About Strada

Strada means “street” in Italian. Streets matter to us. They’re the fundamental infrastructure of our cities and the core of our civic lives. They’re the connections between buildings, people, and public spaces. This is why we’re so inspired by them and it’s a shared commitment to these values that brought our principals together. Just as people mingle on city streets, our office is a place where we freely exchange ideas, challenging and inspiring one another to create exceptional work.

Latest Post

6 Signs Your Office Needs a Refresh

10.2017

When was the last time you refreshed your office, academic, or social space? If the answer is 10 years or more, it’s definitely time to consider making updates. Maintaining a workplace that is relevant and performative is critical to keeping a sharp competitive edge. It also helps recruit and retain the best talent while improving ...

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Offices

Pittsburgh

611 William Penn Place
Suite 700
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

p: 412.263.3800
f: 412.471.5704

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info@stradallc.com

Philadelphia

718 Arch Street
Suite 5N
Philadelphia, PA 19106

p: 215.440.0190
f: 215.440.0197

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A sustainable renovation of a national historic landmark

About the project

Friends Center in center city Philadelphia has been a locus of Quaker worship and action for 150 years. The 1.26-acre campus includes the historic Race Street Meetinghouse built in 1856 and a 56,000-square foot office building constructed in 1972. In recognition of its role in the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, and the civil rights movements, the Meetinghouse was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed as a Philadelphia historic site.

When planning for the first major renovation and restoration of its facilities since 1974, Friends Center adopted the principles of sustainable design in keeping with the Quaker traditions of peace, justice and the “right-sharing” of resources. Two goals ultimately governed the project: to become fossil fuel free and to protect the watershed from further degradation by reducing water usage and stormwater runoff.

One of the most innovative sustainable design features is a field of seven 8” geothermal wells used to heat and cool the campus. The wells extend from 650’ to 1500’ below the sidewalk on 15th Street and are the first deep standing column geothermal wells in urban Philadelphia. Other green features include: a vegetated roof on the office building that captures rainwater on-site; a 10-kW photovoltaic array to provide supplemental electricity; a rainwater harvesting and storage system in the Meetinghouse that provides water for toilet flushing in the office building; a “Plug Load Policy” to control energy consumption; and use of “daylight harvesting” strategies to reduce the need for area lighting and unnecessary cooling loads.

In addition, the project renewed the understated elegance of the historic Meeting House by stabilizing the building envelope, correcting structural deficiencies, repairing water damage, restoring the two meeting rooms, removing interior partitions, reestablishing extensive daylighting, and installing new carpeting, energy-efficient lighting, and a new fire alarm and basement sprinkler system.

The Friends’ Office Building renovation earned LEED Platinum certification, scoring the highest number of points for any project in Pennsylvania at the time of its completion.

“We are acting in a socially responsible way because that’s what we want to see the world do. We are pioneering because we have committed ourselves to something bigger than money, and bigger than technology.”

– Patricia McBee, Executive Director, Friends Center

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