Site Visit: Drexel’s Papadakis Building

Drexel’s Constantine N. Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building serves as the new home of Drexel’s biology department. Opened in 2011, the building itself contained various green features that may at first seem to be unusual but can and will one day redefine interior green design.I had the pleasure of walking through the building with the James Rose as part of a class field trip. During the trip James took the entire class on a tour of the building and discussed various green features that were designed into the building which was awarded LEED GOLD.

The first thing that would stand out among anything else is the atrium along with the large bio-wall that is 5 levels tall. The Bio-wall is the largest in the United States and is a great method of studying carbon dioxide and oxygen flow for interior buildings. The HVAC system also draws on the Bio-wall to help regulate the temperature within the building. Cold water is often pumped to the top of the building to cool the air which travels down to the ground level. The same way, warm waters are pumped to the bottom of the building to warmup the air and allow the warm air to raise to heat the building when needed.

The exterior of the building consist of various stormwater runoff features including the use of native plants as well as collection of rain on the roof of the building. The building has a unique structure which was designed to capture as much natural sunlight as possible to reduce its energy use. The restrooms are equipped with low-flow faucets, dual flush toilets, LED lights, sensors, etc. Office buildings as well as the classrooms are also equiped with LED lights, and sensors.

Overall I thought the building was a cool way of show-casing how cool green design can be.

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About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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