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Comcast's Sustainable Icon

Philadelphia Mixed-Use

The Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will make Philly into a global leader in sustainability, predicts Martin Architectural Group principal Mike Rosen (right, snapped at our Multifamily Summit in October with Martin's Dan McCauley). The 1,121-foot tower recently announced by Comcast and Liberty Property Trust is “the biggest and baddest product to be built on the East Coast in a long time,” Mike says. “It creates a new benchmark for all new skyscrapers that follow.” In other words, Philadelphians with that chronic inferiority complex: get seriously used to bragging rights.

Designed by starchitect Norman Foster, the project will seek LEED Platinum certification. But the greenness of the design isn’t in the flashiness associated with solar panels and the like. It’s more in the building’s envelope and recovery systems, which will maximize energy efficiency, says Mike, and because of the project’s magnitude, Comcast and Liberty are building to a higher standard, using local and reused construction materials and responsible waste disposal. And Philly isn’t just leading from the top down: it’s happening at the municipal level, through the City’s Office of Sustainability and its benchmarking program, as well as a master plan to reduce energy use citywide by 25% by 2030. Adds Mike: "With green initiatives now ubiquitous across the country, Philly is in a good position to take the lead."