The STEPS Building houses Lehigh University's innovative new Science, Technology, Environment, Policy and Society program, which integrates the sciences, environmental studies, engineering and the social sciences. The facility incorporates a number of sustainable features, including stormwater retention and a highly insulated building envelope, which helped it achieve LEED Gold.



  • Bethelehem, Pennsylvania, USA



Project Status

  • Completed

Sustainable Practice for Integrated Design

The multi-storied, 135,000-square-foot facility is located at the corner of Packer Avenue and Vine Street on the main Asa Packer Campus. The design team introduced technological and sustainable practices to achieve a fully integrated design. A substantial green roof on the one-story wing reduces heat and allows storm water retention. A highly insulated building envelope maximizes energy efficiency. Glass is low E, fritted and tinted depending on orientation; air-handling units are right-sized to conserve energy and lower fuel and operating costs.

Additional strategies include radiant heat, industrial low-speed fans and a building management system to track energy usage. The building's chase and shaft arrangement assures flexibility for repurposing as needed. Day-lighting strategies for light penetration, glare reduction and visual comfort contribute to a superior interior environment. To improve indoor air quality, the architects used natural materials, low- and zero-VOC products and applied high ventilation standards.