Yard 56 is a 20-acre planned development that arose out of community need and utilized previously blighted industrial land. The development includes residential buildings, retail, community healthcare, recreational elements, and green spaces. The project had a strong commitment to sustainability and social equity. All buildings meet the Baltimore City Green Building Code.
Kleinfelder provided structural engineering services for the new Wellness Center building, which is an 82,000-square-foot steel-framed structure with a brick and curtainwall building envelope. Challenges of the Wellness Center at Yard 56 included the site’s former industrial use and considerable depths of unsuitable fill material, rubble, waste, and by-products. The team overcame this challenge by using in-situ ground-modification techniques, densifying the soils by using vertical gravel columns in a grid pattern. The team also managed methane gas emissions by fitting the building with a mitigation system that ventilates gasses from below the first-floor slab, transporting them to safely vent above the building’s roof. Future tenants were not finalized during the design phase, so the building was engineered to support a variety of specialized rooftop equipment for medical facilities.
The Lofts at Yard 56 included the development of a mixed-use building consisting of residential and retail. The building is a five-story structure and parking garage housing 225 residential units and a 6,000-square-foot amenity/leasing center on the ground floor. There is an additional 6,000 square feet of retail space. Lastly, the project has an open six-level parking garage containing 600 parking spaces. The project’s approach toward sustainability was developed as part of a collaborative process with the architect and the Kleinfelder team in order to strike a balance between required sustainability goals, application of practical sustainability, construction costs, and operating costs. In addition to the high-efficiency split system heat pump systems serving the residences, the team collectively decided to use a Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) system to serve the common areas, which are the areas that are occupiable on a 24/7 basis. Kleinfelder provided design and construction administration services, and performed Building Commissioning services to help ensure that the systems were operating correctly for the initial period of occupancy.
Yard 56 is National Green Building Standard silver-certified. Additionally, the entire site has gone through the Maryland’s VCP program, a hallmark of sustainable development. The Yard 56 development was also awarded a 2023 WaveMaker award by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Baltimore Chapter in recognition of its sustainable design practices and contributions to the surrounding community.