Highland Beach, Maryland
Highland Beach
Platinum Certified (Green) Town Hall
Former Mayor Ray Langston, Mayor Bill Sanders, Former Mayor Crystal Chissell, and Former Governor Parris Glendening, at Town Hall Platinum Award Ceremony
Former Mayor Ray Langston, Mayor Bill Sanders, Former Mayor Crystal Chissell, and Former Governor Parris Glendening, at Town Hall Platinum Award Ceremony
The design intent for the town hall was to construct a high performance facility, residential in scale, that would demonstrate exceptional energy efficiency, water conservation, restoration of native habitat, and commitment to occupancy health and well being, and to the natural environment.  The facility attained U.S.G.B.C. LEED™ Platinum certification by employing superior insulation and structures for the building envelop, a high performance HVAC system, energy efficient and water conserving mechanical systems, and on-site, on-the-grid energy production.

The town hall project comports closely with the goals of the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement, including the general goal of working with local governments (such as Highland Beach) to develop and implement locally supported watershed management plans.  Specifically, it contributes to protecting and restoring vital habitats by working at the local level to reverse the impact of development (the existing Town Hall) with a facility that more closely resembles the habitat and nature of the site before construction (by utilizing a vegetated green roof and other on-site improvements that retain the rainfall on the property).  As such, the project helps provide for a balanced ecosystem, while contributing to the goal of reducing controllable nutrient loads to the Bay.  The goal of the project—to eliminate all runoff from the site—is consistent with the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement to “strive for zero release of chemical contaminants…”, and to complement “…state and federal regulatory programs to go beyond traditional point source controls, including nonpoint sources…” 

The project represents the leading edge of building green and of demonstrating land management that protects the Bay, an important consideration in view of the population and concomitant construction increases that continue in the Bay watershed.  The project serves as a model on how to mitigate the potential adverse effects of such growth, with local government in the lead.  It engages the community of Highland Beach, particularly the elected officials, as active participants and leaders in modeling stewardship of our resource; the project engages citizens via hands-on rain garden installation, and citizens and visitors via presentations, tours, workshops, brochures, CDs, and an actual physical facility where people can experience directly the value of resource stewardship.

Our intent also is to raise public awareness and personal involvement on behalf of the Bay, and to motivate behavior of individuals as well as other local governments to implement restoration projects (e.g., rain gardens) and energy conservation on individual properties.  And we see this as a very unique opportunity for a historically African American
Platinum Certification Plaque
Platinum Certification Plaque
community to further highlight and take advantage of our cultural and historical ties to the Bay, going back as far as our establishment in 1893.  We also have a local objective of motivating our residents and neighbors with a sense of accomplishment that will provide the impetus for increased citizen involvement in our upcoming environmental projects to remediate Blackwalnut Creek, a tributary to the Bay, and site stabilization via planting native species on our Chesapeake Bay beachfront.

 The Highland Beach Town Hall replaced an existing structure (consisting of standard roofing material) with a high performance facility (total square footage 2,127), including a green roof,  four rain barrels, three rain gardens, and replacement of 653 square feet of paving with pervious pavers.  The facility is designed to contain all stormwater on the property, thus eliminating a source of stormwater runoff to Oyster Creek and the Chesapeake Bay.  LEED™ Certification for the facility has attracted significant attention to a model facility that demonstrates how to build a green facility on a residential scale, with applications for other local governments as well as for residential buildings.  And by construction of a facility at the scale of a residential dwelling, we demonstrate first-had for community residents and visitors alike, the possibilities and value of ensuring that what precipitation falls on the site stays on the site, as well as strategies for enhancing indoor air quality in their homes, and energy conservation on-site generation and conservation techniques that the homeowner can successfully employ. 

Non-point source pollution carried by stormwater runoff is a major problem impacting the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  The project provides direct support to the community of Highland Beach as a local government implementing its part in watershed management in the Chesapeake Bay basin by eliminating a source of pollutants into the Bay, while providing enriched habitat for wildlife in the area by installing appropriate native plants.  The project will also provide much needed education about these issues and solutions for Highland Beach residents, visitors, and the broader community.

The town hall demonstrates how to mitigate existing stormwater runoff to Oyster Creek and the Chesapeake Bay via replacing impervious surface with a vegetated green roof, a rainwater collection system, a rain garden, and pervious non-roof surfaces, 2) eliminates a source of surface runoff pollutants from entering the Bay, 3) provides increased habitat opportunities for wildlife, 4) creates a model green facility that inspires homeowners and other governments to take similar actions to protect the Bay, and 5) provides an educational and motivational experience for residents, visitors, and the broader community. 

Project Description

The Town Hall is a replacement for a small cottage that had been utilized for decades as the meeting location for the Board of Commissioners of Highland Beach.  The new Town Hall is a 2,127 square foot facility consisting of four main rooms on a single floor.  Every aspect of construction was intended to be green, from the geothermal four zone HVAC system, to the materials used for construction, to the green roof, daylighting, parking for electric golf carts, and provision of bicycle racks.  The project uses compact florescent lighting, ambient light and motion detection light switches, energy star appliances, high performing windows, soy-based blown-in insulation, bio-based fuel for part of the energy requirements for heating, photovoltaics for on-grid production of energy, an extensive public outreach program, and a host of green materials.

Summary of Building Energy Efficiency Measures

  • Premium-efficiency Waterfurnace® E-series 072 Dual Capacity ground coupled heat pumps with superior cooling and heating performance (24.3 EER & 4.7 COP) during low load operation conditions.
  • High performance double pane low-e glazing; basis of energy model included COE-2 Glass Library component for Cardinal LOE2-138 Argon filled gap.
  • Improved envelope insulation and Energy Star high Albedo roofing
  • Reduced solar absorption with vegetative roof
  • Enthalpy air-side economizer
  • Desuperheater hot water heater that takes waste heat from condensing cycle and stores it in a hot water storage tank
  • Super high-efficiency lighting design with significantly reduced space-by-space lighting poser densities throughout the building
  • Photocell & occupancy lighting control for all applicable spaces
  • Demand control ventilation with CO2 sensors in main return duct and in the zone for the Multipurpose Room, and Conference Room
  • Photovoltaic generation of 3.283 kWh/yr (~$342/yr)

Please click on the links below for general information about green building, and for more information about the Highland Beach Town Hall.

Welcome to the Town of Highland Beach: Home Page | Mayor and Commissioners | Boards and Commissions | News | Calendar of Meetings and Events | Commissioners Meetings | Frederick Douglass Museum and Cultural Center | Platinum Certified (Green) Town Hall | Emergency Preparedness | Charter, Ordinances and Other Documents | Applications and Forms, Contact Us | Highland Beach Citizens Association | Resources—Anne Arundel County and more
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