News Brief

First LEED Platinum Natatorium in the Nation

The Kappen Aquatic Center houses a wheelchair accessible pool and therapy area, a mushroom water feature, and textured flooring to guide students and ensure their safety at the Overbrook School for the Blind.

Photo Courtesy Overbrook School for the Blind

Designed to use over 40% less energy than a conventional natatorium, Philadelphia’s 25,000 ft2, $11 million Kappen Aquatic Center at the Overbrook School for the Blind is the first LEED Platinum swimming pool center in the U.S. Much of the energy savings is achieved through off-peak energy use, a well-insulated building envelope, and a mechanical dehumidification system that uses hot gas heat recovery. The dehumidifier will provide around 100,000 gallons of sanitized condensate to the pool annually, and free pool water heating. The building automation system uses software and a demand-control system to maintain optimum energy efficiency. The project employs water-saving fixtures and landscape design, as well as local, recycled and low-VOC materials. Sensitive to the 200 visually impaired and handicapped students, the team designed both electric lighting and daylighting to reduce contrast and glare; tactile floor elements were incorporated for safety. Since the Overbrook pool was certified in August 2009, another aquatics center at East Portland Community Center in Oregon has also been LEED Platinum certified. For more information visit


Published October 29, 2010

Emily, C. (2010, October 29). First LEED Platinum Natatorium in the Nation. Retrieved from

Add new comment

To post a comment, you need to register for a BuildingGreen Basic membership (free) or login to your existing profile.