These Philly building projects are finalists for the sustainability-focused Groundbreaker Awards - Generocity Philly


Aug. 24, 2017 10:39 am

These Philly building projects are finalists for the sustainability-focused Groundbreaker Awards

The ceremony, to be hosted by Delaware Valley Green Building Council on Sept. 19, already awarded one organization and individual dedicated to sustainability in the building industry.

PlayArts, one of the project finalists for the 2017 Groundbreaker Awards.

(Photo via

The second annual SustainPHL awards event was earlier this month but it doesn’t mean there ain’t more awards to be given out for the sustainable work being done in Philly.

And wouldn’t you know it, this upcoming awards ceremony is hosted by one of this year’s SustainPHL nominees, the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC), a nonprofit working to promote sustainable building in the Greater Philly, Lehigh Valley and Delaware areas.

On Sept. 19, DVGBC will be hosting the 2017 Groundbreaker Awards ceremony, which “recognizes leaders in the green building industry that demonstrate innovation, commitment to sustainability in the built environment and environmental, social and/or economic impact,” according to a press release.

Get tickets here.

There are three awards given out at the Groundbreaker Awards, and the winners of the first two awards have already been named:

  • The Organizational Award for this year is being given to the country’s first-ever Ronald McDonald House on Chestnut Street, which is being recognized for its “investment in innovative energy efficiency and water conservation upgrades,” according to the release. The location had a groundbreaking ceremony this past June for its major expansion project that is planned to add 88 more bedrooms to the structure as part of its mission in providing temporary homes for families in need.
  • The Individual Award is being given to Scott Mazo, founder and CEO of sustainable real estate development company University Place Associates, who is most notably associated with the forthcoming 3.0 University Place building in University City, the first building of its kind to receive the LEED Platinum certification.

Lastly, there’s the Project Award, for which the winner will be announced at the awards. Here are your six finalists below, with a brief description as to why each project was nominated:

From our Partners

  • University of Pennsylvania, New College House; 3335 Woodland Walk — New College House is the University of Pennsylvania’s first purpose-built college house. The 198,000-square-foot brick and limestone building restores urban green space with a publicly accessible sloping lawn and incorporates ample green roofs.
  • PlayArts; 1241 N. Front St. — PlayArts, a locally grown play-based arts and enrichment center for kids and their parents, sits in a converted 1907 Philadelphia public bathhouse. This Passive House level, deep-energy retrofit, hosts art and music instruction, adventure-based play and a small café.
  • Wynne Senior Residences; 2001 N. 54th St. — Wynne Senior Residences is a new four-story, 51-unit senior rental project located in West Philadelphia’s Wynnefield-Overbrook section. Designed to meet Passive House and Enterprise Green Communities standards, the project provides affordable living opportunities, retail and a variety of amenities, while reconnecting a neighborhood with its historic past.
  • Chester Arthur School; 2000 Catharine St. — Through a successful public-private partnership, the outdoor educational environment at Chester Arthur School redefines the traditional schoolyard model. Site improvements embraced the creation of a dynamic green, social space for neighbors and students of all ages, which in turn has fostered robust dialogue about sustainable habitat for humans and plants.
  • FMC Tower at Cira Centre South; 2929 Walnut St. — The FMC Tower at Cira Centre South offers a unique living and working environment at a key urban crossroads with high-performance curtain wall construction, water use reduction, lighting controls, green roofs and shared amenity features while combining innovative design with the latest in advanced engineering and sustainable architecture.
  • The Whitehall; 3795 Schuylkill Road (Spring City, PA) — The Whitehall, developed by Mission First Housing Group, combines adaptive reuse of an historic Inn with new construction, while implementing Passive House design and construction and other sustainable practices, all at the same time that it serves an at-risk segment of the community, veterans of Chester County.

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