Monthly Archives: September 2015
With the help of Lorax’s consultation, in late 2014, Verde at Howard Square became the first LEED Platinum apartment building in the State of Maryland. As a wood framed apartment building containing 299 rental units with a 539-car parking garage, many thought this achievement would be impossible. This joint venture between The Dolben Company and Atapco Properties far exceeded everyone’s expectations.
This project was not originally intended to pursue LEED certification. After investigating the Howard County’s High Performance Building Credit, it became clear that the tax credit would offset the additional costs of LEED, making the certification a possibility. The credit is granted against the County Property Tax imposed on the building for five years. As the LEED achievement increases, the tax incentive increases as well.
As part of the projects’s environmental stewardship goals, the team was interested in the opportunity to add a solar array, which would make LEED Gold a certainty instead of a challenge. Solar produced a suitable return on investment and currently provides 13% of the total power consumed, tipping the project toward LEED Platinum as a possibility. Other sustainable features include StormTech technology treating 100% of stormwater on-site, 90.81% diversion of construction waste from landfills, and 26.65% recycled content. Every credit was selected carefully and documented flawlessly in order to achieve the final 80 points awarded to reach LEED Platinum. In this case, the financially and environmentally prudent decision was to pursue LEED.
On Tuesday, September 29th, as part of a USGBC Maryland Chapter program, Lorax was able to take a tour of Verde at Howard Square in its fully occupied state. Tenants were enjoying the gym, cars were parked under the solar canopy atop the parking garage, and the courtyard rain garden was collecting rain water. From a sustainability perspective as well as an occupant happiness standpoint, it was clear from the tour and info session that the project was a soaring success.
As interest in the business case for LEED projects grow, with Verde at Howard Square as model, Atapco Properties and The Dolben Company are ready to dive into the next phase of the Howard Square property. The neighboring plot of land is set to be a similar apartment building, targeting LEED Gold and accommodating the growing demand for sustainable luxury apartment buildings. After obtaining Platinum… Continue reading
On Friday, September 25th, Lorax Partnerships was highlighted by the US Green Building Council Maryland Chapter in their Feature Friday initiative as a Social Media Champion. See the feature image below.
Why would a Green Building and Sustainability Consulting Firm take pride in being featured as a “Social Media Champion?” Why do we care about connecting on social media if our mission is to “provide our clients the means to minimize their environmental impact, where they work and how they work, while helping them save money and improve their bottom line?” Social media engagement is certainly not explicitly outlined in our mission statement!
The answer is; we are a relationship based business. Having worked with over 80 architectural and engineering firms, multitudes of civil and landscape architects, commissioning firms, energy modelers, renewable energy providers, local utilities and environmental agencies at both the federal and state levels, our partnerships are strong creating an expansive knowledge base. Our relationships are symbiotic; our partners help us expedite the green building process, while we advocate for and promote our partners.
Social media is an avenue to reinforce and grow our relationships. We strengthen our relationships via social media by sharing what we are learning with those who might benefit from the knowledge transfer; highlighting how our clients are making waves in the industry through innovation; connecting with our partners at events; and giving credit for achievement to those who deserve it.
In this digital age, we recognize that relationships are no longer solely about face to face interaction. We strive to remain a relationship based business using whatever means are at our disposal.
Cheers to social media!
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoraxPartnershipsLLC
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Green_Lorax
Learn about us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/lorax-partnerships-llc
Join our Circle: https://plus.google.com/+LoraxPartnershipsLLCBaltimore/about
Check out our Website: http://www.loraxllc.com/
And then there were ten!
Wading through piles of resumes, Lorax spent months of 2015 evaluating nearly 100 applicants. And we found three great ones!
As of September 28, 2015, Tim Barranco joined the squad as our new Assistant Project Manager! With 3 years of experience in environmental engineering design and construction, Tim is the perfect fit for our expanding company. When he isn’t at work, Tim spends much of his free time running, biking, and kayaking around the city. Help us welcome Tim to the team!
You can see, we are settled into our new space, and all three new Assistant Project Managers, Katie, Hailee, and Tim, are quickly becoming key players on some of our most successful green building and sustainability projects. Come stop by to check out our new digs and meet our new faces!
A trend is growing in the Baltimore area. Buildings that were once or are currently intended to serve the Baltimore community in some capacity, whether to serve as the home of Baltimore’s urban service corps, provide low-income housing in a revitalizing community, or having once housed Baltimore’s City Hall, are now also pursuing a green building path in order to also serve the environment.
Clifton Mansion, expected to achieve LEED Gold certification by November 20, 2015, is the home of Civic Works, Baltimore’s urban service corps and an AmeriCorps program. Civic Works builds brighter futures by placing participants in job training opportunities and provides service experience for volunteers, particularly in weatherization, construction, and healthcare industries. Civic Works is also committed to creating a more sustainable, economically viable, environmentally responsible agriculture sector in Baltimore by producing fresh produce and planting trees. Their programs provide a pathway out of poverty, while making a positive impact on the environment by making home energy improvements, repairing homes, and securing living wage employment for those who complete the program.
Clifton Mansion, originally built between 1790 and 1801 by Henry Thompson, Captain of the Fly Artillery, 3rd Maryland Brigade in the War of 1812, was later purchased by philanthropist Johns Hopkins to serve as his summer residence. The City of Baltimore later bought the property in 1895 from Johns Hopkins University and has served many purposes since. Its new roof, rainwater-removal system, geothermal heat pumps, and efficient HVAC system, as well as specialized restoration techniques to recover original finishes, have all improved and repaired the building from the many different uses over the last several decades.
For Clifton Mansion, achieving LEED certification is not only a means to important funding opportunities, but is mission critical to the organization it houses.
CHAI Fallstaff Apartments
CHAI Fallstaff Apartments is a multi-family residential building pursuing the Baltimore City Green Building Standard Two Star Rating, as well as the Enterprise Green Communities certification – the first green building rating system in the nation to address the unique needs of the affordable housing sector. The Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc (CHAI) organization, a non-profit committed to developing and supporting thriving, stable communities in neighborhoods with a substantial Jewish population, is coordinating a moderate renovation of Fallstaff Apartments in the Park Heights neighborhood of Baltimore.
The project, a 3 story multi-family… Continue reading