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Developers, Designers Tout Benefits of Building Green

Examiner.com
January 11, 2008


It’s the highest-rated green project in the Baltimore area, and it’s
become quite the marketing tool for its occupant, Century Engineering.
The company’s new corporate headquarters in Baltimore County has yielded annual
savings for the full-service engineering firm and stands as an example for
potential clients to see the positive environmental and financial effects of
green building. Current and prospective employees appreciate the modern design,
as well.

The four-story, 57,600-square-foot building, which Century Engineering moved to
in summer 2006 and totals about 200 employees, meets several standards set by
the U.S Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
rating system.

The office incorporates natural daylight, exposed mechanical systems and an
open-air environment. Efforts to reduce energy and water consumption help
Century Engineering total about $100,000 in annual operating savings.

“It just makes more business sense to think about how we’re affecting the
environment in the long run,” Francis Smyth, CEO of Century Engineering, said at
a green-building seminar Thursday in Baltimore. “LEED is forcing people to
rethink how they have been doing things for a long time.”

The project’s base cost was $7.8 million, with an additional $700,000 needed for
the building to reach several LEED standards, most of which went toward
optimizing energy performance.

Although the project in total cost $8.5 million, Century Engineering qualified
for a $1.1 million green-building tax credit from Baltimore County and a
$640,000 green-building tax credit from the Maryland Energy Administration,
bringing the effective project cost down to $6.76 million.

During the planning stages, Century Engineering’s building was one a few green
projects planned in the Baltimore area, said Monica Robertson, a senior
associate at Hord Coplan Macht, a Baltimore architecture firm that designed the
project. Many more green projects are in the planning stages in the area, as
developers and businesses understand the benefits of going green.

“Soon, LEED isn’t going to be an exception, it’s going to be a standard,”
Robertson said.

“This is getting people’s attention, and the energy side of this is huge,” said
Ed Hord, a senior principal of HCM. “This is an example of what’s going to
happen in the future.”

 

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