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Green Modifications to the Henderson Buildings

Sustainable site design enhances accessibility to education and recreation facilities.
  • Exterior photo of the rear side of the HUB-Robeson Center and lawn - Gannett Fleming.

    Site alterations to the HUB-Robeson Center improved pedestrian circulation, accessibility, and stormwater management.

  • New multi-story brick classroom building on the campus of Penn State University - Gannett Fleming.

    Gannett Fleming engineers designed drainage and utility connections for the new 94,500-square-foot Biobehavioral Health Building.

  • Patio with outdoor tables and low brick retaining walls - Gannett Fleming.

    The new, larger patio outside of the HUB provides space for small concerts, speakers, and gatherings.

  • Older brick building with patio and landscaping - Gannett Fleming.

    Site improvements to the Henderson north building included the renovation of a small plaza behind the building. 

  • Sloping sidewalk leading to the HUB - Gannett Fleming.

    New pathways provide accessible pedestrian circulation around the HUB and Henderson buildings. 

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, Pennsylvania

Our Role

Construction Cost
$48 million
New Construction
3 years
  • A new 94,500-square-foot Biobehavioral Health Building provides additional classrooms and research facilities
  • Site upgrades reduce the amount of stormwater runoff, improving water quality
  • Compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act improves facility accessibility
  • Patio expansion provides larger venue for student recreation
  • Site design complements the HUB Lawn atmosphere.

Located between Old Main and the HUB-Robeson Center (HUB), the Henderson buildings are home to Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development. To meet the needs of expanding programs, the university decided to demolish the 12,000-square-foot Henderson Bridge Building built in 1958 that served as an extension of the original 1933 Henderson north building. In its place school administrators constructed a new Biobehavioral Health Building, a 94,500-square-foot LEED® certified classroom and research facility. 

In addition to the new building, modifications to this part of campus included site improvements for the historic Henderson north building and the nearby HUB student union center. Alterations improve accessibility and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), enhance outdoor recreation areas, and promote more sustainable stormwater management practices.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming designed drainage and utility connections associated with the demolition of the existing Henderson Bridge Building and the construction of the new Biobehavioral Health Building, which included realigning and upgrading existing utilities while maintaining services to adjacent buildings. Our engineers also designed stormwater management facilities and handled submittals for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and erosion and sedimentation control best management practices. Site designers removed existing pavement and asphalt, which was impervious to stormwater runoff, and, in doing so, reduced the quantity and improved the quality of water exiting the building site. A stormwater snout was installed at a low point in the adjacent roadway to trap oils and sediment from the pavement and further improve the surface-water quality runoff.

Our firm also provided civil engineering services for the renovation of the plaza outside of Room 10 of Henderson north and improvements to the lawn and patio areas of the HUB. Site alterations addressed stormwater management issues, improved accessibility and pedestrian circulation through, and around, the HUB lawn, and enlarged the HUB patio to provide space for a small stage for concerts, speakers, and gatherings.

Key Features

  • The new classroom building was constructed without disrupting utility services to surrounding buildings
  • Redesigned walkways improve pedestrian accessibility and circulation
  • An enlarged patio provides more space for student gatherings.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • A green roof on the Biobehavioral Health Building reduces stormwater runoff
  • Rainwater collected in an underground cistern is used for irrigation, reducing water consumption
  • A stormwater snout in the roadway traps oils and sediments from the pavement, improving runoff quality.

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