Project Description


Owings Mills, Maryland


Irvine Nature Center’s mission is to provide hands-on natural science and environmental educational programs for both children and adults highlighting Maryland’s Piedmont Region habitat and wildlife. These programs include school field trips and classroom presentations, after-school and Saturday programs for pre-school and elementary age children, teacher workshops, summer camps, scout programs and volunteer naturalist training.

Its hands-on interactive exhibit, live animal habitats and terrapin nursery were developed in conjunction with the Maryland Science Center.

The Nature Preschool at Irvine is a licensed pre-school for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old emphasizing early childhood education through a nature-based curriculum.

The Nature Center Building is situated on a five-acre parcel within the total 116-acre property. This 11,000 square foot new building combines the organization’s administrative headquarters and educational facilities into a single structure. Constructed using the US Green Building Council’s LEED guidelines as a frame of reference, the project incorporated many sustainable building materials, systems and construction practices. These include geothermal heat pump systems, an aerobic and anaerobic wastewater treatment system, a vegetative green roof, low VOC (toxic emissions) materials, energy and water efficient products, pervious paving and the use of recycled and salvaged materials.

GWWO, Inc.
A.R. Marani, Inc.
Total Cost

Green Buildings
Significant Site Constraints
Specialized Equipment

“Whatever Irvine paid Synthesis, it did not cover Bob Hedden’s personal devotion to this project. I am profoundly grateful.”
Irvine Nature Center, Owings Mills, MD Bill Balfour, President of Board