News

Refreshing Green Guidelines for Renovations

August 24, 2015

To improve environmental practices for building renovation projects across campus, the Office of the University Architect has published guidelines for all phases of applicable renovation projects, related to project design, specifications, and construction. These guidelines are intended for use on all projects at the University City campus as well as those at the Morris Arboretum and the New Bolton Center.

The University of Pennsylvania maintains a high standard for design, building systems, and the materials used for each project; however not all projects reach the budget threshold or scope to be submitted for LEED certification. These guidelines provide the necessary information to uphold green design principles no matter what the size of a renovation project.

At the outset of the project, and no later than the project kick‐off meeting, the Project Team is to review the following matrix to determine applicability of these Guidelines.

1. Is the total project construction budget greater than $7 million?

YES

NO

2. Is the total renovated project area greater than 10,000 sq.ft?

YES

NO

3. Does the renovation project involve more than one building system (HVAC, plumbing, lighting, etc.)?

YES

NO

4. Does the renovation involve more than three LEED specification divisions? (for example, Section 06 Wood, 09 finishes, 12 furnishings, etc.)

YES

NO

5. Will an outside design professional be hired?

YES

NO

If the Project Team answers YES to all five of these questions, the policy is to design, construct, and certify the renovation project to at least the Silver level under LEED™ for Commercial Interiors. In addition, any project with a construction budget over $4 million and 10,000 sf should be considered for LEED certification, with the exception of projects that do not meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s Minimum Program Requirements. The project boundaries and schedule are among the factors to be considered in determining the USGBC’s Minimum Program Requirements.

If the Project Team answers YES to fewer than five of these questions, and the project construction budget is at least $100,000, University policy is to follow these Renovation Guidelines in lieu of LEED Certification.

“A great deal of credit goes to the School and Center Sustainability Coordinators for helping to craft and fine-tune these guidelines, especially Sara King at SAS, Leandra Kern at SEAS, and Jennifer Mishkin at the Perelman School of Medicine,” said Penn Sustainability Director Dan Garofalo.  “Their experience-based recommendations for energy-saving engineering and high quality design made possible the creation of a very useful tool to help our consultants meet Penn’s goals for a greener, healthier campus.”

Read the entire Green Guidelines for Renovation document http://www.facilities.upenn.edu/standards-policies/standards/design-guidelines

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