Baltimore’s Landmark City Crescent Building Transformed

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OpTerra Energy Services, a national energy services company, has successfully completed a project to dramatically reduce energy consumption for the landmark City Crescent Building located at 10 South Howard Street in downtown Baltimore.

Employees working at the City Crescent Building will experience an increased quality of life and comfort through the use of high-efficiency lighting and an adaptive HVAC system. Additionally, given the presence of light rail at the building’s front door and planned station on the building’s north side, City Crescent is a premiere commuter destination, offering numerous restaurants and entertainment venues, as well as the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Throughout the design and construction process, OpTerra Energy worked to ensure that the retrofit caused minimal disruption to City Crescent occupants. OpTerra Energy, in conjunction with the building owners as well as the property management firm, Cambridge Asset Advisors,, carefully coordinated the comprehensive efficiency upgrades, installing the massive chiller on the top floor of the building to avoid interference with tenants and maintain the building’s attractive look and feel.

For City Crescent’s energy efficiency retrofit, OpTerra Energy’s C&I Division designed and constructed its largest energy efficiency project to date, providing City Crescent with numerous energy efficiency measures including the installation of a high-efficiency lighting system, a new chiller plant, and an open-protocol Building Energy Management System (BEMS). The building is also equipped with a new fire alarm system that is integrated into the BEMS. The project at City Crescent has provided impressive environmental benefits, including reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 5 million pounds annually; the equivalent of removing 500 passenger cars from the road for one year.

The efficiency upgrades are anticipated to reduce electricity use throughout the building by over 3.7 million kWh annually, thus qualifying for a significant financial incentive from Baltimore Gas & Electric. The project was also awarded $225,000 through the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) Commercial-Industrial Grant Program.

“This impressive undertaking and leadership in energy efficiency has enabled us to transform City Crescent into a new building without any structural changes or negative impact on the character defining features of the building,” said Robert Falsone, managing director of City Crescent. “Our partnership with OpTerra Energy has given us the opportunity to preserve City Crescent while improving the working conditions of the employees occupying the building.”

“OpTerra Energy is honored to have had the opportunity to work on a landmark like City Crescent, transforming it into an energy efficient facility and securing a significant incentive from Baltimore Gas & Electric, while preserving the character of the building,” said Ryan Blair, president of OpTerra Energy Services. “Additionally, OpTerra Energy was particularly excited to work with City Crescent and Cambridge Asset Advisors, LLC to provide a more comfortable work environment for the building’s tenants and employees.”

Developed in 1992, City Crescent is a Class-A, eleven story, 334,000 square foot office building located in the heart of downtown Baltimore. Since its development, City Crescent has served as a catalyst for the revitalization of the west side of Baltimore City.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.