Philadelphia Water Department presents its 2017 Stormwater Pioneers Award to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

July 27, 2017
Green stormwater systems at the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care provide protection for local waterways.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, JULY 27, 2017 -- Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Debra McCarty and City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell joined executives from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for a rooftop ceremony recognizing sustainable design and cutting-edge green stormwater management systems at the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care on Wednesday.

"CHOP's work in University City is a wonderful example of how a major institution can better serve its clients and community while protecting one of our most valuable resources -- Philadelphia's rivers," said Mayor Kenney. "These beautiful gardens not only look nice, but they also provide a very important, positive therapeutic influence on the children, families and thousands of others that the gardens serve. This is another great investment in Philadelphia's children."

The Philadelphia Water Department presented its 2017 Stormwater Pioneers Award to Doug Carney, AIA LEED AP and Senior Vice President of Facilities and Construction Management at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, along with the Buerger Center design and construction team from Pennoni Associates, Turner Construction Company and Nelson Byrd Woltz.

"We are very pleased to honor the entire team at CHOP and the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care for their commitment to improving water quality and protecting the environment," said Debra McCarty, Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner. "We hope that other large institutions, schools and organizations follow their lead and recognize that they too can make a difference for their communities and patrons by investing in smart stormwater projects such as this."

"We are honored to be recognized by the Philadelphia Water Department as a Stormwater Pioneer," said Doug Carney, AIA LEED AP and SVP of Facilities and Construction Management at CHOP. "Along with our engineering, construction and architectural partners, CHOP conceived the Buerger Center for Advanced Pediatric Care with the needs of our patients and families in-mind. We are excited to integrate sustainable stormwater features with the needs of patients, families and staff." He continued, "We hope that the project serves as a model for how future sustainable projects can seamlessly blend stormwater management requirements with meaningful useable spaces -- especially in urban settings -- both here in Philadelphia and nationally."

Project Background
Located on the Raymond G. Perelman Campus in University City, the 12-story Buerger Center was completed in 2015 and serves children with the most acute, outpatient medical needs. Through an eight-year planning process, CHOP developed the Center with many features designed to reduce stress on patients and their families. A detailed focus on creating the ideal patient experience extended to the ways the Hospital chose to address stormwater management requirements.

The building incorporates lush, natural green space into a holistic design centered on providing a calming atmosphere and remedying one of the biggest sources of pollution impacting Philadelphia waterways today -- stormwater runoff.

The Buerger Center features beautifully landscaped outdoor areas for recreation, relaxation and rehabilitation, including the 16,000-square-foot rooftop garden and a 2.3-acre ground-level plaza filled with grasses, trees and ground cover that serves as the roof of a 1,500-car underground garage. These spaces include almost an acre of vegetation that filters rain water during storms and provides a respite for families and staff. Within the parking garage, a sophisticated system of unseen, computer-controlled tanks work in conjunction with the highly visible rooftop green space where patients relax.

In April, the Buerger Center received the Award of Merit from Engineering News-Record in its annual Healthcare Design Awards competition. The jury included 18 architects, designers, builders, regulators, consultants and providers with expertise in healthcare design. Projects were measured on innovation, collaboration, aesthetics and operations/functionality. The project won top honors out of 49 submissions and nine finalists for the award.

The Stormwater Pioneers Program
The Stormwater Pioneers program began in 2014 to recognize private property owners implementing superior stormwater management projects throughout the city. Highlighted projects showcase innovation, excellence, the ability to overcome technical challenges and a true dedication by the property owners, developers, engineers and designers to improve water quality and reduce stormwater runoff. The Philadelphia Water Department regulates stormwater runoff as part of its 25-year Green City, Clean Waters plan to improve the health of local waterways. More information about the CHOP Buerger Center and previous Stormwater Pioneer winners is available at

About the Philadelphia Water Department
The Philadelphia Water Department serves the City of Philadelphia by providing integrated water and wastewater services, which includes stormwater services. The Department plans for, operates, and maintains both the infrastructure and the organization necessary to purvey high-quality drinking water to provide an adequate and reliable water supply for all household, commercial, and community needs, and to sustain and enhance the region's watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and stormwater effectively. For more information, visit

About Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. For more information, visit