News

FRES FY23 Annual Report

We are pleased to present the Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services FY23 Annual Report. In FRES, we have a broad and significant presence in and influence on Penn’s campus. Our work — whether we are designers, project managers, professional trades, housekeepers, or administrative support — in collaboration with our community, physically shapes the day-to-day life of the Penn community. Penn Facilities & Real Estate Services FY23 Annual Report

Penn celebrates operation and benefits of largest solar power project in Pennsylvania

As of December 2023, Penn has moved one step closer towards its goal of 100% carbon neutrality on campus by 2042. Great Cove I and II - two solar facilities constructed in Central Pennsylvania as a result of Penn's power purchase agreement (PPA) - reached their commercial operation date. As both facilities now begin to generate power, the project will produce enough energy to power 70% of the total electricity demand of Penn's academic campus and the University of Pennsylvania Health System in the Greater Philadelphia area. The occasion of these two solar facilities becoming fully operational...

Pennovation Works 2023 Year In Review

Pennovation Works continues to evolve and cultivate an innovative and collaborative environment for its more than 100 companies and research entities. The 23-acre innovation hub is powered by its robust community of researchers, entrepreneurs, and industry partners working to solve real-world problems and translate inventiveness into viable ventures. View the Pennovation Works Year in Review highlighting the stats, stories, and impactful projects that occurred in 2023. Discover why this ecosystem continues to be Where Ideas Go To Work, and learn about the innovative discoveries and research...

Penn Sustainability FY23 Annual Report

Penn Reports Continued Progress Towards Goals of Climate & Sustainability Action Plan 3.0

Penn Projects Honored at AIA's Architectural Excellence Awards

Each year, the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) celebrates the best architecture in the state with its Architectural Excellence Awards. In November, three Penn projects received these prestigious awards. The 50 Year/Timeless Architecture Award, which recognizes a building that still resonates with today’s design community and general public, was given to the Fisher Fine Arts Library, c elebrated for its innovative function and form that set an enduring standard for libraries. The Burk-Bergman Boathouse, which underwent a renovation in 2021 that modernized its...

GSE Renovation and Expansion Certified LEED Gold

The 2023 Penn Graduate School of Education (GSE) building expansion and renovation project was recently awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for its sustainable design, construction, and operation. The project includes a welcoming new entrance to connect the existing Graduate School of Education and Stiteler buildings, and an addition focused on connectivity, flexibility, and accessibility that has helped the GSE consolidate many of its functions into one location. While the project aimed for Silver certification, it achieved Gold for its reuse of the...

Graduate School of Education celebrates expansion and renovation

Completed in summer 2023, the $35.5 million addition to the Graduate School of Education at the southwest corner of 37th and Walnut Streets creates a new welcoming entrance to connect the existing Graduate School of Education and Stiteler buildings. The addition focuses on connectivity, flexibility, and accessibility and allows the GSE to consolidate many of their functions into one location. It houses instructional laboratories, mixed-use classrooms, offices and student collaboration space within 16,200 GSF of new space and 16,900 GSF of renovated space. Read more about the new space, built...

Amy Gutmann Hall Topping Off

Following tradition, in July, members of the University community gathered to celebrate the placement of the final mass timber wood panel on Penn’s new data science building, Amy Gutmann Hall. Scheduled for completion in summer 2024, Amy Gutmann Hall will serve as a campus hub for cross-disciplinary collaborations, centralizing resources and making the tools and concepts of data analysis more accessible to the entire Penn community. Read more about this important tradition in Penn Today.

Fisher Fine Arts Library Honored with 50 Year/Timeless Award

In November, the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded Penn’s Fisher Fine Arts Library its prestigious 50 Year/Timeless Architecture award. Each year the award recognizes a building that has endured the test of time and still resonates with the design community and the public. The Fisher Fine Arts Library, nicknamed Furness Library after its maverick designer Frank Furness, was completed in 1891. Furness’s design was revolutionary, pioneering the concept of separating book storage from other library functions like quiet study or group work. Isolating book...

Three Penn Projects Honored by Preservation Alliance of Philadelphia

Three recent Penn construction projects have been awarded 2023 Grand Jury Awards from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia: the Burk-Bergman Boathouse renovation and addition, repairs to the David Goddard Research Laboratories (Goddard), and the renovation of historic Kelly Writer's House. The Burk-Bergman Boathouse, also known as the Penn Boathouse, project was completed in summer 2022. The primary goal of the renovation project was to restore the original historic boathouse and bolster recruitment for Penn Rowing by creating more usable space, improving accessibility, and...

Student Performing Arts Center Moves Forward

In June 2023, Penn's Board of Trustees reviewed and approved the design for a new $75M, 37,300 sq. ft. Student Performing Arts Center to be constructed at the intersection of Chestnut Street and Woodland Walk, adjacent to Lauder and Hill college houses. Read more about the exciting new project's development in Penn Today, and visit the project page.

