Tuesday, October 20, 2009

MAEOE Moves Into Green Office Complex

The Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education has a new home in one of the greenest buildings in the state: The EnviroCenter in Jessup. Interest and demand for environmental education has steadily increased since MAEOE’s formation in 1985. While this move is designed to centralize operations to streamline client services, Bronwyn Mitchell, Executive Director for MAEOE added, “The new office will focus additional attention on the tremendous environmental education work being done by thousands of educators in hundreds of locations throughout the state.”

As the organization supporting environmental education professionals, it was important to select an office that reflected and complemented the organization’s mission. In the U.S. alone, buildings represent 39 percent of our primary energy use, consume 12.2 percent of our potable water (15 trillion gallons per year), and 40 percent of global raw materials. Green buildings significantly reduce this environmental burden, while providing a healthier place to work and live. “More than an office, the EnviroCenter is a teacher, textbook, and classroom,” explained Mitchell. “Each visitor to the office will leave knowing more about green building strategies and techniques than when they entered.”

A sampling of the EnviroCenter’s environmental attributes include:

· Walking distance from MARC commuter train between Baltimore and Washington
· ½ block from a Howard County Green bus line stop
· Maximum site density by saving an old 1905 farmhouse and incorporating it into the building
· Capturing of rain water for irrigation and landscape features by Water Savers, LLC
· Passive cooling design features
· Carpeting by “Interface” made with recycled materials and recyclable
· Bamboo flooring
· Siding made from recycled asphalt shingles
· Solar tubes and daylight shafts provide natural lighting and save energy
· Hydronic solar heating integrated with a radiant floor heating system for even, comfortable heating
· A 2.25 kW photovoltaic Solar electric system to offset the electric loads of the building
· A fiber optic daylighting system to focus light from outdoors to indoor light fixtures
· Use of biodiesel for supplementary heat
· Interior trim of wheat stalk boards and sunflower seed husks
· A living "Green" roof
· Environmentally friendly finishes with low or no volatile organic chemicals (VOCs)

MAEOE joins current EnviroCenter tenants in this green office complex, including: ASG, environmental design and construction consultants; Water Savers, working to provide solutions for water and energy conservation; The Green Building Institute, a non-profit offering green building courses; Phase II Architecture; and the Robinson Foundation, developing a nature center in Howard County. Founding partner, Stan Sersen, describes it as a community that shares business ideas, personal networks, and professional passions towards creating a more sustainable world. He explained that “MAEOE is the perfect complement to the suite of occupants. The organization embodies the past, present and future of environmental education in Maryland.”

MAEOE’s new address is:
7761 Waterloo Road Jessup, MD 20794
Tel: (443) 733-1212
Fax: (443) 733-1219

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