AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects

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The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Philip Merrill Environmental Center
(CBF Merrill Environmental Center)

To decrease water use and runoff, a rainwater catchment system on the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, shown in this photo, captures rainwater for use in fire suppression and in the building's sinks.
Photo credit: Williamson, Robb


  • Location: Annapolis, MD
  • Building type(s): Interpretive Center, Commercial office
  • New construction
  • 32,000 ft2 (2,970 m2)
  • Project scope: 2-story building
  • Suburban setting
  • Completed December 2000
  • Rating: U.S. Green Building Council LEED-NC, v.1.0--Level: Platinum
    Rating: Green Building Challenge --Level: 2.7 in GB Tool 1.76

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, an environmental advocacy, restoration, and education organization, is headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland.

Environmental Aspects

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Headquarters building is recognized as one of the "greenest" buildings ever constructed. Sustainability issues ranging from energy use to material selection were given serious consideration throughout design and construction of this facility. It was the first building to receive a Platinum rating through the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Rating System, version 1.0.

Owner & Occupancy

  • Owned and occupied by The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Inc., Corporation, nonprofit
  • Typically occupied by 80 people, 40 hours per person per week

This conventional office environment is open 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Weekend and evening functions are occasionally held at the Center.

Building Programs

Indoor Spaces:

Office (65%), Conference (10%), Mechanical systems (9%), Lobby/reception (4%), Circulation (4%), Restrooms (3%), Electrical systems (3%), Dining (2%)

Outdoor Spaces:

Restored landscape (48%), Wildlife habitat (40%), Parking (5%), Interpretive landscape (2%), Drives/roadway (2%), Pedestrian/non-motorized vehicle path (2%), Patio/hardscape (1%)


Integrated team, Design charrette, Training, Green specifications, Commissioning, Operations and maintenance, Transportation benefits, Open space preservation, Wildlife habitat, Wetlands, Indigenous vegetation, Stormwater management, Water harvesting, Efficient fixtures and appliances, Drought-tolerant landscaping, Graywater, Wastewater treatment, Massing and orientation, Insulation levels, Glazing, Airtightness, Passive solar, HVAC, Lighting control and daylight harvesting, Efficient lighting, On-site renewable electricity, Benign materials, Salvaged materials, Recycled materials, Local materials, Certified wood, C&D waste management, Occupant recycling, Daylighting, Natural ventilation, Ventilation effectiveness, Noise control, Low-emitting materials

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Last updated: 6/3/2004

Our thanks to the ENERGY STAR program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and to the U.S. Department of Energy, and to BuildingGreen, Inc. for hosting the submission and judging forms.

For more information about the AIA/COTE Top Ten Green Projects, contact AIA/COTE. For help on how to use this Web site, contact .

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