As a testament to the building’s importance to the region’s economy, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, Sen. Ben Cardin, Rep. Elijah Cummings, then-Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other stakeholders welcomed the new building and its accompanying investments at the building’s opening ceremony.
“This state-of-the-art headquarters will showcase Exelon’s technology and sustainability, and I have no doubt that it will also have a tremendous positive effect on development here in the city of Baltimore,” Gov. Hogan said.
The headquarters building was constructed on the former site of the Allied Signal Baltimore Works facility, which processed chromium ore into chromium chemicals for most of the 1900s. In the 1980s, environmental investigators found chromium seeping into the harbor and groundwater, and the plant shut down. In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Maryland Department of the Environment established a consent decree with Allied Signal (now Honeywell) to remediate the site. EPA recognized the remediation efforts when the agency announced its Land Revitalization Agenda at the site in 2003.
Sen. Ben Cardin commented on the site’s history at the Exelon headquarters opening ceremony: “Out of those ashes we now have headquarters for a Fortune 100 company.”
The building was constructed with a focus on the environment, meeting the goal to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification for Interior Design & Construction (ID+C). Exelon’s Baltimore headquarters recently became the fourth-largest LEED ID+C platinum-certified project in the United States.
Among other features, the building boasts a 49.4 kilowatt rooftop photovoltaic system that produces 62,662 kilowatt-hours per year of renewable energy and a green roof that enables water harvesting and storm water management. LED light fixtures and occupancy sensors create a 40 percent energy savings in lighting compared to a comparably sized office building, and automatic motion-sensing plumbing fixtures produce a 30 percent reduction in water consumption. The open layout also gives every employee access to natural daylight, while cutting down on lighting demand and electric consumption.
It was also a priority for the design and fabric of the building to incorporate the surrounding region and community in a number of ways. The elevator lobbies and columns on the trading floor are made of wood timbers reclaimed from 70 decommissioned Baltimore row houses. Thirty percent of the construction spend went to Maryland-based companies, and 40 percent of the building’s furniture came from Maryland-based companies. Approximately 75 percent of the project’s total cost — including construction, design, furnishings, equipment and more — was invested with minority- and women-owned businesses.
In support of the commitment to workforce development, Exelon joined with the Center for Urban Families and Job Opportunities Task Force on work readiness and construction skills training programs for Baltimore City residents. Several program participants made their mark on the new building in construction-related jobs.
For the building’s finishing touches, Exelon issued a national call for artists to submit their work for consideration. Some 168 artists submitted 869 creations in media including photography, watercolor, recycled paper and found materials. The work of 11 of these artists based on themes of innovation, progress, collaboration, sustainability and energy are displayed throughout the building.