Muhlenberg Parkway Blvd Building

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Faculty and student multi-purpose deep green building at campus’s woodland edge

In three words:

LBC Core,
Biophilic Design,
Bird Friendly

With the first new building constructed on campus since 2006, Muhlenberg College is putting forth a built example of their deep commitment to sustainability.  In addition to pursuing LEED Gold certification, the multi-purpose 22,000 sf Parkway Community Building is also one of the first 20 projects in the world to pursue Living Building Challenge CORE certification. The building is rooted in biophilic design – design which brings us in touch with nature both through direct and indirect experiences.  To enter the off-axis building, visitors move around a natively planted rain garden and then experience sweeping views through the building towards a wooded hill descending to Lake Muhlenberg.

Fast Facts

Construction completion Fall 2022

Native landscape and rain gardens to restore the site ecology

Rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing

Deep energy efficiency with a 60 kW rooftop photovoltaic array and a Passive House inspired building envelope

High-efficiency VRF HVAC system with continuous fresh air ventilation for healthy interiors

Bird-safe glazing designed in conjunction with Muhlenberg’s world-renowned ornithologist

Third-party diversity and inclusion assessment

So, what is LBC Core?

The Core Green Building Certification is a version of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) which focuses on ten core practices seen as the baseline for deep green building.  Following the primary structure of LBC, Core imperatives are in seven divisions referred to as petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health + Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty.  While LBC is known for setting the highest and most rigorous goals for green building in the industry, Core seeks to set achievable and meaningful goals for project teams which are interested in upping their green certification game but may not be ready for the full Challenge.  

For Muhlenberg, pursuing Core was an easy choice as it was perfectly aligned with their sustainability plan and offered an engaging experience for faculty, students, recruits, and the community.

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