Primary Project Team


Structural Engineer
MEP Engineer
Civil Engineer / Landscaping
Estimated Completion
Project Delivery Method

ASG, Inc.

Environmental Design and Resource Center
Forrester Construction
JDB Engineering Inc.
JDB Engineering Inc.
T.E. Scott & Associates
Cost Not Available

                The Envirocenter Phase II is a long building, whose North, West and East facing facades are primarily brick and _. The South facing façade is the focal point of the building, featuring a large glass atrium with a garden /common area inside (see fig. 1).  At the top of the atrium there are operable windows and exhaust fans.  Along the south facing roof is a bank of Solar panels.

fig 1. courtesy of ASG Inc.

Major Applicable Codes

IBC 2006
2006 ICC International Fire Prevention Code
2006 ICC International Mechanical Code
2006 NFPA Life Safety Code
2006 National Electric Code
2006 National Plumbing Code
Maryland Accessibility Code
2006 ICC International Energy Conservation Code


Howard County Zoning Regulations, August 2007, Maryland.
Zoning District: M-2
Permitted Uses: Farming, Office, Retail
Height Limitations: 50 ft with minimum setback;  Additional 1 foot for every 2 feet of setback above minimum – max 100 ft.

Historical Requirements

No Applicable Historical Requirements.

Building Enclosure

One of the primary facades of the building is the glass atrium, using Low-E glazing to reduce solar heat gain.  The North, East and West walls are mostly cement siding hung on CMUs with an airspace between the CMUs and the interior gypsum board.  There is a bit of brick on the first floor of the North façade near the entrance on studs. The roofing is fairly simple, being made of structural insulating panels and finished with asphalt shingles, with rubber roofing covering the small flat areas around exhaust fans.

Sustainability Features

The Envirocenter includes many sustainability features including Solar panels on the roof, a geothermal heat pump, earth-tubes for pre-treating the air and radiant mass walls and floors in the main office area of the building. Its intention is to be a LEED platinum rated building.



The delivery method for the ECPII is a traditional design-bid-build, with ASG Architects leading the project, and JDB Engineering providing most of the engineering work.  Forrester construction is the GC on the job.


The ECPII will have a 120/208 V three phase/4 wire primary electrical system.  In addition to purchasing power from the grid, the ECPII has an array of PV panels on its roof, as well as a bank of batteries for energy storage.


Lighting in the ECPII will be provided by a combination of compact fluorescent and halogen lamps.  These will also have energy efficient control systems so keep costs low.


The structure of the ECPII consists mainly of 4000 psi concrete slabs and structural HSS columns with wide flange beams and girders. A typical slab is a 3” deck with 6” of topping including radiant piping inside of the slab.  These slabs are supported by W18X40 girders, and W12X22 joists. Vertical elements are mostly HSS8X8X14, with some variations as loads require.


The ECPII has a VAV cooling system along with radiant heat.  Additionally, ventilation air is pretreated by a series of earth tubes, which use the naturally stable temperature of the earth for free heating/cooling.  The hot/chilled water for these systems is provided via two 120 MBH reversible ground source heat pumps which, depending on the season, produce either heated or chilled water through a plate and frame heat exchanger.  Hot water travels to terminal VAV reheat units where the ventilation air is heated, as well as to the slab floor/mass wall to provide radiant heat.  Chilled water goes to a large cooling coil located at the exit of the earth tubes where air that is cooled by the earth, is brought down to design temperature.

Fire Protection
All occupied spaces in the building are to be protected by a wet pipe sprinkler system.  The system is designed to be NFPA 13 compliant.



Note: While great efforts have been taken to provide accurate and complete information on the pages of CPEP, please be aware that the information contained herewith is considered a work-inprogress for this thesis project. Modifications and changes related to the original building designs and construction methodologies for this senior thesis project are solely the interpretation of Christopher Lorenz. Changes and discrepancies in no way imply that the original design contained errors or was flawed. Differing assumptions, code references, requirements, and methodologies have been incorporated into this thesis project; therefore, investigation results may vary from the original design.

This page was last updated on Wednesday, September 7, 2011
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