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Boordy Vineyards uncorks new winemaking building

Boordy Vineyards toasted the opening of its new $3 million winemaking facility this month, which it's billing as the largest project in its 68-year history.  
The 11,500-square-foot building in Hydes is composed of a main production facility, a laboratory, two wine-storage warehouses, a bottling room and a room for shipping wine. 
The additional space allows the Baltimore County vineyard to increase production by about 62,000 gallons, to a total of 170,190 gallons. It also allows for more quality control of the fermentation process, says Boordy Vineyards’ Phineas Deford.
The new building is located adjacent to the barn that Boordy Vineyards has been using to produce their wines for 34 years. The barn did not allow for a temperature control during the winemaking process, which is a feature of the new building. The previously used barn will be converted into a barrel cellar.
Boordy Vineyards will offer tours twice a day, seven days a week, and President Robert Deford says that they will allow guests to tour the facility, as long as the winemaking process is not underway. The winery receives 60,000 visitors per year, making it one of the top tourist attractions in the county. 
Vineyard staff has worked to match the architecture of the new facilities with the old buildings on its 240 acres of farmland.
“Building a building here of this sort is actually a real responsibility, an aesthetic responsibility, in that it’s going to be here for a long time and we felt that it had to reflect and harmonize with traditional architecture,” Deford says.
Boordy Vineyards has also made the building environmentally sound with the roofs facing south so that solar cells can be added once the construction is complete.

Boordy produces a number of white and red varietals, including chardonnay, pinot grigio, merlot and shiraz. The expansion was funded with Boordy's own money and bank loans.

Writer: Daryl Hale
Source: Robert and Phineas Deford

Chesapeake Bay Trust To Award Green Grants

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is considering applications from towns and cities in Maryland and neighboring states to spur economic development, energy efficiency and sustainable communities. The trust is awarding a total of $400,000 in environmental grants to the Free State and Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. 
The grants are for a program called Green Streets-Green Jobs-Green Towns. The program was introduced in 2011, a partnership of the trust, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Maryland.
This year’s funding more than doubles the amount available in 2011, when 10 cities and towns received grants from $25,000 to $35,000 each for their projects. A maximum of $100,000 may be awarded for a project.
Janna Davis, the trust’s acting executive director, expects to award eight to 12 grants in 2012, depending on the amount requested for the project. The winning projects will be based on EPA criteria.
Previous projects ranged from storm water improvement to local roadways, planting trees and creating rain gardens, using energy efficient sources for street lighting, instituting recycling measures and creating and training people in green jobs.
“We want people trained in green jobs so they can then become the experts” in that field, says Davis.
The grant program is open to local governments and nonprofit organizations in urban and suburban communities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed area.
Source: Janna Davis, Chesapeake Bay Trust acting executive director
Writer: Barbara Pash

UMBC to Request $37M from State for Arts Building

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County plans to ask the state for $37.4 million at the 2012 General Assembly session so it can break ground this summer on the second phase of the school’s performing arts and humanities building.

The $165 million facility will be the Catonsville school’s largest building to date.

The building is being designed and constructed in two phases. The first phase will open July 1 and includes performing spaces, scene shops, and academic rooms for the department of theatre and classroom spaces and offices for the English department. It broke ground in 2010.

With the funding UMBC hopes to receive from the General Assembly, the university hopes to break ground of the second phase and complete it by summer of 2014.

UMBC hopes the construction of the building will raise the profile of the arts and humanities programs on campus.

"We do want people to know that we have vibrant arts and humanities programs at UMBC even though we might be better known for our programs in the sciences," says UMBC’s Director of Arts Management Thomas Moore.

The current facilities at UMBC are not up to standards for the arts and also make student-professor interaction difficult in the humanities since certain faculty members have to share offices, Moore says.

Some of the highlights of the building include a 350-seat concert hall, a 275-seat theatre, as well as dance and recording studios.

Many high-tech additions will be made to classrooms to make learning more interactive and to improve the learning environment. The building is also on track for LEED certification, Moore says.

The school enrolled more than 13,000 arts and humanities students in the fall.

Writer: Alexandra Wilding
Source: Thomas Moore, UMBC

Morgan State's $59M Architecture Building to Debut August 2012

Construction is underway at Morgan State University's $59 million architecture school, slated to open August 2012.

The Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies will bring Morgan's architecture, city and regional planning, construction management, and landscape architecture schools under one roof.

The center, expected to receive a silver or gold LEED certification, will also house research on green building technology, says MaryAnne Akers, dean of the school of architecture and planning. Researchers at the center will hopefully create and invent technology that help buildings use less energy. Kiosks will inform visitors to the center how much energy the building is saving.

"It will bring us more visibility for the architecture program," Akers says of the center.

