Maryland Department of Transportation Headquarters

File Type: Free Content, Case study
Release Date: January 2005
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Maryland Department of Transportation Headquarters

Fast Facts

Address: Baltimore, MD
Company/Developer: Heffner & Weber
Design/Builder: Heffner & Weber
Property Type: Government Office
Square Feet: 110,000 square feet
Height: 5 stories

Building Description: The multi-use headquarters facility features state-of-the-art energy efficient building systems, “green” building standards, environmentally sensitive site design elements and cutting edge mechanical, electrical and telecommunications systems and distribution that include a first-of-its-kind Web-based integrated building management system offering desk-top computer control of building operating systems.


Located in a Smart Growth and Priority Funding area, this government building meets the state’s goal of focusing new development in areas of existing and planned growth to maintain consistency with local land use plans, promote the use of mass transit and reduce sprawl. Located adjacent to the Baltimore-Washington International Airport at Heffner & Weber’s BWI Corporate Center South, MDOT headquarters is a state-of-theart project that demonstrates excellence in sustainable design.

The building integrates green concepts and goals with a fully developed, cuttingedge, mid-rise design. Its immediate proximity to the crossroads of multi-modal transportation systems for the region was the primary factor in selecting its location. The building footprint was established to most efficiently use the path of the sun and the existing surrounding woods to aid heating and cooling. Through use of state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical systems, energy cost savings are projected at 48 percent.

A Green Model for Government Class A Office Space

Housing an ever-growing roster of 275 state employees, this 110,000-square-foot building enjoys more than $83,000 in annual energy savings when compared with buildings using only ASHRAE baseline standards. As a nonresidential Green Building of at least 20,000 square feet, MDOT also receives an 8 percent tax credit.

Green Features

Sustainable Sites

  • A long-span steel pedestrian bridge that provides access to and from the BWI Amtrak-MARC station and recreational hiker-biker trails.
  • Bicycle storage for up to five percent of building occupants.
  • Changing rooms and showers within 90 yards of bicycle storage.
  • Preservation of surrounding habitat during development through strict regulations, such as underground storm water management and adherence to a 100-foot limit of disturbance for wetland areas.
  • Reduction in impervious parking surfaces through inter-modal transportation planning.
  • Carpool and vanpool parking areas.
  • Use of vertical space to reduce building footprint.
  • Retaining walls to minimize grading disturbances.
  • A storm water management design that uses collected storm water to recharge the surrounding wetlands, preserving long-term site hydrology.
  • Erosion control that equals or exceeds EPA standards.
  • Brick pavers with high-albedo reflectance in more than 40 percent of non-roof impervious surfaces to reduce heat islands.
  • A highly reflective and innovative roofing system.
lobby of Maryland Department of Transportation Headquarters

Use of selected green materials, natural light and neutral color schemes provide a comforting and productive environment for employees and visitors.

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • Interior vision glazing that maximizes natural light for more than 90 percent of building occupants.
  • Demountable partitions in space layout for flexibility.
  • Use of low VOC adhesives, sealants, paints and carpet and no urea formaldehyde used in the composite wood products.
  • An air quality management plan that emphasizes HVAC protection, source control, pathway interruption, housekeeping and scheduling.
  • Indoor chemical pollutant control through a permanent entryway system in both the front and rear, and dedicated exhaust to areas with structural deck-to-deck partitions.
  • An HVAC system that maintains an air change effectiveness rate of .9 or greater in all building areas.

Water Efficiency

  • Drought resistant landscaping that does not require irrigation.
  • Waterless urinals, dual flush toilets with a 1.6 and .8 gallon flush and shower and faucet sensors and aerators to reduce water use by more than 30 percent compared to conventional standards.

Energy and Atmosphere

  • An HVAC system that includes high-efficiency boilers, chillers, air handlers and leading edge, energy-saving heat enthalpy wheels.
  • Daylight sensors, occupancy light sensors and fiber-optic technology dimming ballasts.
  • A building management system that integrates Web-based technology to provide maximum operational and energy efficiency.
  • HCFC- and halon-free HVAC, refrigerant and fire suppression systems.
Maryland Department of Transportation Headquarters common area

Typical multi-purpose common area on each floor: restrooms are located across the hall to the right, copy machine/fax/supply areas are next to kitchen areas.

Materials and Resources

  • A waste management plan to recycle more than 75 percent of construction waste.
  • Use of rapidly renewable and recycled content used in most interior finishes, such as carpet, ceiling tiles, ceramic tile, raised-floor tile, recycled rubber floor and toilet partitions made from recycled milk cartons and bubble gum wrappers; wheat board for millwork; and bamboo and cork tile for floor and wall finishes.

Innovation and Design Process

  • A provision for a five-year post-construction monitoring of the endangered bog fern and adjacent stream systems that includes monitoring of temperature, humidity, sunlight, groundwater elevation, groundwater quality and composition of the vegetative community.
  • Transport of a thousand square feet of existing bamboo to the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. to feed exotic baby elephants and apes.