Preservation Alliance Awards for Three Penn Projects

Three recent Penn construction projects have been awarded 2023 Grand Jury Awards from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia: the Burk-Bergman Boathouse renovation and addition, repairs to the David Goddard Research Laboratories (Goddard), and the renovation of historic Kelly Writer's House. Read more about these projects and the prestigious awards on the FRES Awards & Recognition page.

Recent Awards & Recognition

Several Penn building projects and sustainability initiatives have been recognized over the past few months.

40th and Walnut Streets Redevelopment

A six-story, 50,000 GSF facility, is planned for the Corner of 40th and Walnut Streets and will include a ground floor McDonald’s restaurant. PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 13, 2023) – The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and McDonald’s USA, LLC (McDonald’s) announced the mixed-use redevelopment of the existing McDonald’s structure located at 3935 Walnut Street. This new six-story facility will include the reopening of a fully modernized McDonald’s restaurant on the first floor of the building. As part of a broader ongoing investment by Penn in the 40th Street Corridor, the University of...

Historic Marker Unveiled for the Palestra

In December 2022, a ceremony was held to unveil a historical marker from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) outside the Palestra, honoring the historical significance of Penn's "Cathedral of College Basketball." Built at Penn in 1927, at the time the Palestra was one of the largest arenas in the world, seating 10,000 fans. Its revolutionary design featured superior sight lines and sat spectators in bleachers close to the court, removing barriers between spectators, coaches, and players. For years, the Palestra hosted Big 5 college matchups, some of the most storied...

New Pennovation Life Sciences Facility

In June, the University of Pennsylvania announced that the next phase of development at the Pennovation Works campus would include a 455,000-square-foot life sciences facility along 34th Street and Grays Ferry Avenue. The building will include roughly 387,000 square feet dedicated to biological research and development and 68,000 square feet for biomanufacturing and will be designed to integrate visually with the existing Pennovation Works campus structures. Construction is scheduled to begin next year, with the building opening planned for 2025. Read more about this exciting new chapter for...

Weitzman Hall Ceremonial Groundbreaking

An October 25th ceremonial groundbreaking, led by designer Stuart Weitzman and Penn President Liz Magill, marked the official beginning of the transformation of Weitzman Hall. Currently in the schematic design phase, Weitzman Hall, formerly known as the Morgan Building, will be renovated and expanded, doubling the existing space. The first major capital project for the Weitzman School of Design in more than 50 years, the new addition on the east side will feature a grand entrance foyer, a glass-walled exhibition gallery that opens to a covered outdoor patio, individual and multi-seat studios...

Penn Receives Top Ten Ranking for Sustainability Efforts

In October 2022, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a global higher education analytics company, announced that Penn ranks #2 in the nation and #8 globally in their 2023 World University Rankings for Sustainability. QS used eight indicators to test the universities based on two measures: sustainability and social impact. The overall sustainability of each school was determined by scores in categories of sustainable institutions, sustainable education, and sustainable research. Social impact measures include equality, knowledge exchange, educational impact, employability and opportunities, and quality...

Penn's Campus Maintains Level II Arboretum Status

In November 2022, Penn's campus in West Philadelphia was given renewed accreditation as a Level II arboretum, ensuring its status for the next five years. First recognized as a Level I arboretum in early 2017 by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program, Penn's campus is an urban forest with more than 6,500 trees in its collection, over 240 species of trees and shrubs, ten specialty gardens, and five urban parks. To achieve Level II status in late 2017, Penn's campus met the heightened criteria of developing a minimum of 100 species, varieties, or cultivars of trees or woody plants, as well...

Get Outside with the Penn Plant Explorer

Are you interested in learning more about the trees and plants on Penn's campus? Or, as the weather warms, in spending more time with friends outdoors? The Penn Plant Explorer Interactive website is an excellent resource for anyone looking to get outside, discover campus gardens, or find a quiet green space to relax. Users can also take staff-curated tours, and locate and identify trees and plants. Learn more about what you can do with the Penn Plant Explorer on the Morris Arboretum website, and get busy enjoying our green campus.

Gutmann College House Awarded LEED Silver Status

Gutmann College House, Penn's 450-bed residential building located at 40th and Walnut streets, has been awarded Silver Level LEED Certification. Completed in 2021, Gutmann College House was designed specifically as an undergraduate college house, part of Penn's residential system of shared communities. In addition to its suites, the student dormitory provides common areas including study, living, seminar and music practice rooms, as well as the Quaker Kitchen, a spacious area designed for cooking education and demonstrations. On its LEED scorecard, Gutmann College House scored points for its...

Weitzman Plaza Dedication

On May 13th, 2022, students, faculty, staff, and visitors from across Penn gathered to celebrate the reimagined Stuart Weitzman Plaza, located between Meyerson Hall and the Fisher Fine Arts Library. Named for Penn alumnus Stuart Weitzman, for whom the School of Design is also named and who spoke at the dedication, Weitzman Plaza features high-backed wooden benches for gathering, careful landscaping, and a wide staircase, increasing campus connectivity across 34th street. Read more about the dedication in Penn Today, and watch a video about the plaza's history, on the school's Vimeo channel.

