Project Profile: Hord Coplan Macht headquarters
Scope of work: Gut renovation of 33,769 square feet of the 12th floor of the Candler Building
BC&E Member companies involved: Plano-Coudon Construction; Baltimore Fabrication; Fidelity Engineering; Floors Etc.
On the surface, it’s a slick, urban office with stunning views.
On the 12th floor of the Candler Building at 700 E Pratt Street, the headquarters of Hord Coplan Macht is a bright white and wide-open space filled with a mix of warm woods, bold geometric flooring, black and white finishes (including raw black steel), floating ceilings, linear lights and dots of color. Workspaces range from individual workstations with low, glass partitions to huddle rooms, collaborative spaces rimmed by moveable walls, a conference room behind garage doors, and a raised platform filled with couches, comfy chairs and casual tables. And everywhere, there is daylight and full views of downtown Baltimore through expansive, unobstructed windows. Understandably, the space recently won the USGBC Maryland 2020 Wintergreen award for Innovative Design, Interiors Category.
Beneath the surface, the HCM office is much more than beautiful space.
The 33,000-square-foot gut renovation became the first project in Maryland to earn WELL Gold certification for new and existing interiors. To achieve that distinction, the project met standards in seven categories: air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind. The renovation delivered advanced air purification through a combination of carbon filters and UV light equipment. Similarly, the office’s water supply is improved through activated carbon filters and anti-microbial UV sanitation. The project also reduced the amount of harmful chemicals in the space by using low-VOC paints and sealants, and avoiding construction materials, finishes and furniture that contained significant levels of PFCs, urea, formaldehyde or polyurethane.
During a virtual tour and WELL Building Standards presentation for USGBC Maryland, Lisa Ferretto, Sustainability Director, Principal and Architect at HCM, said the project includes some design features that help contend with the coronavirus pandemic, including air quality measures, cleaning protocols and ready access to hand washing stations. Meeting WELL Building standards, she added, didn’t change the cost of the renovation project which had already been slated for LEED certification.
Construction went smoothly without any complications caused by the WELL requirements, said Mark LaPenna, Project Manager for Plano-Coudon Construction. In fact, the biggest construction challenge was created by a door.
“They planned to install 16-foot garage doors on the 12th floor of a building. You can’t get those into an elevator,” LaPenna said. “Fortunately, they were working on the outside of the building, renovating the façade so there were hydraulic lifts on site. We were able to open a window and use the hydraulic lifts, rather than bringing in a crane, to get the garage doors into the space. But it was still challenging.”