Making Sustainability Part of the Design of Korman Quad

A rendering of what the future Korman Quad will look like.
A rendering of what the future Korman Quad will look like.

When Drexel University’s renovated Korman Quad reopens this fall, it will be more than just a new and improved central green for members of the University community to socialize, relax, study and play. It will also make the open space more sustainable and Earth-friendly, according to Alexine Cloonan, senior architect with Drexel Planning, Design and Construction, and Tom Amoroso of Andropogon Associates, the landscape architecture firm that designed the Quad renovations.

“Korman Quad’s environmental and social benefits will be in keeping with the University’s core values, as expressed in our Plan for the Public Realm,” said Nancy Trainer, associate vice president and University architect.

Here’s a look at some of the Korman Quad design features that will provide important environmental benefits to the University City Campus:

  • Reduces the impervious cover of the project area by 96 percent (two acres) through a combination of porous paving and planting areas. These features will remove approximately 700,000 gallons of water from the city sewer system each year while recharging ground water
  • Designed horticultural and structural soils will resist compaction and allow for increased permeability and healthier plant growth
  • LED lighting will save energy and reduce light pollution
  • Ground plantings and increased shade from the tree canopy will reduce the urban heat island effect
  • New native plantings will support bird life and beneficial insects. They include approximately:
    • 35 shade trees
    • 44 understory trees
    • 200 shrubs
    • 20,900 perennial plugs
    • 29,000 square feet of lawn

In addition to these sustainability features, Cloonan and Amoroso explained that the large canopy trees providing shade, comfortable seating inviting people to stay, and increased green space in the heart of campus are expected to have “biophilic” benefits, enhancing the physical and mental well-being that comes from a stronger connection to nature.