Renovation/adaptive reuse of an historic landmark, the Strawbridge's Building at 8th and Market Streets in Downtown Philadelphia. 801 Market Street was once the address of Thomas Jefferson's office as Secretary of State from 1790-1793. Strawbridge & Clothier erected a six-story building on the site in 1897; that building was replaced in 1928 with the present high-rise structure, which served as the retailer's headquarters until May 2006. Adjacent structures completing the block-long flagship department store include construction dating to 1902 and 1916.
Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), owns and operates the ground through sixth floors plus two basement levels of the high-rise and adjacent structures. Our team transformed the space into new offices for several Pennsylvania governmental departments as well as future multi-tenant retail and support space. The core and shell rehabilitation earned LEED GOLD certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), while interior fit-out and exterior work were completed in coordination with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). This project represents the first LEED-certified historically certified building in Philadelphia, and one of only a handful nationwide.
Great care was taken to preserve the department store's historic wood and plaster work whileintegrating modern, efficient MEP systems into the existing floor plate. The project's "green" building innovations included:
- Recovery of Recyclable Materials During Demolition – More than 3,000 tons of material were diverted from landfills, accounting for approximately 50% of the debris and waste generated. Materials sorted on site included glass shelving, ceiling plaster, wooden wall partitions, and metal framing in ceilings and walls. Roof-mounted mechanical piping and equipment, chillers, boilers, heat exchangers, air handlers, ductwork, electric switchgear, and transformers—some of which dated back to the 1920's—also contained recyclable metals.
- Display cases, casework, slatwalls, and related fixtures were reclaimed for resale or reuse. Most of the existing walls and floors were repaired rather than replaced. In addition, work crews preserved and/or re-used wood paneling, crown molding, ornate plaster beams, rosettes, French doors, chandeliers, leaded glass windows, and a wrought iron grand staircase.
- Use of Recycled Materials – Subcontractors were required to purchase materials with recycled content where possible. Examples include new ceilings, sheetrock, floor and wall tile, bathroom accessories and partitions, countertops, wood doors, glazing, plaster, insulation, miscellaneous metals, and steel.
- Local Purchasing – Subcontractors were encouraged to use sources within 500 miles to reduce environmental impacts of long-distance shipping. Locally harvested or manufactured building materials include concrete, masonry, drywall, metal studs, and architectural louvers. A substantial portion of the building's new, high performance reflective roof membrane and rigid insulation materials were also acquired locally.
- Environmentally Sensitive Methods and Materials – Use of low-VOC paints and strippers improves indoor air quality. Special refrigerants in cooling systems minimize atmospheric impacts. During installation, mechanical crews protected open ductwork to prevent construction dust settling in system components.
- Mechanical System Improvements – The project required the complete replacement of HVAC and plumbing systems on all six floors. A total of 24 interior air conditioning units use Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value merv 8+ filter medium to improve indoor air quality. New roof-top mechanical units meet high-efficiency performance standards. Roof-mounted ventilation units supply fresh air to interior spaces including the ground floor and basement levels. In restrooms, automatic sensor-operated faucets and flush units and low-flow plumbing fixtures minimize both water demand and sewer impacts.
- Electrical System Improvements – Upgraded light fixtures contain compact fluorescent bulbs. Occupancy sensors monitor all finished areas, and time clocks control lighting in corridors.