Sustainability & Resiliency

What has made the Navy Yard the coolest and most successful commercial redevelopments of an old military instillation are the continued commitments to sustainability & resiliency. This has been the mission since PIDC began redevelopment nearly 20 years ago and will remain true through future redevelopment plans.

“We look for innovative and industry-leading ways to incorporate those elements throughout our 1,200-acre site. Things like adaptive reuse and modernization of historic buildings, ensuring new construction projects are LEED certified, creating green spaces that are welcoming to and designed to reduce stormwater runoff, and providing equitable access to green transit options like Navy Yard buses, Indego bike share, car share, and EV chargers.”

Kate McNamara
Executive Vice President, Navy Yard

Industry Innovation/Corporate Sustainability Award Winner

Because of the sustainability and resiliency efforts at the Navy Yard, PIDC received the Industry Innovation/Corporate Sustainability Award, which honors environmental excellence, leadership, and accomplishment, from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC).

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Planning for the Future

As PIDC and Ensemble/Mosaic embark on their partnership for the transformative new phase of Navy Yard development that is slated to bring in more than 12,000 new jobs and more than $6 billion of new investment over the next 20 years, sustainability and resiliency are paramount to the success of that plan. More information about sustainability and resiliency in the future development plans at the Navy Yard can be found at in Section 5 of the Navy Yard Plan.

Navy Yard Plan

Accounting for Climate Change & Sea Level Rise

Because the Navy Yard is located along the Delaware River, climate change and a rise in the water level must be fully considered. In the plan, maximizing resiliency through raising vulnerable portions of the site – elevating buildings and infrastructure, incorporating innovative stormwater infrastructure including canals and swales along the streets on the east side of the campus to convey stormwater, and using dry ponds, green roofs, and resilient landscaping and trees are at the forefront of planning to mitigate the impact of climate change and prevent flooding in this new community.

Electric Grid

The Navy Yard is powered by a 44-megawatt unregulated electric grid, which makes it one of the largest unregulated electric distribution systems on the East Coast. This makes it an ideal setting for smart grid research and for demonstrating and deploying energy-efficient technologies, energy generation and storage, and microgrid controls and distribution.

The Navy Yard is also working to continue to strategically install EV chargers around campus.

AV Shuttle & Bus Electrification

Partnering with DVRPC, PennDOT, Perrone Robotics, AECOM, and Drexel University to deploy Pennsylvania’s first AV shuttle at the Navy Yard in 2023. The zero-emissions shuttle will provide visitors and employees with transportation services within the Philadelphia Navy Yard and to SEPTA’s NRG Station located at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue. We are also developing a plan to transition the current fleet of Navy Yard Transit shuttles into electric-powered shuttles, which will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Building Reuse

PIDC and several private development partners have renovated many of the former Marine and Navy officers’ quarters and historic buildings. These now provide beautiful, historic, and eclectic office space to a wide variety of commercial tenants – examples include URBN Corporate HQ and the reuse of former Marine Barracks and Admiral Quarters.

LEED Certified Buildings

PIDC requires the design and construction of high-performance, sustainable buildings at the Navy Yard, primarily through LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) certification, the rating system created by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). In total, 85% of new buildings constructed since 2006 are LEED certified buildings, including Philadelphia’s first developer-owned LEED Platinum building built in 2005 (One Crescent Drive) and Philadelphia’s first double LEED Platinum building built in 2013 (Five Crescent Drive). Future development will pursue Philadelphia’s first LEED Gold Neighborhood Development of scale, a program which creates more sustainable, well-connected neighborhoods, looking beyond the scale of buildings to consider entire communities.

High Performance Buildings

Several Navy Yard buildings also include green roofs as a way to manage stormwater and reduce energy costs. 2500 League Island Boulevard, one of the Navy Yard’s newest life science buildings, has a 60,000 square foot green roof, and Five Crescent Drive has 40 percent of its roof covered with vegetation.

Stormwater Management

We have worked closely with the Philadelphia Water Department’s Watersheds Initiative, as well as piloted the use of innovative stormwater management systems. Examples of demonstrated improvements include rain gardens, sidewalk and landscape buffers, and drainage swales, all of which prevent considerable levels of runoff from reaching city sewers.

20 Acres of Parks & Arobretum

The Navy Yard has more than 20 acres of parks and a mile of waterfront trail. These open spaces provide opportunities for employees and visitors stretch their legs, expand their minds, and enjoy the outdoors. The Navy Yard is also a certified Level-1 arboretum (certified by Arbnet in 2018). With more than 2,000 trees already established, it demonstrates the Navy Yard’s commitment to maintaining and establishing public greenspace, sustainable landscapes, and resiliency. As one of only six arboretums in Philadelphia, it is especially important that the Navy Yard preserves and expands greenspaces at the Navy Yard. By building upon and sustaining green spaces, the Navy Yard can assure that future generations have a place to appreciate nature in an urban environment, while at the same time developing the Navy Yard to create equitable growth, jobs, and accessibility for decades to come.