Skip to main content
The history of sustainable contractors in Philadelphia
July 19, 2021 at 7:00 AM
The history of sustainable contractors in Philadelphia

You can’t tell the story of contractors in Philadelphia without considering the history of sustainable construction. There’s no better way to appreciate the efforts made by the city than to survey the measures and accomplishments Philadelphia has instated and achieved. If you’re unsure where to begin, you’re in luck. At IBM, we’re the leading construction management and general contracting service in Philadelphia. Unlike competitors, we collaborate closely with clients to elevate our communities.

Here’s the history of Philadelphia’s sustainable construction:

The beginning

It’s impossible to say when the first sustainable construction began precisely. However, there is a watershed moment that serves as the perfect starting point.

In 2009, Philadelphia passed a bill that would change the futures of contractors in Philadelphia forever. Bill No. 080025 required new construction for city-owned structures over 10,000 square feet to be at least LEED-silver certified.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is a scoring rubric that affords projects points for energy efficiency and air quality. More importantly, another key regulation requires the federally-backed certification, ENERGY STAR.

The city of Philadelphia necessitates benchmarking per Philadelphia Code section 9-3402 for buildings 50,000 square feet or larger using the ENERGY STAR portfolio manager. Even for those disinterested, sustainable construction is no longer a choice.

If you’re interested in sustainable construction in Philadelphia, we'll ensure your structure is compliant and energy-efficient.


There are a few milestones when considering the history of sustainable contractors in Philadelphia. Firstly, Barry’s Playground was a turning point.

As the first Philadelphia Parks and Recreation building to acquire the LEED certification, following a 2015 renovation, this 2,700 square foot building was transformed into an upper-echelon public service. Sustainable renovations utilized non-toxic materials and include:

  • Improved insulation
  • A geothermal HVAC system
  • New lighting and occupancy sensors
  • New restrooms
  • Full site stormwater infrastructure
  • Ceiling fans
  • New insulated windows

In 2017, One Parkway also made history by becoming the first city-owned building to receive the Energy Star Label. 502,000 square feet and 18 stories tall, this building is officially in the top 25 percent of energy efficiency for all US structures. The measures that guaranteed this include:

  • Upgraded building control systems
  • Improved lighting
  • Steam system insulation
  • Improved insulation and weatherization
  • Water conservation measures
  • High-efficiency air filters and concourse VFD
  • Concourse area vestibule improvements (e.g. reduced time sliding doors remain open)

This is just the beginning. If you’re interested in joining industry leaders in sustainable construction, IBM is your premier solution.

Constant progress

While these structures remain a testament to a commitment to energy conservation, sustainable living, and environmental awareness, progress has only just begun.

For example, the Police Department Training Center received the LEED Silver certification in 2016, and the Tactical Training Facility was the first city-owned building to obtain the LEED Gold certification.

Just as impressively, the Streets Department Training Center was another one of the first city-owned LEED Gold certified buildings with measures that promoted high indoor air quality and overall efficiency. These accomplishments are just the beginning.

As more regulations are instated and we take more responsibility for the world we rely on, sustainable contractors in Philadelphia are more essential than ever.

Contact us now for a consultation!

If you need sustainable construction or contractors in Philadelphia, IBM is your premier solution. No matter what you need, from construction management to general contracting services, we guarantee to do it all and more. Unlike competitors, we establish partnerships with each client to elevate our community. Contact us now for a consultation! The only way to construct a sustainable world is by using sustainable construction and contracting services like IBM.