MEP/FP Engineering and LEED Consultant: AHA Consulting Engineers
About the Project
The 198,000 gross square feet New College House is the University of Pennsylvania’s first purpose-built college house designed to bring together 350 students, faculty, staff, and graduate students into one living-learning community. Spanning an entire city block on Chestnut Street between 33rd and 34th Streets in Philadelphia, this gateway building restores the site beyond convention by preserving a vital green space for its residents and surrounding community members. Signature features include a staggered brick and limestone façade punctuated by vertical glass towers; clusters of residential suites and an array of bi-level commons; spaces for dining, media, and seminars; a private courtyard; and a publicly-accessible elevated green. With green roofs on 70% of rooftop surfaces, sophisticated HVAC, lighting, and building envelope systems, and careful integration within the architectural fabric of campus, New College House stands as a thriving, sustainable environment for Penn’s scholars and surrounding community.
Wynne Senior Residences
Project Team
Architect/Designer | K&A Architectural Services, LLC
Engineer | K&A Architectural Services, LLC (MEP)
General Contractor | DOMUS, Inc.
Owner | Pennrose Properties, LLC
Landlord/Property Manager | Pennrose Management Company
Additional Project Team | 
Structural Engineer: Bevan Lawson, PE 
Civi Engineer: T&M Associates 
Geotechnical Engineer: Advantage Engineers, LLC
Passive House Verifier, Enterprise Green Communities Verifier and ENERGY STAR® Certifier: Innova Services Corporation
Passive House Consultant: WRT
Commissioning: K&A Architectural Services
Legal Counsel: Wynnefield Overbrook Revitalization Corporation, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, Berman Indictor LLP 
About the Project
Wynne Senior Residences is a new four-story, 51-unit affordable senior rental project located in the Wynnefield-Overbrook section of West Philadelphia. Completed in June 2017, the building replaces an important community landmark (The Wynne Theater, and later banquet hall) originally built in 1927, which served the neighborhood and surrounding community as a staple of local entertainment and social events for nearly seven decades. A combined effort of key community stakeholders, the project brings critical affordable housing options to Philadelphia seniors, as well as retail opportunities aimed at long-term revitalization of the neighborhood, all while reconnecting a community with an important piece of its history.
Taking full advantage of incentive points offered through the PHFA Tax Credit program, Wynne Senior Residences was designed to meet PHIUS+ 2015 Passive Building Standards, and was required to meet both mandatory and additional scoring points under the Enterprise Green Communities program.