The Plaza at PPL Center, a state-of-the-art green office building in Allentown, has won the ARK Award in recognition of its innovations in environmentally friendly architecture from the Wildlands Conservancy and the Urban Land Institute’s 2004 Award for Excellence.
Tom Kerr, president of Wildlands Conservancy, presented the award to Bob Barkanic, PPL’s manager of Environmental Management, during a Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Bethlehem this week.
Kerr said the ARK award is named after the boats that once carried coal from the Pocono Mountains down the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania during the Industrial Revolution. The Wildlands Conservancy, based in Emmaus, Pa., gives the annual award to a company in the Lehigh River watershed that combines exceptional business practices with resourceful and creative techniques, resulting in significant protection of the community’s environment.
The Plaza at PPL Center has environmentally sound features - including electricity provided from renewable sources, water- and energy-saving fixtures, a vegetative roof that insulates and helps minimize storm water runoff, and other design elements that ease the structure’s impact on the environment.
The Plaza at PPL Center previously received the following national recognition for its environmentally-wise features:
· The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s green building conference singled out The Plaza at PPL Center for its unique construction.
· The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council awarded the building a “gold,” high-performance rating for its environmental features.
· The American Institute of Architects tabbed the building with its “2004 Top Ten Green Projects Award” for its successful integration of architecture, technology and environmentalism.
The Urban Land Insitute’s Awards for Excellence recognize the full development
process of a project, not just its architecture or design. The criteria for the awards include leadership, contribution to the community, innovations, public/private partnership, environmental protection and enhancement, response to societal needs, and financial success.Projects were evaluated on the basis of financial viability, the resourceful use of land, design, relevance to contemporary issues, and sensitivity to the community and environment. Each contributes to a live-work-play environment and is designed to complement and enhance the greater community.