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Building community was a central theme of Green Building leaders
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Building community was a central theme of Green Building leaders

Green Building United’s annual Groundbreaker Awards honored 5 sustainable building projects

Green Building United hosted its annual Groundbreaker Awards on Wednesday night to honor green building leadership, innovation, and impact in greater Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, and Delaware.

The annual award ceremony not only honored the area’s sustainable buildings but was held in a new and notable one: the Comcast Technology Center. This LEED Platinum includes a “block-long” indoor plaza allowing for natural daylight, connects directly to the subway system, and limits vehicle parking to 70 spaces.

“Most importantly, we want to emphasize the need for partnership across all industries, in order to solve problems and to create an environmental responsibility among all of us.”

Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast

According to Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer of Comcast, it was important to host such an event at Comcast’s “symbol of (their) commitment to sustainability.”

Comcast’s commitment to sustainability is outlined under four main goals, which are energy and emissions, products and experiences, materials and waste and engagement and outreach. Jin Davis shared the importance of Comcast’s involvement in the local community to tackle climate change together. As Jin David said, “People are beginning to understand the gravity of the situation that is presented to us; that there has been environmental damage that has occurred, that climate change is real and that there is a need to work collaboratively and to solve these problems.”

Susan Jin Davis Comcast
Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer, Comcast

Other award recipients echoed the themes of working together as a community. As United by Blue co-founder Mike Cangi mentioned, it’s important to start the work in your local area.

“Small ripples in our communities affect changes globally.”

Mike Cangi, United by Blue

Award winner Laura Blau, Principal of BluPath Design, remarked on being honored as a woman in the green building community. She told a story about regret when she was being honored in Harrisburg, but missed the event due to a conflicting meeting. As Blau remarked, “Women in the sea of men, we need to see you.”

Here’s the rest of the honorees from Wednesday’s event.

Alex Dews Green Building United
Green Building United Executive Director Alex Dews
Photo: Dave Lamm, PWP Video

Groundbreaker Awards Ceremony 2019 Award Winners:

  • Erin Loch: An environmental science teacher at Upper Dublin High School Erin crafted an initiative to teach students about sustainable design through the lens of the Living Building Challenge. She created a project-based learning model in collaboration with real-world professionals from the Green Building United community. Upper Dublin High School, 800 Loch Alsh Avenue, Fort Washington, PA
  • United by Blue: United By Blue’s Flagship LEED Platinum certificated-home (and only commercial retail store with such ranks) is a physical manifestation of their brand. 205 Race Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106
  • 1800 Arch Street: Also known as the Comcast Technology Center, the project has been designed to achieve LEED Platinum Certification for Core & Shell, as well as interiors. It also incorporates a state-of-the-art chilled beam mechanical system, automated solar oriented shading, as well as passive shading devices incorporated into the building facade. 1800 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103)
  • Italian Market Passive House: Philadelphia’s first PHIUS+ Certified Zero Energy Ready Passive House is a unique hybrid home built atop a warehouse in the Italian Market. The approach combines creative design, building science expertise, construction skills, and dogged faithfulness to the sustainability goals. 827 Carpenter Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
  • Parkside Edge at Centennial Commons: Parkside Edge is the first phase of a transformative park and community involvement project, which creates new neighborhood parklets and green stormwater infrastructure, beautifies the edge of Parkside Avenue in Philadelphia, and creates new (and safer) pedestrian and community connections into West Fairmount Park. Parkside Avenue between Belmont Avenue and 41st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Main photo: Laura Blau of BluPath Design accepts Groundbreaker award. Photo: Dave Lamm


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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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