Philip Merrill Environmental Center, Annapolis, USAWhat is the LEED Certification?
Philip Merrill Environmental Center, Annapolis, Maryland, USA
The owner of Philip Merrill Environmental Center, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (founded in 1935), is an NGO, the main goal of which is to protect and restore the ecosystem of Chesapeake Bay. In 1998, the Foundation commissioned Smith Group to design the project. The construction built by Clark Construction Group, was opened on December 7, 2000. The center is named after Philip Merrill, an American diplomat and publisher who died in 2006. He donated $7.5 million for the project, the total cost of which was $11.6 million. Floor area is 3000 sq meters. It is considered to be the greenest building in the world and got LEED Platinum Certification for sustainability, efficiency, recyclability, environmentally friendly workplaces, innovation, and water and energy conservation. Due to developed strategies, the building manages to use approximately 50 percent less energy and 90 percent less water than any other building of the same type and size. Located on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, outside Annapolis, the center is surrounded with pure natural beauty and unique panorama of the Bay Ridge.
Cisterns on the roof of the building collect rainwater for reuse. Due to natural ventilation, the building doesn’t rely on air conditioning. Air pollution is reduced thanks to composting toilets. One of the main objectives of the project is to keep phosphorus and nitrogen away from the bay, by taking them out of the sewer stream. The center is also equipped with geothermal heat pumps.
By Astghik Atabekyan, www.building.am