Our Clients Making Waves
Located in the northeast section of Baltimore City, The Maryland School for the Blind (MSB) is a private, statewide resource center providing outreach, educational and residential programs to children and youth from infancy to age 21 who are blind or visually impaired including those with multiple disabilities. MSB was founded and opened in 1853. Today it serves 60% of the 1,700 students in the state who are blind or visually impaired. However, it is the 164 years in between and the strong tradition of seeking continuous improvement that has sharpened the school’s resolve and positions the campus well for future growth.
Education at The Maryland School for the Blind is more than just teaching in the classroom. Its mission is to ensure students reach their fullest potential in the community by preparing them to become independent, well-rounded and successful citizens. Every year, their dedicated team of more than 380 teachers, therapists and support staff serves over 200 students with visual impairments and multiple disabilities on the school’s 110-year-old Baltimore campus. Additionally, they serve another 1,000 students, enrolled in local Maryland school systems via the school’s outreach programs and services.
Completeness and Need
In 2008, MSB’s president, Dr. Michael J. Bina, in coordination with the Board of Directors, developed and approved the “MSB School of the Future” campus master plan to replace and upgrade the aging campus buildings, many of which were unsuitable programmatically for the special needs of the student population. The majority of the MSB campus was built between 1900 and 1970 and primarily served students with blindness only. Over the past 40 years, the school’s mission changed to meet the complex needs of students with profound intellectual and physical disabilities. In addition to blindness, two-thirds of MSB students also have multiple disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, and severe cognitive impairments. MSB students require state-of-the-art, specialized, and supportive facilities.
Once the “MSB School of the Future” campus master plan was developed, a tapestry of financial supporters came together to bring the campus vision to fruition. The State of Maryland provided partial funding (approximately 84%). The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation provided partial funding for recreation areas. Additional private funders also contributed. As a private institution, the school was also responsible for as large a portion of the funding of the campus revitalization possible.
Without a doubt, the revitalization of MSB was necessary to support the… Continue reading
When Wexford Science and Technology set out to convert the old RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company Factory into a hub for biomedical research and information technology, no one would have guessed that they would cultivate over 1 million square feet of LEED Platinum space at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
On May 18, 2017, Lorax joined one of our esteemed clients, Wexford Science + Technology, for a One Million Square Foot extravaganza in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. This celebration marked the LEED Certification of over 1 Million Square Feet of space in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Team members gathered in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, which includes five completed projects and one building currently under development, to commemorate the feat.
Surrounding a 1.6 acre park, the campus houses a variety of spaces for innovation in biomedical science, technical research, and information technology. Wexford has worked closely with Wake Forest University to develop the complex into a hub of innovation.
The Million Square Foot Party included hundreds of guests, including team members back to the very first project. The evening started as guests enjoyed the beautiful weather in Bailey Park, sweeping views of all of the Wake Forest buildings, musical interludes, and even a magician! Lorax’s Neal Fiorelli presented the LEED Platinum plaques for Wake Downtown and The Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education, the most recently certified buildings, on the outdoor stage. From there, guests moved between courtyards while perusing photos of the incredible building transformations and enjoying a fantastic jazz trio. After cocktail hour, attendees made their way down the red carpet into the Wake Downtown building for the celebration dinner. The festivities showcased the incredible building design and sustainability, and boasted some fabulous food, great drinks, and beautiful ice sculptures to complete the scene. This extraordinary celebration served to recognize the hard work and dedication put forth by the entire project team and the advancement of biomedical science, technical research, and information technology at the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.
A Bit of Background
The Wake Forest Innovation Quarter consists of five buildings that all achieved LEED Gold or LEED Platinum, totaling 1,066,919 SF.
The Wintergreen Awards for Excellence in Green Building is always an exciting evening for the Lorax crew; new and sustainable venues to explore, interesting projects to learn from, excellent networking and mingling, and the nervous anticipation of the award ceremony. Every year, it warms our collective hearts to see our partners and clients honored and feel many of our projects lauded. We even had the opportunity to learn from the sustainable choices made throughout the design and construction of the new Exelon Building in Harbor Point. But this year at the 12th Anniversary Wintergreen Awards ceremony, Lorax Partnerships had a lot to celebrate!
