Green honors

Members of the Northern Chesapeake Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council (Maryland Chapter) and Harford County Green Business Network stand with the owner and builder of the new Bel Air Liquor Store on Main Street. (November 27, 2012)

Larry Dean, owner of Bel Air Liquors, and builder Todd Hoffman, owner of Innovative Building Solutions, were recognized at a joint U.S. Green Building Council Harford County Green Business Network event recently at the site of the new store along Main Street in downtown Bel Air.

The Nov. 14 event showcased the environmentally-friendly building principles and materials used in the new store as well as the local small business perspective. From the recycled concrete used in the building's foundation to the recycled material used in the siding and shingles on the roof, Innovative Building Solutions made a conscious effort to use sustainable materials that will provide minimum maintenance over their lifetime.

Builder Todd Hoffman stated that it was a challenge to comply with the new International Building Code (IBC) 2012 that was adopted by Harford County this summer.

"We started our design using the new energy standards but had to redesign elements after the codes were changed during the construction process," Hoffman said.


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Harford was the first county in Maryland to adopt the new code and Maryland was the first state in the U.S. to adopt the new codes. The building's features include a computer operated fresh air intake system, super insulated walls, a five-zone high efficiency HVAC system and efficient lighting, all of which result in a building that uses half the energy of the former store while tripling the building's floor space.

Owner Larry Dean gave a tour to the attendees of the event and explained the challenges of working on the lot without making changes to the elevation grade while trying to build a store to complement the character of the Town of Bel Air.

"We wanted to have a business that complemented the surrounding structures and invited the community to come visit," Dean said.

Speaking about sustainability, Dean shared he has hopes of partnering with other small business entrepreneurs to offer local products such as produce, meats and cheeses. Bel Air Liquors store is at 315 S. Main St. in Bel Air.