HomePrivate Project Finalists: 2017 Excellence in GSI Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to the Private Project finalists for the 2017 Excellence in GSI Awards Ceremony!


The Private Project finalists are…


Cira Green

Photo source: Roofmeadow


Client: Brandywine Realty Trust
Planning/Design Team: Erdy McHenry Architecture, Pennoni, Roofmeadow, Tim Haahs & Associates
Construction Team: EDA Associates, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, Sean’s Landscaping.
Maintenance Team: Roofmeadow, Sean’s Landscaping
Location: 2930 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Watershed: Lower Schuylkill


Cira Green is Philadelphia’s first elevated public park and first blue-green roof.  As such, it’s more than just an amenity for the adjacent Evo and FMC Towers; it is an integral element of the developing Schuylkill River greenway.


The park sits atop a parking garage originally designed to be a 3-floor semi-public facility with a subsurface stormwater cistern. Brandywine and its design team conceived of a dynamic elevated amenity space that would also comply with stormwater regulations.


The fusion of intensive green roofs, permeable paving, and “pancake cisterns” results in a hydrologically integrated site that provides a higher level of stormwater performance than conventional green roofs.


Its topography engages visitors, offering both passive and active recreation space.  Brandywine has developed an informational tour program, which attracts designers, students, engineers, and policy-makers from around the country.


By artfully integrating an innovative and unobtrusive stormwater management strategy into this extensively paved, high-traffic park, Brandywine and the design team created a new standard for city living which leverages the roof plane for unparalleled amenity spaces that also aggressively manage stormwater.


Frankford Friends Nature Learning Lab

Photo source: Think Green, LLC.


Client: Frankford Friends School
Planning/Design Team: Meliora Design, ThinkGreen, LLC.
Construction Team: ThinkGreen, LLC.
Location: 1515 Orthodox Street, Philadelphia, PA
Watershed: Lower Delaware


The goal of the Nature Learning Lab at Frankford Friends Elementary School was to create an outdoor learning space for the elementary school students, while simultaneously implementing green stormwater infrastructure.


Like many urban schools, the open space available for play and exploration at Frankford Friends was predominately concrete and asphalt before the design and construction of the Nature Learning Lab. Using entirely non-structural BMPs, a landscape was created that completely manages its own runoff through absorptive soils and native vegetation, and provides educational play space for children.  Students now enjoy natural objects, water features, native plants, outdoor gathering spaces, and active play spaces. The Learning Lab’s rain gardens, pollinator garden, and other natural habitats have become a central part of the science curriculum unit where students learn about watersheds, stormwater runoff, water ecosystems, and native plants.


ThinkGreen served as both the landscape architect and the contractor, which facilitated an efficient, adaptive, and cost-effective approach for the project.


Because the site achieved such a high level of perviousness and disconnected surfaces, it was eligible for an expedited review process through PWD, which also saved time and budget. The Philadelphia Water Department provided partial funding via a SMIP grant. Local and reclaimed materials further minimized cost and environmental impact of the project.


The school is currently in the process of master planning future green stormwater management techniques for the remainder of the campus.


Shoemaker Green at the University of Pennsylvania

Photo source: Andropogon Associates


Client: University of Pennsylvania
Planning Team: Andropogon Associates, Meliora Design, Stantec, Keast and Hood, Tillett Lighting and Design, International Consultants, Inc., Irrigation Consulting, Inc., Craul Land Scientists
Construction Team: P. Agnes
Maintenance Team: University of Pennsylvania
Monitoring Team: University of Pennsylvania, Andropogon Associates
Location: 33rd Street at Smith Walk, Philadelphia, PA
Watershed: Lower Schuylkill


Shoemaker Green is a 2.75-acre site located on the University of Pennsylvania’s Campus that provides eco-system services in addition to satisfying the programmatic requirements set forth by the University. The site captures ninety-five percent of the site’s rainwater through an integrated landscape system that includes the conveyance, filtering, and storage of stormwater for reuse as irrigation.


The project transformed an existing site with aging tennis courts, narrow pathways, and obstructed views of a historic War Memorial into a cherished public amenity for West Philadelphia. The site is bordered by the University’s most iconic athletic facilities, the Palestra Fieldhouse and Franklin Field, and serves as the “front yard” to these historic structures.


The design of Shoemaker Green stems from a systems-based thinking that integrates natural systems (soils, plants, insects, birds, and humans) with man-made systems (building components and infrastructure) to function as a whole. During construction, all existing materials were recycled or upcycled.


Shoemaker Green has become what green infrastructure seldom is: a monitored, high-performance landscape that captures, filters, and effectively delivers clean water back to the environment. A five-year multi-faceted monitoring plan is currently being implemented, which allows for landscape architects, University of Pennsylvania faculty, students and staff, and the general public to interact with a truly “living system.”


Click here to read more about the Award Ceremony including finalists and winners, our keynote speaker, and more.


All of the winners will be announced and presented with an award at the 2017 Excellence in GSI Awards Ceremony on May 11th at FringeArts!  We’re looking forward to seeing you at the ceremony!


*Group rates and discounts for members are available.


2017 Excellence in GSI Awards
Thursday, May 11
6 PM to 9 PM
140 North Columbus Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19106








Aquarius Logo 2016



The GSI Partners are generously funded by the Surdna Foundation and the William Penn Foundation, as well as member and sponsor contributions.