Development

Schilling Green II

File Type: Free Content, Case study
Release Date: November 2013
Average Rating:       (0 Ratings)
exterior view of the Schilling Green II office building

Fast Facts

Address: Hunt Valley, Maryland
Company/Developer: Merritt Properties
Project Specs: New construction
Project Type: Office
Square Feet: 126,000

Project History: In a testament to Merritt’s long standing commitment to environmentally responsible construction, Schilling Green II transformed a previously developed site and outdated warehouse into a showcase for sustainable commercial real estate. Seeking to build on the momentum established by Merritt’s award-winning renovation of Schilling Green, located across the street from Schilling Green II, Merritt razed the existing 85,000-square-foot warehouse building and its parking lot in order to construct a new four-story green office building.

The project was motivated by EA who signed on as the building’s first tenant, leasing 50 percent of it for 12 years. EA needed to consolidate their offices while maintaining their presence in the thriving business community of Hunt Valley. This community offers enormous nearby amenities and easy access to public transportation routes and major highways. The buildings in the market, however, are 31 years of age on average. Interested in a new location for their headquarters, EA also shared in Merritt’s philosophy on sustainability. Fortunately, Merritt had an existing site that needed to be redeveloped, thus making it a good fit for both parties. Additionally, both Merritt and EA received several incentives from the county to move forward with this project, including the five-year property tax credit that was previously mentioned.

Now complete and more than 90 percent occupied, Schilling Green II has been a tremendous economic success for Merritt. In addition, the building has achieved LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and was recently recognized by the Associated Builders and Contractors for its excellence in design and construction:

  • 2012 Green Project of the Year from the Associated Builders and Contractors – Baltimore Chapter
  • 2012 Merit Award of Excellence for a New Project Over $10 Million from the Associated Builders and Contractors – Baltimore Chapter

Commitment to Sustainability

Since the company’s inception, Merritt Properties has been committed to developing commercial buildings that are of maximum value to our clients. To accomplish their goal, they build high-quality, energy-efficient buildings utilizing the latest technologies and improved materials to provide the best possible working environment for their customers. As a natural evolution of this commitment, Merritt has embraced the emergence of green building and the LEED Rating System — leading the industry in the greater Baltimore area.

Schilling Green is the first LEED Core and Shell project in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan area to be certified as Platinum. Additionally, their buildings at 6518 Meadowridge Road, Elkridge, Md. and 3901 Calverton Boulevard, Calverton, Md. are certified LEED-CS Gold, and their building at 8840 Stanford Boulevard in Columbia, Md. is certified LEED Gold for Existing Buildings, Operation and Maintenance. In addition, Merritt currently has more than 25 projects in various stages of the LEED certification process.

Merritt also has an internal green team, comprised of at least one member from each of our eight departments, to provide perspective and ideas from all aspects of our company. Their goal is to find ways to incorporate sustainability measures into their day-to-day business, focusing on energy efficiency, resource management and waste reduction — not only for their operations but also for their customers. In addition, Merritt currently employs nine LEED Accredited Professionals who guide their green building projects and assist their customers in developing greener work spaces.

Furthermore, Merritt will host building tours and publish educational brochures to educate the community on how LEED Platinum was achieved at Schilling Green II.

Green Features

Economic Analysis

  • Despite difficult economic times, Schilling Green II has been a financial success for Merritt, spear-headed by EA Engineering, Science and Technology, Inc. (EA) who signed on as the building’s first tenant, leasing 50 percent of the building for 12 years. An additional tenant signed before the completion of the building and, within six months of delivery, three more tenants signed leases as well, bringing the occupancy level to more than 90 percent.
  • In addition, the building has not only met its proforma, but it has also achieved top-of-the-market rents in a market that is currently averaging 12 percent vacancy for office buildings according to CoStar.
  • Schilling Green II yields utility expenses that are more than 25 percent lower than the average office building in the market. Additionally, with achieving LEED Platinum certification, the building received a five-year property tax credit of 75 percent from Baltimore County, as well as an energy incentive from the local utility company. It also underwent a cost segregation analysis which provided accelerated depreciation for additional tax savings.
  • The success of Schilling Green II has not only proven that the surrounding community continues to demand office space in this area, but also that building green is a financially viable option for commercial office space in the Hunt Valley market, which has seen rapid growth during the past decade.
lobby of the Schilling Green II  office building

Materials Use

  • Resource conservation was a major focus in the redevelopment and design of Schilling Green II. Merritt created strict guidelines to ensure that as much of the demolition material as possible was kept out of landfills and turned back into usable materials.
  • More than 80 percent of the demolition waste was recycled and used in the new parking lot as fill material, including more than 7,350 tons of crushed concrete from the original warehouse building. 38.24 percent of all materials contained recycled content.
  • 53.36 percent of all materials were extracted and manufactured within 500 miles of the project site.
  • All materials were low-to-no-VOC.
  • 91.03 percent of the wood materials used are FSC certified.
  • In the end, more than 94 percent of the construction waste was diverted from landfills.

