2022 Groundbreaker Awards

Thu, 11/17/2022 - 6:00pm - 9:00pm

The Atrium at 1900 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

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This year's Groundbreaker Awards were a tremendous success and saw unprecedented participation from our Green Building United community who came out in-person for the first time in three years. With over two dozen nominee submissions across five award categories, our awardee selection committee was blown away by the level of commitment to green building practices and the creation of a healthy, resilient, and sustainable built environment for all that each project embodied. We are excited to share this year's awardees!

For a full breakdown of this year's nominees, awardees, guest speakers, and sponsor messages, view our Groundbreaker Awards program here. 

2022 Groundbreaker Awardees

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Philadelphia Energy Authority: Built to Last
Sustainable New Development or Renovation

The Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Built to Last program is targeting 60,000 homes throughout Philadelphia, delivering holistic repairs and improvements by coordinating city, state, and non-profit resources. The nominated project underwent a whole-home repair, including a new roof, full weatherization, fuel-switch from oil heater to mini-split heat pump, and a 5.8kW rooftop solar system.


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Iovance Biotherapeutics
Sustainable New Development or Renovation

This office / laboratory building in the heart of Philly’s Navy Yard achieved LEED Gold certification through ambitious stormwater management techniques, energy and water savings, and a commitment to minority and women-owned construction contracts participation.

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Francis Vargas, Elon Affordable Housing
Equity and Community Leadership

Over the course of his career, Francis has directly contributed to delivering thousands of units of affordable housing to the Greater Philadelphia region and is a true collaborator and community builder. Having served within numerous affordable housing development boards, organizations, and companies, Francis knows how to take on a challenge. As President of Elon Affordable Housing, he continually navigates market developments, publicly funded projects, all while balancing the needs of low income residents, and demonstrating time and again his leadership in the areas of sustainable construction and design.

990 Spring Garden
Sustainable Building Operations

990 Spring Garden used the Green Energy Loan Fund to make necessary upgrades to major equipment at this formerly industrial building that has turned into community workspaces. They upgraded their boilers to improve operational efficiency, installed brand-new water source heat pumps, and reconfigured the building's ventilation system and equipment.  The initial upgrades at 990 spring garden are the first step in a series of measures to not only replace aged equipment but also significantly reduce building energy use. Learn more by watching the nominee video to the left.


InSite and Brandywine’s Optimization Program at Cira Centre
Sustainable Building Operations

This program combined new technology and building operations and maintenance expertise to create algorithms that use and optimize Cira Centre’s existing Building Automation System. These measures have added up to over $115,000 dollars in rebates and over 1.7 million kilowatt hours saved.

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Marion Pulsifer
2030 District

Marion, who is a former teacher and retired attorney and consultant, currently leads the Independence Place Green Team and under her leadership she’s introduced a variety of green initiatives to her friends and neighbors. This past year, Marion singlehandedly led the charge in collecting over 150 responses to the 2030 District Transportation Survey that provided information about their building’s transportation emissions. As the former counsel to the State of California’s Department of Transportation and New York’s Federal Transit Administration, Marion understands the importance of quantifying transportation emissions to understand environmental impacts and to provide the data and insights necessary to advocate for the improvement of bike and pedestrian infrastructure in her neighborhood. 

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Angela Iraldi, Re:Vision
Member of the Year

Angela's passion for green building practices and commitment to the GBU community did not go unnoticed this past year. As a long time GBU member and princpal organizer of GBU's Passive House community, Angela plays an outsized role in educating and bringing others together around what it takes to build a resilient and healthy built environment. Her wealth of knowledge of all things green building and "can-do" attitude earns her this year's Member of the Year award. Congratulations, Angela!

Thank you to our sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Pillar Sponsor

Bridge Sponsors

Green Building United Legacy Partners

Green Building United Platinum Partners

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