Philadelphia Navy Yard building converted to energy research ‘living lab’
A 70-year-old vacant recreation building at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia will open next week as the headquarters of the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub, a two-year-old federally funded innovation center operated by Pennsylvania State University. Built in 1942, the brick-and-concrete structure housed an indoor swimming pool, basketball courts, and offices until the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard closed in 1995.
The facility, operated by Pennsylvania State University, will serve as a "living laboratory" with a mission to develop and test various design systems for the real world, according to the Energy Department, which is funding operations.New insulated panels will replace the 71-year-old concrete roof, which will be crushed and used to fill in the pool. Three parts of the building will use different mechanical systems, which will be contained behind a single glass wall for visitors to study. Lighting systems, heating systems, and sensors embedded in the walls will be used to monitor the building's energy performance. KieranTimberlake designed the renovation project.