URBN is a retail company specializing in merchandise with a vintage appeal with brands such as Urban Outfitters, Free People and Anthropolgie. In 2004, they sought out to transfer their corporate headquarters from five high rise buildings in Philadelphia to one central location: The Philadelphia Navy Yard.
The complex consists of eight buildings. The four office buildings (Buildings 7, 10, 12 and 15) house the corporate offices and office space for each of the three brand names. The fifth building (Building 543) incorporates services for the entire campus.
Mechanical, electrical and lighting systems are all designed to blend aesthetically with the architecture and exposed structure of the buildings. Mechanical systems within the buildings incorporate hydronic draft barriers and VAV, multi-zone air handling systems. All lighting is indirect, highlighting the open structure while providing high quality light.
Building 543 houses a central mechanical/electrical power plant that provides chilled water, hot water and high voltage power to each of the buildings. A central, underground utility distribution system runs beneath the street and connects the plant to all of the office buildings. The building also houses an 80 foot high central mall area that runs the length of the building. Within this space are koi ponds, bamboo forests, food preparation and dining areas, exercise areas and meeting spaces. The south wall is all glass and faces the Delaware River.
Building 14 utilizes a stand-alone chiller and boiler plant utilizing modular, high efficiency equipment. The building is used as a source of data for the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC), a U.S. DOE Energy Innovation Hub led by Penn State University. A series of sensors continually monitor ambient conditions; building occupancy, air quality, temperature and humidity; and mechanical system operation and performance. This data is utilized to further understand building performance, as well as allow URBN to fine tune operation of the systems.