Chesapeake Bay Foundation


Philip Merrill Environmental Center

“The Merrill Center has been a major recruitment tool and a magnet for the audiences whose building projects we want to influence.”

—Will Baker, Chesapeake Bay Foundation CEO


Internationally-acclaimed as a model for energy efficiency, high performance and water conservation, the Phillip Merrill Center serves as an icon for sustainable design. When the Chesapeake Bay Foundation went to build a new headquarters, they envisioned the most environmentally-sensitive building possible, one that would be regarded as a pioneering model and provide their employees a high-quality workspace.

The SmithGroupJJR-designed foundation offices are a paradigm of sustainability. Recognized by Architect magazine as one of the Top Five green buildings constructed since 1980, its significance has endured for decades. Built at a time when high-performance buildings were few and far between, the Merrill Center demonstrated that green design strategies were achievable, affordable and beautiful. Clad in galvanized siding made by recycled metal, the headquarters uses 10 percent of the potable water and 30 percent of the energy of the typical office building. Passive-solar principles and outdoor-air ventilation slash annual lighting and HVAC needs, in addition to a broad range of sustainable design applications.

The headquarters has been featured in Time Magazine, Business Week, the CBS Evening News, as well as the Diane Rehm Show. It also plays host as a destination for public educational tours and talent recruiting.

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