The building, which broke ground last year, will be home to the school's civil engineering and transportation programs as well. The 126,000-square-foot school will contain four classrooms, 100 offices, conference rooms, an atrium with skylights, a green roof and 300 parking spaces.

The historically black college offers one of two architecture programs in the state. The other is offered at the University of Maryland College Park.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: MaryAnne Akers, Morgan State

Cruise Company Investing $1.25M in Inner Harbor

Entertainment Cruises Inc. is pumping $1.2 million into its operations in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

The company is spending about $750,000 to add a second speedboat and another $500,000 to make one of its dinner cruise boats more fuel efficient, General Manager Dan Leaman says.

The company is replacing two old engines in its Spirit of Baltimore boat with Tier 3 engines that are more eco-friendly. The boat should use 79,000 fewer gallons of diesel fuel over its lifetime, Leaman says.

Entertainment Cruises will start running Seadog VI, its second speedboat, April 14. The company expects to hire about 20 employees to sell tickets and staff the boat.

The boat, which can accommodate 106 passengers, takes visitors on a 50-minute sightseeing tour from the Inner Harbor to Key Bridge and back.

The company's first Seadog boat ferried 21,000 passengers last year. Entertainment Cruises hopes to double that number this year with the second boat, Leaman says.

Based in Chicago, Entertainment Cruises oversees 24 ships in seven other cities: Boston, Chicago, Norfolk, Va. Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C., and Weehawken, N.J.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Dan Leaman,

Study shows green building will add $554M to US GDP

Green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy including $396 billion in wages over the next four years (2009-2013) despite the challenging economic outlook, according to a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council andBooz Allen Hamilton.

Researchers also found that green construction spending currently supports more than 2 million American jobs and generates more than $100 billion in gross domestic product and wages. During the eight year period from 2000 to 2008, the economic impact of the total green construction market contributed $178 billion to U.S. gross domestic product; created or saved 2.4 million direct, indirect and induced jobs; and generated $123 billion in wages.

Researchers also looked at the U.S. Green Building Council's 19,000-plus member organizations and found that they generate $2.6 trillion in annual revenue, employ approximately 14 million people, come from 29 industry sectors and include 46 Fortune 100 companies.
The study was released at the USGBC's annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the industry's largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement.

"Our goal is for the phrase 'green building' to become obsolete, by making all building and retrofits green and transforming every job in our industry into a green job," says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of USGBC. "This study validates the work that the 25,000 people gathered here at Greenbuild, and every member of our movement, do every day."

The study considered the total value of green buildings and the results include workers from the architects who design them to the construction laborers who pour their foundations to the truck drivers who deliver the materials, in recognition of the how extensive the impact of green building is.

"The study demonstrates that investing in green buildings contributes significantly to our nation's wealth while creating jobs in a range of occupations, from carpenters to cost estimators," says Gary Rahl, Officer, Global Government Market, Booz Allen Hamilton. "In many ways, green construction is becoming the standard for development. As a result, it is expected to support nearly 8 million jobs over the next five years, a number four times higher than the previous five years."

The full report can be downloaded at www.usgbc.org/greeneconomy, where one can also find other research, resources, tools and information about green building and its role in the economic recoveries of professionals, businesses and the nation.

State launches solar energy incentive plan for mid-sized biz

The Maryland Energy Administration launched the Mid-Sized Solar Energy Grant Program last week. The program provides incentives for businesses to install rooftop solar panels on their premises. The two environmentally-friendly technologies, solar photovoltaic used to converts sunlight into electricity, and solar water heating, that converts sunlight into heat energy that supplements traditional natural gas or electric water heating.

The Mid-Sized Solar Energy Grant Program is made possible by funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009(ARRA).  Up to $1.45 million will be used to help defray the cost to Maryland businesses and non-profits who intend to install appropriately sized solar photovoltaic and solar hot water systems on their premises between now and the end of October, 2010.

The grant program will provide $500 per kW for the first 20 kilowatts of DC capacity, $250 per kW for kilowatts 21 to 50 and $150 per kW for kilowatts 51 to 100 for the solar photovoltaic. Systems must be between 20 and 100 kilowatts to be eligible; maximum grant amount is $25,000.

For solar hot water systems, the grants will cover 15 percent of the installed cost up to $25,000 maximum grant. The systems must be larger than 100 sq ft to be eligible.

Source: Maryland Energy Administration
Writer: Walaika Haskins

MEA eyes offshore wind farms

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) launched a new initiative  last week that will explore the potential for developing wind energy resources off of the coast of Maryland. According to estimates from the U.S. Energy Department, Maryland has "outstanding" wind resources, rivaling or exceeding those of Midwestern land based wind resources. The agency plans to evaluate the potential of these resources for commercial development.
MEA's offshore wind initiative will include outreach to potential offshore wind developers, a technical evaluation of the wind resources off of Maryland's Atlantic coast and Outer Continental Shelf, and strong engagement with the local community.

