University of Pennsylvania

Wharton Academic Research Building & Substation

Philadelphia, PA

The University of Pennsylvania needed to replace an aging underground substation at 37th Street and Locust Walk with a new aboveground substation. Due to the active and highly visible location, the University decided to incorporate the new substation enclosure into the lower level of a new 55,000 SF, 5-story academic building. The building includes 40 group study/breakout rooms, 10 shared research conference rooms, a Neuroeconomics Center, behavior labs, Penn Wharton Policy Initiative (PPI), and Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative (WCAI).

From a security perspective, AKF had major involvement with the planning, design, and construction of the new building. AKF met with stakeholders to understand the security requirements for the proposed building to incorporate campus standards into the design of access control, video surveillance (CCTV) and recording, and intrusion detection systems. In addition, AKF led the selection and design of the video intercom system for the new loading dock facility, allowing for delivery personnel to access security and user groups for remote and after hours access. AKF coordinated the security system designs with Penn Public Safety and Wharton Police personnel to ensure seamless integration with the current campus-wide systems.

AKF also provided energy modeling services to advise the team on strategies to achieve the University’s target of reduction in energy consumption by 30% when compared to conventional construction, as mandated by the University’s climate action strategy. AKF provided early phase energy models to assist with envelope design, including glazing selection and to quantify the relative value of various HVAC systems including chilled beams. AKF helped the team understand the energy benefit of Penn’s campus chilled water and steam systems and developed the documentation that will be used to submit the project for LEED Silver certification.

Technical Statistics

OWNER: University of Pennsylvania
PROJECT NAME: Wharton Academic Research Building & Substation
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