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Southway Wins USGBC Maryland Wintergreen Award

Posted by on July 19, 2013

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (January 24, 2013) Southway Builders, Inc. has won a 2012 Wintergreen Award for Private/Commercial Project of the Year. The award is in recognition of the Royal Farms Store #100 at 36 Light Street in downtown Baltimore. The new store replaces the former Burke’s restaurant, which had occupied the space since 1934. Renovating the building was no easy task. Not only does the building sit on the busiest intersection in downtown maximizing community connectivity (5 LEED points) and access to public transportation (6 LEED points) but it’s also wrapped by an existing parking garage under separate ownership. Even though the City approved closing the bus lane and sidewalk on Lombard and half of the sidewalk on Light Street, closures were delayed six weeks due to the first annual Grand Prix resulting in much of the demo taking place during nighttime hours and waste being carried from the building in 5-gallon buckets and removed by pickup trucks.

The 16,200 square foot four-story building also provides three levels of office space above the Royal Farms Store. The project scope included all new windows and storefronts with the addition of three large masonry openings at the retail level. The original first floor deck had multiple elevations to match the exterior grade. As opposed to raising parts of the deck, the entire first floor was replaced and is now one level at grade to the west and accommodated through a few stairs or by ramp at the southeast corner. Many historical details were also taken into consideration during the renovation including replicating the original tin ceiling with new acoustical tiles.

Urban Site Selection

Even though it deviated from their traditional pad site building model, Royal Farms chose the former Burke’s building based on its urban site. As a result of this central location, the project was able to obtain most of the urban site credits for LEED. Store #100 is the only facility in Royal Farms’ portfolio without parking. And, while the owner had the option to raze the structure and build new, they chose to renovate and reuse over 90% of the existing building, which gave the project 6 LEED points the maximum of 5 for the credit, plus one regional priority credit.

Construction Waste and Material Reuse

Once Royal Farms took ownership of the building, many of the historic and nostalgic items left behind by the former Burke’s restaurant were sold at auction or donated for reuse to companies like Second Chance of Baltimore. Over 75% of demolition and construction waste, or approximately twenty tons of waste, was diverted from landfills. With the reframing of the first floor, over 140 joists were removed and reused off site. Recycled content and regional materials were utilized as appropriate and all finishes were low VOC. Low flow fixtures and LED lighting are used throughout the renovation and a storage tank was installed in the basement to collect used cooking oil, which is recycled by a third party into biodiesel fuel.

Operable Windows and Views

The renovated building also received new retail storefront openings and new windows. Adding new openings at the first floor created a faade in keeping with traditional downtown Baltimore streetscapes with retail at street level. In the three levels of office space above, the 100-year-old single pane windows were replaced with new high efficiency double glazed operable windows, which are not typical in office space but allows users to introduce fresh air in lieu of heating and cooling during certain times of the year. The new first floor fenestrations combined with the large replacement windows on the upper floors provides views in 98% of occupied spaces throughout the building.

Project Team

Owner: Royal Farms

Architect: Peter W. Ratcliffe & Associates

Contractor: Southway Builders, Inc.

*Photo: Michael Dersin Photography