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USGBC Names Paseo Verde “Project of the Year”
Publication Date
August 20th 2015

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has announced that Paseo Verde received the “Project of the Year” recognition in its annual LEED for Homes Awards.The awards are given to outstanding multi- and single-family residential and affordable housing projects as well as builders and developers.


“The places we call home are where we feel safe and where we come together as families and friends. These leaders are working to make our homes more sustainable, healthier and happier living environments, setting an example for what is possible in green building,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “I commend the commitment and leadership in sustainable building from these recipients.”


Paseo Verde was designed by Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) and developed by Jonathan Rose Companies and Asociacíon Puertorriqueños en Marcha. MaGrann Associates were the LEED providers and energy modelers on the project. Urban Engineers provided site development engineering services. 


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 More about the project: 

Paseo Verde is a $48 million, mixed-use, residential development adjacent to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Temple University station in North Philadelphia. Completed in 2013, the building consists of 120 rental units with community amenities and almost 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, a Latino community development organization, envisioned the project as a way to provide affordable, community-based housing with access to mass transit, while showcasing sustainable practices in design.


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BEFORE: This site was previously an unwelcoming parking lot


Paseo Verde was the first project nationwide to receive LEED® Platinum in the category of LEED® for Neighborhood Design. To achieve this standard, the design team worked collaboratively to incorporate numerous sustainability strategies, including a well-insulated building envelope, individually controlled gas-fired heating and cooling units in each apartment, a 40 kW photovoltaic array on the roof, and natural lighting.


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The use of green roofs, blue roofs(the first implemented in Philadelphia), infiltration basins, and porous paving are just some of the stormwater management techniques that help reduce drainage into the combined sewers. By promoting the concept of walkability, access to open space, sustainable building infrastructure and providing quick access to public transportation, Paseo Verde promotes the ideals of a healthy lifestyle and strong urban sustainable communities.


Urban provided site/land development engineering design services, including utility coordination/relocation and service connections, assistance with zoning permits, design of stormwater management in accordance with Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and PADEP requirements, procuring environmental permits including NPDES and E&S permits, and site layout/grading. Pre-bid and construction support services were also performed.


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Project challenges included public outreach for the development, intermodal coordination with Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and compliance with City oversight and regulatory agencies. The site was located in a Public Health and Safety (PHS) zone according to the PWD which required a drastically reduced stormwater release rate (0.96 cfs/acre on a 2.185 acre site) requiring a large volume of stormwater to be detained on site (over 100,000 gallons). To meet the volume requirements, blue rooftops and green rooftops were used in providing additional storage across the site. An underground infiltration basin was designed to capture and detain the remaining volume.

In addition, Urban provided site layout plans, stormwater calculations, planting plans and details for the construction of proposed tree pit infiltration systems within the right-of-way. Urban designed these systems providing inlet and system capacity calculations along with drawings in accordance with the “Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design Guidelines Packet for PWD Funded Projects”.


More photos of Paseo Verde:

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