Debra McCarty

CHOP Gets Recognition for Leading with River-Protecting Green Design

When leadership at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia decided to create a brand-new, centralized facility for pediatric care, their primary concern was easing the stress young patients and their families often face while undergoing treatment.

Today, that vision is recognized at the 12-story Buerger Center, a colorful University City building that opened in 2015 with a playful, flowing façade that makes it feel like a distinct, long-cherished landmark.

Impressive features include a lush and winding 16,000 square foot roof garden and a ground-level plaza garden covering more than two acres. These spaces not only serve the mission of reducing stress for kids in treatment—they also reduce pollution in Philadelphia’s waterways.

By limiting the amount of stormwater runoff flowing into Philadelphia’s combined sewer system, where heavy storms can lead to overflows that harm local rivers like the Schuylkill, these green features are helping the City of Philadelphia in its drive to massively reduce this source of pollution in the coming years.

That attention to water quality protection and green design are what earned CHOP and the team behind the Buerger Center the 2017 Stormwater Pioneer award. Granted by the Philadelphia Water Department, the award recognizes forward-thinking stormwater management projects in the private sector.

Mayor Jim Kenney, Water Department Commissioner Debra McCarty and City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell will gather on the blooming 6th-floor roof garden with CHOP officials and the development team this Wednesday, July 26.

While the Buerger Center’s gardens are highly visible, much of the actual stormwater management takes place behind the scenes at the facility, which was designed to be LEED-Silver certified.

'5 Down' Video Recap: Green City, Clean Waters Praised as 'a model for America'

You might have heard: Philadelphia is celebrating five years of Green City, Clean Waters, a massive green investment in neighborhoods that is now keeping 1.5 billion gallons of polluted water out of our waterways over the course of a typical year of rainfall.

Philadelphia Water gathered with the wide range of partners who made beating our five-year targets for greening and pollution reduction possible to mark that achievement at the Fairmount Water Works last week. (See great photos of the event here.) The celebration included speeches from our commissioner, Debra McCarty, and representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection.

City of Philadelphia Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis—one of Philadelphia’s most dedicated advocates for improved recreation and green spaces—praised the program as a "model for America."

Mayor Kenney Names McCarty to Lead Philadelphia Water

Newly appointed Commissioner Debra McCarty (center). Mayor Kenney named McCarty to lead the department Jan. 1, 2016.
Newly appointed Commissioner Debra McCarty (center). Mayor Kenney named McCarty to lead the department Jan. 1, 2016.

Newly elected Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney rang in 2016 by naming Debra A. McCarty as the new Commissioner of the Philadelphia Water Department. McCarty, the first woman to hold the title of Commissioner, was serving as Deputy Commissioner and Director of Operations.

"I’m honored by Mayor Kenney’s appointment and look forward to building on work that has established the Philadelphia Water Department as a national model for what a modern water, wastewater and stormwater utility can be," McCarty said. "We will continue to provide 1.5 million people with top quality drinking water and improve and protect the health of our rivers while investing in innovative solutions to 21st Century challenges."

Syndicate content