our own Historic building
8333 Main Street, Ellicott City.
We are located in the vibrant, urban, Historic heart of Old Ellicott City. Shops and storefronts dating back to the early 19th century line Main Street, making it a walkable area filled with boutique shops and restaurants. We occupy the second floor of one such historic building, circa 1836. The building is actually two frame buildings constructed by local painter Caleb Merryman on part of the tract called "Mount Misery" as spec housing. The four-bay wide, 2 1/2 story wood frame building is an example of an early duplex with a central sally port to the rear yard. Originally residences, each dwelling consisted of one room up and one room down with a kitchen on back and an outdoor privy. The framing is mortised and tenoned and pegged, which means it was primarily fitted together with a series of lock + key joints, as opposed to later hammer + nail construction.
We renovated this building as a part of our move from our Frederick Road office in Catonsville in 2009 to Main Street Ellicott City. It was a wonderful opportunity for adaptive reuse of a Historic building that we couldn't pass up. Besides, the greenest building is one that already exists.
We greatly improved the energy efficiency of the building in our retrofit, using such methods as 1-ton high efficiency mini-split units for cooling, reusing the existing radiant baseboard heating system, adding a high efficiency boiler, designing sun tunnels to provide daylighting with LED lighting as backup lighting, installing a dual flush toilet, and insulating the building for a 60% energy reduction. In the future we hope to install solar thermal panels to provide hot water, and plant native flowers and grasses in the rear yard, next to our brick patio.
As far as sustainable materials go, we tried to use as many as possible. Our entry has marmoleum flooring (a linseed oil based sustainable alternative to linoleum). Our workspace has floating cork flooring. Our double height conference room has the building's original hardwood floors, the original brick fireplace, and original exposed ceiling rafters. Our library has wool carpeting tiles and bamboo cabinets and shelving. Our bathroom has a concrete countertop from a local custom concrete artisan in Baltimore. All the rooms were painted with Zero-VOC paint and our chairs are ergonomic.
Our office entrance is found at the top of the stairs locate off the patio on the rear yard of the building as you can see in the rendering above.