ANNAPOLIS, MD — What are the limitations to incorporating sustainable design in new construction or the renovation of existing buildings, including historical structures? Not many, if you have the imagination, the will to succeed, and a great project team. That’s what the Federal Energy Management Program’s (FEMP’s) Interagency Sustainability Working Group and FEMP staff learned on a recent site visit to two facilities in Annapolis, MD.

Two sustainable design projects in Annapolis illustrate that with creativity and imagination, saving energy and creating a pleasing and productive work environment can go hand-in-hand. The group’s first stop was the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, the recently completed headquarters of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). The CBF is a 35-year-old organization dedicated to environmental advocacy and education and the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay.

When the CBF decided to build a new headquarters facility, the organization selected a 31-acre shoreline property on the Chesapeake Bay and established a project team to design and construct an innovative facility. The goal of the project was to incorporate sustainable design features and to improve and protect local water quality and habitat. The facility boasts an array of features including geothermal heat pumps, rainwater cisterns, and composting toilets. The center also features natural ventilation, passive solar design, and structural insulated panels. For more information, see the CBF website at

At their next stop, the working group toured the Mahan, Sampson, and Maury Halls on the campus of the U.S. Naval Academy. Built in 1899, this beautiful and historic building complex of classrooms, offices, and passageways was renovated in 2001. The project’s design team focused attention on restoring and infusing interior space with natural light from skylights and interior glass. The renovation project also includes natural ventilation, water conservation devices, building materials composed of recycled content, and recycled furniture.

After visiting the building complex, the group was convinced that the historical integrity of any building could not only be preserved but also enhanced through the use of sustainable design principles. To learn more about this project, see

Reprinted from the August 2002 issue of FEMP Focus, published by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Federal Energy Management Programs.

For more information on FEMP’s Interagency Sustainability Working Group, contact Beverly Dyer of FEMP at (e-mail).

Publication date: 10/28/2002