By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More than two years after it was created with a federal grant, ground was broken today for Philadelphia’s “Energy Efficient Building Hub,” at its headquarters at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.

The Department of Energy chose Philadelphia to host one of five “innovation hubs” that would lead the country to its clean energy future.  Philadelphia’s particular mission: reduce the amount of energy used by buildings, especially older buildings.

Now in the third year of a five-year, $130-million grant, the hub will finally get its own building: a retrofit.

“Building 661 may have started out as a 1940s-era gymnasium,” noted Penn State president Rodney Erickson, “but after renovation it will be a model of energy efficiency.”

Penn State is the lead agency for the hub. It will also develop a new building nearby, using high-efficiency materials and techniques.

Officials say the buildings will serve as models for what the hub is trying to do.

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