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Pennovation Center earns LEED Gold certification

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Its spaceship-like facade helped

The Pennovation Center in Grays Ferry is chockfull of sustainable features.
Courtesy of KSS Architects

The Pennovation Center in Gray’s Ferry has just earned LEED Gold certification.

Co-designed by Hollwich Kushner and Philly firm KSS Architects, Pennovation is a new innovation center in Grays Ferry, run by the University of Pennsylvania.

One of the most notable features of the 58,000-square-foot center is its facade, an angular structure that shoots out from the side with views of University City. But it’s the behind-the-scenes details that helped Pennovation earn LEED Gold, which is the second-to-highest rating after Platinum.

The site, which clocks in at 23 acres, was designed by Land Collective with stormwater management in mind. All of the water collected drains to the site’s wetlands or is retained for irrigation.

Another significant detail that earned Pennovation big points is that it was an adaptive reuse project. The building used to be a DuPont warehouse. More than 90 percent of the existing concrete and steel structure was preserved in the design.

And while there’s a healthy amount of natural light that streams through the building, the east-, west-, and south-facing facades were actually designed to help balance out the daylight, using an aluminum grid shading system.