University of Baltimore

To win the commission for the recently completed John and Frances Angelos Law Center at the University of Baltimore, Behnisch Architekten, Boston'in partnership with architect of record Ayers Saint Gross'gave daylight a starring role. The design employs building skins of varying porosity and massing to represent the programs housed within the 190,000-square-foot, 12-story structure: punched windows within rainscreen cladding demarcate classrooms and offices; a fritted library volume reaches the staggered mass's full height; and all other rooms surround an extensively glazed atrium through which they visually communicate.

Daylight guided the design from inception. 'Building dimensions, setbacks, and transparency of materials were key to achieving the highest possible daylight factor,' says Behnisch partner Matt Noblett of using sunlight to maximize occupant well-being and minimize electricity consumption. Responding to sun angles, Behnisch placed the atrium glazing on a north'south axis, with fixed louvers on the south elevation to minimize heat gain.

Yet even this careful approach to daylighting has its pitfalls, notes Scott Guenther, senior designer at the Washington, D.C.'based MCLA, the project's architectural lighting design firm. Because one's eye assimilates the highest intensity in a field of vision, he says, 'areas deep inside the building had to have higher illumination levels to compensate for the perimeter.' To this end, the MCLA team paid particular attention to spaces near the core on the first seven floors, which receive lower levels of illumination from a modest atrium skylight, despite the extensive glazed walls.

MCLA's solution is based on LEDs. The client was attracted to the light source for its energy efficiency and long life, and because it offered the least visual and thermal disruption to exposed radiant slabs. Combining daylight and LEDs yields an installed Lighting Power Density (LPD) of .76 watts per square foot, about 25 percent better than code, helping Angelos beat ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007 by 43 percent.

To account for rapidly changing LED technology, the lighting designers wrote performance-based specifications for a custom disc-shaped luminaire to be mounted on ceilings throughout the building. The 1,640-lumen fixture, with a color temperature of 3,000 kelvin, is equivalent in intensity and warmth to a 100-watt incandescent A lamp. From an oblique perspective, the luminaire's acrylic plate emits an even glow; viewed from underneath, the diodes are visible. This honest technological expression embodies Behnisch's philosophy, but it also implies a new LED-centered design vocabulary, says Maureen Moran, MCLA principal.

For the atrium, MCLA created chandeliers of cascading 12-by-18-inch panels made of the same acrylic used for the disc-shaped luminaires. These are suspended on steel cables, with the lowermost parallel to the floor and four others canting at alternating angles, drawing the visitor's eye upward. LEDs within each of the panel's aluminum spines radiate light. 'The chandeliers are about scale,' says Guenther. 'The illuminated surfaces make you perceive the space as having more light.'

MCLA programmed daily themes for the atrium, from dawn to midnight. Photo sensors override the system according to actual conditions, dimming luminaires within 25 feet of the perimeter. 'It's in that zone where you get the most benefit in terms of energy savings,' Guenther says.

Indeed, controls were integral to the LEDs' performance. In addition to photo sensors, the building has 319 wall-mounted passive-infrared occupancy sensors, all wireless, that permit programming and overrides from central or tablet computers. As in the atrium, MCLA created scenes for classrooms. These include dimming for videos, which also prompts motorized interior shades to block the punched windows; the shades otherwise operate independently, according to rooftop solar-radiation readings, and the photo sensor'controlled classroom lights respond in turn.

Lighting Designer: MCLA Architectural Lighting Design

Engineers: Cagley & Associates (structural); Mueller Associates (m/e/p); RK&K (civil)

Client: University of Baltimore

Size: 190,000 (gross) square feet

Cost: $114 million

Completion date: April 2013


Formal name of building:
John and Frances Angelos Law Center

Baltimore, Maryland

Completion Date:
April 2013

Gross square footage:
189,700 GSF

Total construction cost:
$114 million

University of Baltimore

Architect's firm name, address, phone, and fax number:
Behnisch Architekten, Boston
125 Kingston Street
Boston, MA 02111
617-375-9380 (v)
617-348-2114 (f)

Ayers Saint Gross, Inc.
1040 Hull Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-347-8500 (v)
410-347-8519 (f)

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Behnisch Architekten, Boston
Stefan Behnisch, Hon. FAIA - Principal
Robert Matt Noblett, AIA - Partner
Andrea Crumbach, Sr. Assoc.

Ayers Saint Gross, Inc.
Glenn Birx, FAIA - Principal in Charge
Michael Barber, AIA - Project Manager
Steve Eastwood, AIA - Construction Administrator

Architect of record:
Ayers Saint Gross, Inc.

Design architect:
Behnisch Architekten

Lighting Designer:
MCLA, Inc.

Personnel in Lighting Designer's office who should receive special credit:
Maureen Moran, IALD, LC, IESNA - Principal in Charge
Scott Guenther, IALD, LC - Senior Designer
Mitch Johnson, Associate IALD, LEED Green Associate - Project Manager
Kate Fuller, Associate IALD, LEED Green Associate - Associate Designer

Interior Designer:
Behnisch Architekten, Boston

Cagley & Associates, Inc. (Structural); Mueller Associates (MEP); RK&K (Civil); TransSolar (Climate)

General Contractor:
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company - Construction Management

Prakash Patel Photography
Brad Feinknopf



Curtain Wall/Windows:
DuPontTM SentryGlas®/Tecnoglass - Mike Duffy, Operations Manager at National Enclosure Company (Design Assist for Building Enclosure) 248-332-4250

Shading Systems/Devices:

Shading Controls:

Interior Ambient Lighting:
Round/Square panel fixtures: custom by Zumtobel
Panel Chandeliers: custom by Zumtobel
Linear pendant & recessed: Zumtobel
Round pendant and Surface: Zumtobel
Floor mounted (in offices): Nimbus
Linear Pendant at Lobby Desk: Vode
Adjustable Atrium Accents: Lighting Services Inc
LED accent for Backlit Resin Panels: Optolum
Illuminated Elevator Panels: GPI
Restroom Vanity Accent: Eureka

Downlights: Zumtobel

Task Lighting:
At Library Tables: Nimbus
At Library Carrells: Filix
At Library Display Cases: Ecosense
At Classroom Teaching Walls: Lighting Services Inc

Exterior Lighting:
Bollards & Steplights: Bega
Exterior Wall(above doors): IP44
Catenary Mount (at garden): iGuzzini
Illuminated Handrail: C.R. Laurence Company
Fountain Accent: Filix (Interlux)
Terrace Pathway Accents: BK Lighting

Lighting Controls: Lutron ' Quantum ' dimming and daylight

Building Controls: Nysan

Other unique products or systems that integrate with lighting control systems:
A/V system and Building management system

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Building is on track to be certified by USGBC LEED Platinum