June 06, 2013

Demonstration Projects Take Shape

Hidden City's Vivienne Tang reviews two in-progress projects at the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub in Philadelphia--both of which will serve as demonstration projects for energy-efficiency strategies in commercial buildings. 

Testing And Proving Building Innovation At The Navy Yard 
Philadelphians spend 29 percent more on energy costs in commercial buildings than Americans do on average and energy spending is only higher in New York City, Washington, DC, and Boston. The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub–know as the EEB Hub–headquartered at the Navy Yard, wants to change that. 
The federally-funded 27-member consortium led by Penn State University was the first Energy Innovation Hub created by the Obama administration. The goal of the project is to develop affordable tools for design, construction, and operation that will significantly reduce energy waste–and therefore costs–in commercial buildings under 250,000 square feet. Now, several years after its launch, the EEB Hub will try to prove its point by creating two demonstration projects–one retrofit and one new construction–on the Navy Yard campus. Both buildings, substantially funded through state grants given to Penn State during the Rendell administration, are expected to be open by spring 2014.

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June 03, 2013

Transforming Pier 53

Opened in 2011 and designed by James Corner Field Operations, Race Street Pier is the newest space along the Philadelphia waterfront to open to the public as a component of the Master Plan for the Central Delaware. Now the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that work is underway to bring new life to Pier 53—once Philadelphia's arrival point for new immigrants—with a public park that will be part of the plan to create park land every half-mile along the six-mile stretch of waterfront.

Phila. counterpart to Ellis Island will get recognition 
By Jennifer Lin - The Philadelphia Inquirer Saturday, Jun 1, 2013  
To look at Pier 53 today, a thin finger of tree-covered land stretching into the tidal waters of the Delaware River, you would never guess that this was the front door to America for a million immigrants from Europe.

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