Prior to the Wintergreen Awards this year, unbeknownst to us, a longtime friend and partner, nominated Lorax Partnerships for the USGBC MD Leadership Award for demonstrating leadership in sustainable design, environmental impact, social benefit, community involvement, and achievement within green building rating systems. Simultaneously, we nominated Baltimore City Public Schools, our partner in the Baltimore City Schools Construction Program, for the very same Leadership Award. When the list of finalists was published, we realized we were competing against them in the Leadership Category. Nothing like a little friendly competition!
Shock and Disbelief
As Sabrina Bachman, the Executive Director of the USGBC MD Community, began the award ceremony, Lorax settled in for a potential loss to our friend and competitor, Baltimore City Public Schools. Sabrina kicked off the award ceremony with the President’s Choice Award, the most competitive award, as all of the nominees – project and leadership – are eligible to receive it. We were all stunned when Sabrina announced “Lorax Partnerships!” We all looked at each other in shock as we were cajoled to the podium to accept the plaque and honor of receiving the President’s Choice Award!
Below is an excerpt from the award address:
“Let me share a little bit about Lorax Partnerships:
- Since its inception, Lorax has helped clients reach their sustainability goals, including through the completion of 188 green building projects.
- Lorax is deeply involved in USGBC Maryland as members, committee volunteers, and through past service on our local board of directors. Their expertise has benefited our USGBC network and other organizations and agencies looking to analyze the best use of rating systems and codes.
- Locally owned and operated from its base in Baltimore, Lorax provides sustainability and green building consulting… Continue reading
In Late January, the US Green Building Council released its annual list of the Top 10 States for LEED; the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system. The list ranks states in terms of square feet of LEED space per state resident. LEED certified buildings use less energy and water resources, save money, reduce carbon emissions, and create a healthier environment for building occupants.
In 2016, Maryland ranked seventh in the country by the US Green Building Council. Maryland certified 104 projects representing 13,426,623 square feet of real estate, which corresponds to 2.33 LEED certified square feet per resident, in 2016.
“I’m always proud to see Maryland on the list of top 10 states for LEED,” said Sabrina Bachman, director of community, USGBC Maryland. “I have the honor of seeing many of our exemplary sustainable building projects first-hand, and it’s wonderful for this local work to be recognized nationally, and even globally.”
- 7880 Milestone Parkway AP#9 in Hanover, MD – LEED Gold
- Cinemark at Towson Square in Towson, MD – LEED Silver
- Holiday Inn Express in California, MD – LEED Silver
- Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, MD – LEED Gold
- NIST – NCCoE in Rockville, MD – LEED Silver
- Royal Farms 173 in Randallstown, MD – LEED Certified
- Royal Farms 217 in Frederick, MD – LEED Certified
- Towson Fire Station in Towson, MD – LEED Silver
- Towson University Health & Counseling Center in Towson, MD – LEED Silver
2017 is well on its way to being another great year for LEED certified space in Maryland and for Lorax! For more information on the ranking, please see the USGBC Press Release.
Congratulations to our clients and friends who were selected as finalists for the US Green Building Council Maryland Chapter’s 12th Annual Wintergreen Awards! The Wintergreen Awards Ceremony will be held on January 26, 2017 from 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm at Exelon Baltimore Headquarters.
We wish to extend a few special congratulations to those in the running this year:
First and foremost, congratulations to Baltimore City Public Schools and the COPT Sustainability Committee… our fierce competition for Wintergreen’s Leadership Award! This award honors organizations and firms that have demonstrated leadership in sustainable design, environmental impact, social benefit, community involvement, and achievement within green building across Maryland. Lorax is thrilled to have qualified for this prestigious recognition and wishes the best of luck to all!
We also want to highlight Verde at Greenbelt Station for qualifying as 1 of the 3 finalists for the Residential Project Award! Verde will not only offer housing that is highly energy efficient, water efficient, and solar powered, but tenants will benefit from numerous sustainable amenities, such as preferred parking for fuel efficient vehicles, convenient access to DC’s public transportation, and plenty of green outdoor space for work and play. The three building complex is anticipating achievement of LEED BD+C: New Construction v2009 Gold in winter 2017. Working with Atapco Properties and The Dolben Company on this project has been a pleasure.
We look forward to celebrating all of the “Exelont” advocates of Maryland green building next week!
USGBC Maryland’s Wintergreen Awards for Excellence in Green Building celebrates projects, businesses, members and partners demonstrating excellence in high performance and healthy building design, environmental stewardship, community impact, and more. Network over great food and drinks with key green building professionals and sustainability supporters in our region!
Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony and event attendees will vote for the recipient of our People’s Choice Project Award! Details & Registration
On September 14th two of Lorax’s project managers, agents known as Katie 1 and Katie 2, embarked on a mission to the nation’s capital. While previously sworn to secrecy on the sustainable design plans, the groundbreaking ceremony was the perfect opportunity to unveil the top secret plot to achieve LEED certification for the new International Spy Museum building.
L’Enfant Plaza was filled with many other secret agents disguised as groundbreaking-luncheon-attendees. From Milton Maltz, the Founder and Chairman of the Spy Museum Board, to Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the event was abuzz with the underground intelligence community. Lorax agents were also able to strategize with fellow accomplices to the LEED mission including Hickok Cole Architects, Clark Construction, JBG Companies, Vanderweil Engineers, and the Malrite Company.
Disguised in red hard hats, all of the top agents prepared for groundbreaking as the program speakers covered the tactics that will be employed in order to successfully open the “expanded and revitalized” Spy Museum in 2018.
With construction officially kicking off, our team plans to use 30% recycled materials vastly reducing the impact on virgin and raw material resources as well as 10% regionally sourced materials to greatly reduce the negative effect of transporting these materials. We will also be diverting a minimum of 75% of debris from the landfill in order to achieve the project’s LEED and sustainability goals.
The intelligence Lorax gained on the history and educational offerings of the International Spy Museum has us readily prepared to accomplish Mission: LEED!
Congratulations to our client, Wexford Science and Technology! Wexford recently won The Talking Walls award from the North Carolina chapter of USGBC at the Green Gala and Sustainable Business Awards for Building 60 in Winston-Salem, NC. This award recognizes a successful integration of sustainability standards in the category of existing building renovations.
Building 60 is part of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. This state of the art district is home to a variety of academic institutions and companies, and fosters research and education in biomedical science, IT, clinical services, and digital media. Building 60 adds over 300,000 square feet of additional laboratory and office space in a major renovation of a historic building, and care was taken to maintain the historic integrity of the existing structure.
Building 60 targeted a very high level of sustainability and is expected to earn LEED Platinum certification. They have reduced both their energy and water use by over 40% for dramatic savings in both. They also reused 96% of the existing usable walls, floor and roof, and recycled over 90% of their construction waste.
Wexford targets a high level of environmental stewardship in all of their buildings and developments. For example, the three other projects in the Innovation Quarter, Wake Forest Biotech Place, Inmar/525 @ Vine Street, and 625 @ Vine Street all achieved LEED Gold or Platinum.
Congratulations once again to Wexford Science and Technology on their outstanding achievement!
This year, Lorax is taking a delegation of 4 representatives to GreenBuild International Conference and Expo Iconic Green located in Los Angeles, California. Lorax Project Managers will be in attendance from Tuesday morning October 4th through Friday October 7th to learn about new sustainable strategies, become familiar with green building technologies, learn from our peers, promote the achievements of our clients, and network with friends — both new and old.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Where you can find us:
- Greenbuild Plenary & Celebration
- Annual GreenBuild Raters Party: Epic After Party 2016
- Various Educational Sessions
- On the Expo Hall Floor
To join us at GreenBuild, go to http://greenbuildexpo.com/ in order to register for the conference and expo. And, if you would like to join us at the Annual GreenBuild Raters Party: Epic After Party 2016, contact us here! We have tickets!
Connect with us on social media to find us at the conference!
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/
This Earth Day, in recognition of our valued clients’ and customers’ commitment to sustainability, Lorax Partnerships is kicking-off ongoing participation in a tree planting program. Lorax has selected to participate in Replanting Our Forests, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation – a national nonprofit conservation and education organization committed to making our world greener and healthier.
Today, Lorax made a donation to the Replanting Our Forests program triggering the planting of 165 trees in our National Forests; these trees donated represent each of our 165 completed Green Building and Sustainability projects to date. Going forward, a donation will be made to the Arbor Day Foundation’s Replanting Our Forests program for each additional completed Green Building and Sustainability project on behalf of our clients.
Each tree planted helps to protect our watershed, improve air quality, preserve wildlife habitat, stabilize soil, reduce flooding events, increase reclamation, recover riparian buffers, sequester carbon, ensure future seed sources, increase revenue-generating recreation, and create jobs.
This Earth Day, Lorax is giving thanks to our clients and customers for their commitment to sustainability and green development, while also giving back to our earth.
With these gifts in mind, if you are looking to undertake an act of kindness on this Earth Day, consider your own contribution to https://www.arborday.org/.
Happy Earth Day everyone!