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Horticulture Center at the Morris Arboretum

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Overland Partners Architects
LEED for New Construction v. 2.2
Horticulture Center at the Morris Arboretum
Photo © Paul Meyer

The complex is part of the University of Pennsylvania's master plan for a modern botanical garden, providing offices and storage space for the arboretum's staff.


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Gross area: 20,800 ft2

Date completed: August 2010

Profile: This facility is a major achievement under the University of Pennsylvania’s “Green Campus Partnership,” the organization that heads environmental policy development and initiatives on campus. The multi-building Horticulture Center is located at Bloomfield Farm, a 70-acre site within the larger Morris Arboretum. The complex is part of the last key component of the university’s master plan for a modern botanical garden and provides workspace for the arboretum’s horticulture, education, maintenance, and facilities staff, as well as infrastructure for staff and equipment needed to care for the property. The office building was constructed of local stone, metal and glass with open workstations and conference rooms. The staff can gather in a central breakout area that opens to an outside deck. The mechanic’s shop is adjacent to the office building with garages featuring green roofs and solar panels.

Energy-saving strategy: The center has geothermal heating and cooling, ample daylighting, and operable windows to reduce the overall demand for electricity throughout the year. To reduce water usage, rain runoff from the building will be collected in cisterns for use in irrigation and in lavatories. Rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels and solar hot water collectors provide on-site renewable energy that would otherwise come from the utility power grid. Green roofs are planted with indigenous, low-maintenance plants.


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