green building

So long, awesome Pep Boys sign

We were in West Philly yesterday and noticed demolition notices at 4101 Market St., a shuttered Pep Boys with some spectacular signage.

Looking east on Market Street

Amazing sign on 42nd Street

So what's happening here? The property is really large, covering almost an acre, so the opportunity is there to build something pretty significant. And something significant is exactly what developers University Place Associates have in mind. If the name of this developer sounds familiar, it's because they're the guys who built 2.0 University Place, a LEED certified office building at 41st & Powelton. You can actually see the back of the building in the photo above. In an effort that would make Microsoft proud, they've named their plan for the 4100 block of Market Street 3.0 University Place. Check out these sweet renderings:

Over a year ago, we told you about plans to build the first truly net zero homes in Philadelphia on the site of an old seafood warehouse in Northern Liberties. Passing by the corner of 4th & Brown the other day, we noticed that the project appears to now be moving forward, with framing underway for the first two homes.

You may remember, earlier this year we told you about Norris Apartments, a new PHA development near Temple University that had numerous green features. Today, we bring you Paschall Homes, a green PHA development that was completed about a year ago.

Norris Apartments back in February

Norris Apartments are LEED certified, with materials and design driving the eco-friendliness of the project. Paschall Homes, on the other hand, take a much more proactive approach to green building. These homes, located at 72nd and Paschall Ave., replaced old and worn low-rise PHA housing stock with new buildings that generate much of their own energy. Between geothermal heating and cooling, solar hot water, and solar panels, energy costs are reduced by 30% or more out of the gate for these homes. In addition, a rainwater harvesting/irrigation system makes sure that the open space remains cared for while reducing runoff. In fact, the site has about 92K sqft of pervious surfaces, which PHA declares an increase from the previous site by a factor of almost fifty.

What would Philly be like if 30K sustainability-minded folks visited for a few days to talk about green efforts? Enter Greenbuild 2013.

Next year, The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo will take place in Philadelphia, officially hosted by the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC). Since 2002, the world’s largest conference dedicated to green building has featured speakers, industry showcases, LEED workshops, and tours of the host city’s green buildings.

“This really puts Philly on the map in terms of the all the sustainability going on here,” said Christine Knapp of the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub), a group based in the Naval Yard, started last year by the Department of Energy with a goal of a 20% reduction in regional building energy usage by 2020.

Last week, we gave you the heads up about the upcoming demolition of the former Pride of the Sea warehouse at 720 N 4th St., across the street from Honey’s Sit n’ Eat. Whelp, demolition has proceeded since then, and the site should be clear in the coming weeks.

A couple weeks back
A few days ago

The plan for this site involves five new construction homes, called Foundry Court. We spoke with the developer, Carol Diament, a realtor who is partnering with Nexus EnergyHomes to build these homes to Net Zero standards. Nexus, a company that's done most of its building in Maryland to this point, will lend their expertise to bring the first truly net zero homes to Philadelphia.

As if Northern Liberties doesn't have enough high-end housing developments going up right now (we're looking at you, Stable Flats, houses at 2nd & Green, Orkney Street homes, etc etc etc), we've learned about yet another project, tabbed the Green-Nine Townhomes. Located at 613-25 N 3rd St., these nine new homes will replace part of a parking lot, with half of the development facing 3rd Street and the other half facing some currently under construction homes on Bodine Street.

Back in November, we gave you the heads up about First Steel, a new Postgreen project at 1703-05 N. Howard St., in Kensington. At the time, this was still an empty lot, and the project was still in the planning stages. We were in the area a few days back, snapping photos of the former Quaker City Dye Works, and noticed something shiny and new on the corner of N Howard & Cecil B.

Yes indeed
Closer look

To remind you, both homes have 4 bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms, and the typical Postgreen energy efficiency. 1703 N Howard St. is a little larger, at about 1700 sqft, and is under contract with an asking price of $325K. 1705 N Howard St., slightly smaller at about 1400 sqft, is still available at an asking price of $299K.

Back in January, we told you about the ZBA's approval of ReNewbold, the exciting LEED Platinum project from LPMG that's planned for the corner of 16th and Moore Sts. Tonight, at South Philly Tap Room, from 5pm until 8pm, you can get some first hand information about this new project, and reserve your new dream home. And there's drink specials and a free buffet!

A little background in case you don't feel like clicking back to the old post: LPMG has hired LEED experts Postgreen to design and Hybrid Construction to built 16 single family homes, 2 condo units (all with offstreet parking) and a new commercial space on the vacant lot that once housed a now demolished school building. The mix of two and three story buildings will offer a host of green features, including rain collection, low flow fixtures, dual flush toilets, super insulation, green roofs, and low-VOC finishes.

While meandering around Fishtown and East Kensington, we spotted a sign from PS Property LLC at 2128 E Susquehanna Ave., right at the corner of Trenton Ave.


Looking at the sign, we assumed that a large development would be on the way for the corner, with several homes capturing various colors of the rainbow. After a little investigating, and perhaps applying a little logic, we determined that the likelier development for this parcel is a single family home. PS Property owns the property that's one off the corner, but doesn't own the also vacant corner lot.