Research Center, Mill Street Properties, Oxford, Maryland
Located in the historic town of Oxford in Talbot County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Mill Street properties transform vacant, flood-prone properties into a quiet-use commercial research and office compound. The Preservation Green Horticultural Research Center at 103 Mill Street was the first phase of this two-building commercial construction project and has achieved LEED Gold status.
The center is designed to explore plant cultivars, new methods of protecting the Chesapeake’s ecosystems, and green roof applications on built structures. Together with the new office space at 101 Mill Street, this compound has been crafted with a concern for aesthetic beauty in keeping with its historic surroundings. It represents sustainable environmental practices, cutting-edge stormwater management, and respect for the use of organic and reclaimed building materials.
This project was conceived and managed as a design-build venture—working closely with local craftsmen and teaming up with Eastern Shore engineers and surveyors. The construction process integrated reclaimed material from local recycling supply centers. For example, the ceiling of the interior studio space at 103 is faced with exterior barn siding, which has been bleached and whitewashed.
Construction was accompanied by landscape design elements such as a hornbeam shade tunnel and a wildflower meadow. Gravel parking lots were transformed into vegetated swales and raised kitchen gardens. Preservation Green LLC also introduced its Verdant Silt Fence—a design invention that effectively serves as a sponge, providing relief to the flood-prone site. Bulky invasive grasses and invasive species were eradicated and replaced with a better grade of hardy trees, shrubs, perennials, flowering vines, and bulbs.