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USGBC Maryland Celebrates 2020 Community Leader Award Winners at Wintergreen

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Maryland Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC Maryland) community announces its 2020 Leadership Awards recipients at the annual Wintergreen networking and awards event. More than 115 green building advocates from across Maryland came together at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, Maryland, to celebrate this year’s eight recipients, who were recognized for excellence in high-performance building design, environmental stewardship, and community impact.

The Leadership Awards celebrate the building projects that have earned LEED certification in the past year, as well as the leaders who continue to promote green buildings in their communities. The awards highlight projects that are transforming Maryland and have made the state a national leader in sustainable development. Maryland was recently recognized as ranking sixth on USGBC’s list of Top 10 States for LEED in 2019.

Leadership Awards Recipients
Innovative Design, New Construction: The Unisphere

The United Therapeutics Unisphere is designed to meet zero net energy and carbon goals. The building’s tapered, elliptical form is oriented to take advantage of available daylight, with a one-megawatt solar array consisting of nearly 3,000 solar panels mounted to the building’s roofs and facades.

Visitors enter a central atrium, which acts as a thermal chimney to induce building airflow, and an underground concrete earth labyrinth provides passive heating and cooling of the space. Other energy-saving strategies include a closed-loop geo-exchange system, an active chilled beam system, a storm water heat rejection system, a swimming pool that doubles as a heat sink, electrochromic glazing, and a super-insulated envelope. The automation system, which integrates six control systems and over 11,000 devices into one platform, optimizes the building’s performance and can learn over time.

Innovative Design, Interiors: Hord Coplan Macht Baltimore

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The Hord Coplan Macht Headquarters project is an interior build out of the 12th floor of the Candler Building in Baltimore, bringing together HCM’s Baltimore employees from two locations. Sustainability and well-being strategies used in the design include incorporation of a toy room and a wellness room, lighting and workstation design, post-occupancy comfort surveys, and improved water quality with continued testing.

Acoustics were a challenge with a focus on collaboration and open space, so additional acoustical ceilings were added to meet performance requirements. The designs were also challenged by the age of the existing building’s mechanical systems, but the MEP team worked with building management to use existing components and add new ones as needed.

Innovative Design, Residential: Studio 3807 Apartments

This new urbanism-inspired complex in Brentwood, Maryland, includes a 147-unit multifamily apartment building, ground floor retail and artist’s studio space, and 15 townhomes. The building is part of a resurgent artist’s district, which is reflected in the buildings’ contemporary style and use of local art throughout. The retail bay is home to the first African American-owned food hall in Prince George’s County.

The project team focused on the tenant experience with well-insulated walls, high-efficiency windows and conditioned fresh air. The building’s common areas are powered by a rooftop solar array, and a white membrane roof and encapsulated parking garage reduce the heat island effect. To ensure continued sustainability performance, a tenant fit-out manual was created to promote awareness of responsible energy and materials use for commercial tenants.

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Community Champion: Metro Heights at Mondawmin

Metro Heights at Mondawmin is located on an infill site in Baltimore’s Mondawmin neighborhood, an area affected by the 2015 Baltimore uprising. Developed and owned by Enterprise Community partners, the complex includes market-rate and affordable units, along with specially designated units for individuals with disabilities or who were formerly homeless.

Energy-efficient HVAC equipment, lighting, and low-flow plumbing are used throughout the buildings. The design team used fiber cement siding on the rear of the building, vinyl windows, and creative stormwater strategies to reduce costs while still meeting sustainability goals. The design process was collaborative among the project team members and the local community, and an educational partnership was created with Baltimore nonprofit Parks & People Foundation.

Green Schools, K–12: AstraZeneca Child Care Center

This child development center on AstraZeneca’s campus accommodates 180 children up to age six and provides after-school programs for 40 school-age children. The center’s design supports goals of sustainability, student wellness, and resiliency. Geothermally-driven floor slabs provide the foundation for the curving linear structure and are viewable via a window to students. All dirt generated by digging the building into the hillside was reused on site, and 23 boulders uncovered during construction were incorporated into outdoor play zones.

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Classrooms are arrayed along the southern exposure, with windows and doors opening onto outdoor spaces, including a terraced garden for food and other plant growing. A rainwater harvesting system provides all toilet flushing and graywater use for the building, and a PV array over a portion of the parking area provides approximately 14 percent of the power required for the facility.

Green Schools, Higher Ed: UMB Design and Construction Offices

This interior fit-out project was the first LEED v.4 project for the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Material selection was paramount to demonstrate the sustainability and wellness features of the space while remaining within the university’s budget. The layout allows daylight to be shared throughout the space, which features an interior green wall and renewable or recycled finish materials like bamboo, cork, recycled rubber, and reclaimed wood. The campus’s energy monitoring system shows that the office’s daylighting and smart LED lighting system have reduced the energy use in the new space.

Green Leader Volunteer Award: Zolna Russell

Zolna Russell is a longtime member of the USGBC community. She has supported local sustainability through the USGBC Maryland Board, Education, and Programs Committee, the USGBC national Technical Advisory Group for the Sustainable Sites credit, and most recently as a Co-Chair for the 2019 USGBC Maryland Women in Green Leadership Breakfast.

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Russell, who works at Floura Teeter Landscape Architects, aims to improve community and ecological systems by making engaging places for both. As both a LEED and SITES Accredited Professional, Zolna has led partnerships with local organizations that helped deliver LEED projects across Maryland.

Community Change Agent: St. Johns Properties International

St. Johns Properties is a Maryland-headquartered developer that has a total of 66 buildings that have earned LEED certification, with more on the way. Since initiating its LEED program in 2009, the company has improved the lives of Maryland, Virginia, and Utah residents through the development of more than 4 million square feet of LEED Gold, Silver, or Certified space. Going forward, nearly every new building under construction is designed to earn LEED certification, including those built in Colorado, Louisiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

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