The groundbreaking ceremony for the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) took place on April 24th to celebrate the development of two new buildings at The Navy Yard. With support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Penn State University is developing two buildings to advance the EEB Hub’s unique dual mission– reducing regional energy use in existing commercial buildings by 20% by 2020 with cost-effective solutions, and promoting regional economic growth and job creation. Special guests Governor Corbett, Mayor Nutter, Penn State president Rodney A. Erickson, and Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), attended the celebration.
The EEB Hub will perform a full-spectrum retrofit to Building 661, a 38,000 square foot former U.S. Navy recreational center located at 12th and Kitty Hawk Ave, creating a living laboratory for their future headquarters. It was originally constructed in 1942 and includes a basketball court and an indoor swimming pool that must be filled in. The retrofit of Building 661, dubbed the Penn State Center for Building Energy Science, is intended to demonstrate how integrated design and construction methods can result in a cost-effective reduction of building energy use by at least 30%. This building will showcase many energy saving technologies; it includes monitoring systems that are critical to demonstrate performance, validate energy models, and provide case studies for industry-wide adoption.
The second building, the Penn State Center for Building Energy Education and Innovation, will be a 25,000 square foot, new construction project across the street and adjacent to the new League Island Park. This center will be a training and educational facility, and represents a prototypical commercial building featuring energy efficiency technologies and systems; many are currently found in state-of-the-art commercial buildings, such as a vegetated roof for stormwater management, solar panels, high efficiency heat pumps, and an EV charging station.
These projects were created with an integrated design and delivery process, where a collaborative team of owner, occupant, architect, construction management, and contractor reps work together from the beginning stages. According to the EEB Hub, this process increases quality and efficiency, decreases waste, and fosters greater collaboration among stakeholders. Completion for the renovation and construction for both buildings is expected by summer 2014.
The EEB Hub is one of five U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovation Hubs, and the only one focused on energy efficiency. Currently on year two of its five year, $159 million renewable grant by the DOE, three other federal agencies, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this 27-member consortium includes research universities, DOE laboratories, industrial firms, economic development agencies, and community and technical colleges. The EEB Hub is currently located in Building 101 at The Navy Yard. Find more information on the EEB Hub, please visit www.eebhub.org.