The University of Pennsylvania is welcoming students to its newest campus buildingâ€”the LEED Silver-seeking New College House. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Michael Vergason Landscape Architects, the energy-efficient building is the schoolâ€™s first purpose-built college house that will bring together undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff in a shared community. The sustainable structure and site is topped with a series of green roofs as part of the Universityâ€™s new environmentally friendly standards that require new Penn buildings meet LEED Silver standards or higher.
Located at a major campus gateway, the 198,000-square-foot New College House (NCH) facade combines the Universityâ€™s iconic red brick and limestone materials with large vertical glass towers that let in natural light, frame views, and give the building a modern appearance. The seven-story NCH includes suite-style residences to house 350 students, along with living spaces for faculty, graduate students, fellows, house deans, and residential advisers. Community is at the heart of the design and as such, the building has many shared common areas, including a movie-screening room, music practice spaces, and study and lounge areas on every floor. A large dining area with a kitchen is located on the top level.
â€œIn this city of neighborhoods, we sought to embrace the many scales of community that define the collegiate experience unique to Penn,â€ says Frank Grauman, design principal from Bohlin Cywinski Jacksonâ€™s Philadelphia office. â€œThe New College House is, therefore, both inviting and secure, open and private, embodying the comfort of home, and the power to form a campus gateway worthy of this place.â€
vStormwater will be further managed with a below-grade cistern, while a soil management system aims to reduce erosion. Low-flow and low-consumption plumbing fixtures installed throughout the building will help reduce water usage. Energy recovery units, high-efficiency lighting, and access to natural light will keep energy use to a minimum.