Philly commercial building to feature innovative glass technology
Rendering of 3.0 University Place. Photo courtesy of The Steward Partnership
Architects have long loved glass office buildings. Airy, yet structurally strong, their floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide plenty of light and make people feel almost like they're outside.
But on sunny days, the windows can create glare or make glass buildings uncomfortably hot, which leads offices to crank the air conditioner and waste energy.
A new glass office building in West Philadelphia, called 3.0 University Place, aims to eliminate that issue, reports the website Tech Insider. Its windows will tint automatically based on the level of brightness, letting the workers inside enjoy the view while saving electricity.
The 189,000-square-foot building, designed by The Steward Partnership, is set to be completed by the end of 2018. Much like light-adaptive lenses in glasses (better known as Transitions), all of the building's windows will have smart sensors that can detect sunlight and change color accordingly. The windows, which are made by SageGlass, also can be controlled using a remote.
The structure will hold offices for local companies, Michael Sheward, the firm's principal, told Tech Insider. The team is still trying to find an anchor tenant, but Sheward said several Fortune 500 companies are interested.
3.0 University Place is striving to be among be the world's few commercial building to earn LEED platinum certification, meaning it will be highly eco-friendly, Sheward said. Platinum is the highest grade given by LEED, a third-party rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council.
On the building's roof, solar panels and wind turbines will be stationed to harness energy. The roof will also harvest rainwater, which will be purified for the building to use, and feature a garden and spaces to hang out.
In front of the building, there will be bike racks and preferred parking spaces for hybrid and electric cars.
3.0 University Place is part of a larger plan by its developers, University Place Associates (UPA), to build a series of LEED platinum buildings in West Philadelphia, called the "Platinum Corridor."
2.0 University Place (UPA's first LEED-certified building) was built in 2013, and the next three — named 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0 — will feature green spaces, lighting and public benches.
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