East Towson LEED Green Building Project
East Towson is the only remaining neighborhood in what was once a larger African American community that extended until 1960 as far as York Road and Bosley Avenue and into North and West Towson. During the last 20 years, the community has experienced a 40 percent loss in population and now has less than 350 people living there.
The housing stock urgently needed upgrading and rehabilitation. The community residents wanted to encourage young couples to move into the neighborhood and raise their families, but it seemed that they had little to offer. Without a comprehensive plan to revitalize the neighborhood by rehabilitating, marketing and populating existing houses and retaining residents, East Towson would have been in grave danger of succumbing to the pressures of commercialization and blight.
In the spring of 2000, the Office of Community Conservation (renamed Neighborhood Improvement in 2011) began working with the community to achieve their goals of re-development and revitalization. The redevelopment project includes seven new construction units and five renovated units. In 2008, the Office of Community Conservation (renamed Neighborhood Improvement in 2011) initiated a Green Building Program. The program is designed to transform the way houses are built in Baltimore County to houses that are healthier to live in and more energy efficient and affordable to operate.
Demonstration Project Design Charrette
On December 5, 2008 a Design Charrette was held at the Carver Center in East Towson. The intent of the Charrette was to review the plans for three new homes that will be built using criteria outlined in the Baltimore County Office of Neighborhood Improvement’s new Green Building Program.
For these new homes the criteria are the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Home standards. These standards are based on greater energy efficiency and better indoor air quality and will help homeowners save money on their heat and cool bills, and provide them with greater comfort while living in the home.
Results of the Charrette
The Charrette was attended by over 20 people including the developer (Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore Inc.), the builder (Professional Choice, Inc. of Timonium, Maryland), subcontractors and supply dealers, the project architect, staff from the County Department of Planning, and the Office of Neighborhood Improvement, and residents of the East Towson community.
Green features identified during the Charrette for the project include:
- Tankless hot water heater
- Low VOC (odorless) paints
- High-efficient heating and cooling system
- Energy Star lighting system
- Improved storm water management
- Enhanced insulation
- High-efficient appliances
- Recycled construction materials
Design and Site Location
The project consists of three single family homes. Each home will be approximately 1800 sq. ft. with four bedrooms, a wrap-a-round porch and a parking pad. The houses will be located on what was the Ruth Hall property located at 437 E. Pennsylvania Avenue in East Towson, Maryland.
Revised March 15, 2013