Thirteenth Year in a Row for Tree Campus Higher Education Honor

For the thirteenth year in a row, Penn has been named a Tree Campus Higher Education (formerly known as Tree Campus USA) by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Tree Campus Higher Education program recognizes college and university campuses that effectively manage their campus trees. To continually obtain this distinction, the University of Pennsylvania has met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus Higher Education, including the establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for your campus tree...

Penn Libraries opens Biotech Commons

The Penn Libraries have transformed their Biomedical Library into Biotech Commons, a multidisciplinary, flexible-learning facility located at the heart of campus. Read more about the $11.5M renovation, and see the features of the state-of-the-art space, at Penn Today.

Five Guys comes to University City

Five Guys will soon be serving its popular burgers, fries, and shakes in its newest University City location at 3714 Spruce Street. Expected to open in late fall of 2021, the new space will be easily accessible from the Quad and the center of campus. Read more about what Five Guys brings to campus on the SHOP PENN website.

Plans for new Performing Arts Center

Penn's President Amy Gutmann announced in August that the university had started the planning process for a new student performing arts center at 33rd street and Woodland Walk. With a proposed budget of $31M, the center would be student-centered and include a dedicated performing arts space for undergraduate students, and include a 450-seat theater and contemporary stage. Read more about the proposed center, and a reinvigorated commitment to the arts at Penn, in Penn Today.

Large-scale bronze sculpture installed on College Green

'Brick House,' a bronze sculpture by acclaimed artist Simone Leigh, was installed at 34th and Walnut streets in early November. Weighing close to 6,000 lbs., the piece depicts a Black woman’s head atop a form that suggests a skirt or perhaps a building. It is the first large-scale piece in the artist’s Anatomy of Architecture series that merges human form with diverse architectural elements. Read more about the sculpture and how it came to Penn in this article from Penn Today.

Pennovation Lab Open

The 65,000 GSF Pennovation Lab Building is a rentable, multi-tenant laboratory and office building located within Pennovation Works. Focused toward companies that have outgrown their original space and are ready to expand, the Lab Building contains 2,000 SF modules that can be combined or subdivided based on tenant needs. The Lab Building’s proximity to the Pennovation Center and several other renovated research facilities contributes to the spirit of community and collaboration on the Pennovation Works site. Read more about what it has to offer on the Pennovation website.

Penn Signs Power Purchase Agreement

University of Pennsylvania Signs Power Purchase Agreement with Community Energy for Largest Solar Project in PA For Release: April 13, 2020 Contact: Amanda Mott, Associate Director for News, University Communications, University of Pennsylvania, ammott@upenn.edu, (W) 215.898.1422 Jennifer Rizzi, Communications Director, Facilities & Real Estate Services, University of Pennsylvania, rizzi@upenn.edu, (W) 215.573.6107 The University of Pennsylvania has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the creation of a solar power project moving the University significantly closer to meeting its...

Penn West Philadelphia Campus Accredited as an Arboretum

UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA WEST PHILADELPHIA CAMPUS ACCREDITED AS AN ARBORETUM PHILADELPHIA, Pa (April 6, 2017) – The University of Pennsylvania campus in West Philadelphia is now officially recognized as an arboretum, the University’s Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services (FRES) announced today. Penn’s urban campus has achieved particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, and therefore has been awarded a Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. Penn’s nearly 300 acres in West Philadelphia are the...

FRES Faces Staff Profiles

FRES has highlighted some of our outstanding staff members with profiles created by each individual, showcasing a little more about their role and accomplishments in our department, favorite places on campus, and what inspires them along the way to make an impact, be innovative, or engage with our community. Thank you for being the FACE of FRES! James Allen, Operations & Maintenance Anthony Asciutto, Design & Construction (2024) Bob Angstadt, Design & Construction Jaynette Arrington, Administration (2021) Li Jun Bai, Administration (2024) Weldon Blount, Jr., Operations & Construction (2024)...

Renovation of Quadrangle Approved

Penn's historic Quadrangle dormitories, originally constructed in 1895, are set to be renovated in a phased construction process that will accommodate students living in the dorms during the academic year. The $200M renovations will include the renovation of restrooms and finishes in student rooms, increased ADA accessibility, and the replacing of aging infrastructure systems. The project is expected to be completed in 2027.

Penn Awarded Silver Designation as a Bicycle Friendly University

In fall 2022, Penn was awarded a Silver designation as a Bicycle Friendly University (BFU) from the League of American Bicyclists. Lasting through 2026, the Silver designation recognizes the University's commitment to campus sustainability and community health by promoting a safe and bicycle friendly environment. The Bicycle Friendly University application assesses 5 main criteria areas: engineering, education, encouragement, evaluation, and equity efforts, and universities are graded by a judging panel. Penn received its first Silver designation as a Bicycle Friendly University in 2014, and...