Energy Efficiency

  • The design of Schilling Green II included a completely new and innovative building envelope unlike any other Merritt office building. The roof insulation was increased from the typical R-17 to an R-20 and used a white TPO roof to reduce the heat gain to the building. The biggest change occurred in the wall section of this building. Rather than using the typical brick and block building skin with interior batt insulation, Merritt implemented a design that included perimeter light-gauge framing with three inches of spray foam insulation on the exterior then a brick veneer. This improved the effective thermal performance of the insulation in the building’s walls from R-11 to over R-20. Coupled with the low-e, highly reflective glass, this helped to significantly reduce the energy use and the building’s operating expenses.
  • In addition to including a new wall section, Schilling Green II also implemented a completely new HVAC system. This design actually combined three systems to maximize the energy efficiency. Using the building’s underfloor air distribution system, highly efficient Aaon roof top units with digital scroll compressors provide conditioning to the core of the building. The perimeter heat gain/loss is handled with a Daikin variable refrigerant system.
  • The site lights were replaced with newer technology utilizing more efficient lamps and lowering the height of the poles to reduce light trespass off of the property. The lighting also operates on the building automation system which turns off half of the site overnight to conserve energy.
  • The lighting system in Schilling Green II uses efficient T-5 lighting in the tenant and common areas and LED lighting was implemented in the lobby to reduce energy and maintenance costs. The building also uses a solar hot water system and a 25 kW photovoltaic system to reduce the dependency on the energy grid and green power was purchased for 100 percent of the core and shell energy use for two years.
  • These strategies allowed Merritt to achieve all of LEED’s Optimize Energy Performance credits and energy cost savings of 28.6 percent. To ensure that the building is operated to its full potential and that these savings are actually realized, Merritt installed a complete sub-metering system that is monitored remotely on a daily basis.

electric charging stations at the Schilling Green II  office building

Water Efficiency

  • To lessen the burden on the municipal water supply, waterless urinals, dual flush toilets and self-metering faucets were installed in the building, resulting in a 48.1 percent decrease in the potable water consumption.
  • Water bottle filling stations were installed alongside the water fountains to promote the use of refillable water bottles in the building.
  • The landscaping at Schilling Green II was also designed for water conservation by using native, drought tolerant species along with minimized areas of turf to reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation. A combination of drip irrigation and highly efficient spray nozzles in addition to an irrigation weather station reduced the water needed for irrigation by 58.9 percent.

Accessibility

  • Schilling Green II is located just minutes from I-83 and I-695 and within walking distance to the Hunt Valley Light Rail terminal which encourages occupants to use mass transportation. There are also designated carpooling spaces along with two electric vehicle charging stations and low emitting vehicle spaces giving preferred parking to occupants who elect to use those methods of transportation.
  • The site has bike racks and showers to accommodate those occupants who elect to ride their bikes to work.
  • The building is situated in close proximity to the Hunt Valley Town Centre and many other amenities minimizing the need for vehicular travel by building users. Schilling Green II also has a courtyard and sidewalks to promote walking and community connectivity.

Site Development

  • Schilling Green II is a redevelopment of an existing warehouse building. By using a site that had been previously developed, Merritt contributed to reducing the development of farmland and other greenways. The existing site is also a brownfield site which required significant asbestos abatement prior to any work.
  • The site is designed to meet, but not exceed, the county required parking of 3.3 spaces per 1,000 squarefeet as well, and the lighting design also ensured that no light trespassed outside of the site boundary by using more efficient site lights and lowering the heads from the standard 30 foot poles to 20 foot poles.
  • Although this redevelopment project did not add any impervious area, Merritt still installed an underground facility to treat the quality of the storm water runoff. The site also maximized the open space by providing open space equal to 31.9 percent of the project’s site area, despite the fact there was not a requirement from the  local municipality. This included a courtyard feature and walkways tying the existing park together with the surrounding community.
  • The landscaping design called for the use of local plant species and reduced the areas of turf so the irrigation requirement would be reduced.
  • Merritt specified a white TPO roof on the building and implemented a green roof component and photovoltaic panels to reduce the heat island effect.

Innovation

  • Merritt designed a completely new wall section that utilized three inches of spray foam on the exterior of the framing, providing not only a continuous water and vapor barrier, but also continuous insulation that improved the effective thermal performance from R-11 to over R-20. This change, along with improved efficiency in the low-e glass and the roof insulation, set the foundation for a new company precedent in energy reduction.
  • Another leading-edge design is the use of an underfloor air distribution system. This system allows tenants to run all of their cabling and electric under the floor providing ease for future moves and expansions. Additionally, the underfloor air distribution system gives each occupant control of the thermal comfort in their area by providing each person with their own floor diffuser. It also provides effective delivery of fresh air to the breathing zone, supporting the comfort and health of the building’s occupants and contributing to the reduction of energy usage in the building.
  • This building combines two HVAC systems into one, maximizing energy efficiency. The most efficient roof top units on the market are used to condition the core area, while a variable refrigerant volume system is used to treat the perimeter for skin loss. This is the first time in the U.S. that these two systems have been used in combination with an underfloor air distribution system. In order to get these systems to function together properly, there is an expansive building automation system that can be managed remotely via the Internet.
  • Other innovative features in the building include a complete smart metering network that remotely monitors electric usage on a minute-by-minute basis, including tenant sub-metering, breaking it down to HVAC, lighting and plug load for each floor. This will help Merritt gain a full understanding of how the building operates. There are also two electric vehicle charging stations on the site.
  • Both Schilling Green and Schilling Green II have been modeled to reduce energy usage by more than 25 percent over the latest ASHRAE energy code. The number of LEED Platinum buildings in the Baltimore area is limited and pursuing that level of LEED in itself is raising the bar for the suburban office market.