"Offshore wind energy offers vast potential to create jobs for our workers and to help stabilize electric costs for our families while also increasing grid stability," says Gov. Martin O'Malley. "As we continue our commitment to promote a Smart, Green and Growing Maryland, the benefits of the clean energy generated from offshore wind may prove to be vital for our State's energy and environmental future."

The MEA, as part of the initiative, issued a Request for Expression of Information and Interest in order to bring business and industry leaders with expertise in the installation and development of offshore wind energy into the project. The request extends to U.S. and European developers interested in starting a constructive dialogue on strategies for facilitating a long-term offshore wind energy strategy for the state.

Meanwhile, the agency is also launching a study that will evaluate opportunities for offshore wind energy on Maryland's Atlantic coast and Outer Continental Shelf. The study will assess the viability of offshore wind energy generation and build on marine spatial planning work currently being developed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy. The results will help guide the state, Maryland residents, and potential wind energy development partners, providing guidance on the physical characteristics of Maryland's offshore resources.

"Offshore wind has the potential to supply more renewable energy than any other resource in the region," noted MEA Director Malcolm Woolf. "If Maryland is able to successfully harness these resources in a cost-effective way, the State will be able to satisfy its Renewable Portfolio Standard of 20 percent by 2022 and benefit from the growing Renewable Energy Credit market."

Source: Gov. Martin O'Malley, MEA
Writer: Walaika Haskins

"Green" rehabbed homes give you options and a good conscience

What's cooler than green? Green and customized.

East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI) has put a dozen "green" rehab homes on the market that will be designed in myriad ways by the new owner at the point of sale. The homes, located on E. Chase and McDonough Streets on EBDI's 80-acre development site, are effectively shells of existing homes that have been thoroughly stabilized (with "green" lumber, of course) and are a blank slate ready to be built to suit the homeowner's specifications within about three months.

Stroll through the model home at 1714 E. Chase Street and you'll feel like a kid in a candy shop when presented with the available amenities. Among the possible features are granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, skylights, recessed lighting, whirlpools, hardwood floors, and carpet.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the homes is that the load-bearing walls are all external, so buyers can choose where to put interior walls. That means the homes can have as many or as few rooms as the owner would like. This design flexibility can also help buyers keep the price down, as simpler floor plans will be less expensive. The 12 homes are as small as 1,000 square feet and as large as 2,200 square feet, and can range in price from the high $100Ks to the mid $200Ks.

"It's difficult to use conventional standards to describe these homes," says Dennis Miller, EBDI vice president for real estate development. "From the outside you think these are wonderful, beautiful Federal-style homes from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but when you walk inside you find an urban dwelling unit that has amenities of any new house built today. It's a great blend of the old and the new."

The "green" components are also extensive. The homes -- which use formaldehyde-free building materials and VOC-free paints, sealants and adhesives -- incorporate windows, appliances, lighting fixtures and roofing materials that meet Energy-Star rated home standards. They also feature tankless water heaters, foam or cellulose insulation, and state-of-the-art caulking practices around windows, doors and penetrations. Buyers can upgrade to solar thermal water heating system and a solar electrical system.

"What we're offering is the opportunity to live in the city, closer to your place of employment and places of entertainment, and have a home that's cheaper to maintain with the amenities and qualities you're accustomed to enjoying in the suburbs and other areas," says Miller. Moreover, he says, EBDI's long-term plans to invest in the surrounding neighborhood are a virtual guarantee that the homes won't lose value.

More information on EBDI's green rehabs is available from sales manager Patrice Fulcott at (410) 234-0660 x 238

Source: Dennis Miller, EBDI
Writer: Lucy Ament

A+ Neighborhood Homebuyers goes green with Baltimore home rehabs

A Baltimore-based real estate developer is finding going green is affordable, too.

A+ Neighborhood Homebuyers is offering its first affordable and energy efficient home. It includes a tankless water heating system. The developers also cut costs by repurposing the building's wooden beams and studs and by using eco-friendly cellulose insulation instead of the more traditional fiberglass insulation.

"It was an idea that our private lender suggested. He said that since we had renovated several houses throughout the city in the last several years that we should try something new. We used a consultant for the project who showed us different strategies we could use to save money in our construction budget," says Marcel Umphrey, company co-founder.

The project is proof that going green does not have to be expensive, according to Umphrey.

"A lot of investors think that if you go green it will take a lot more money than you would usually spend on a typical renovation. We found that we actually saved a little money. We used cellulose insulation because that was more cost efficient," he says.

The company is working on more green homes that also include Energy Star-rated appliances have received green audits before and after the renovation. They will run between $150,000 and $180,000. Umphrey expects to host an open house in mid-September.

Source:Marcel Umphrey, A+ Neighborhood Homebuyers
Writer: Lucy Ament

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