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Self-Sustaining Showcase

Western Maryland Environmentally Friendly

Welcome Center

Location: Byron Overlook, Gaithersburg, MD

Client:  MD State Highway Administration

Services:  Architecture

Cost: $800,000

Award: Finalist: $25,000 Grant/Award




The Byron Overlook was the site of a proposed environmentally friendly welcome center intended to be a self-sustaining showcase combining the latest energy-saving technology.


An RM Sovich Architecture led team, including students from Johns Hopkins University and  Morgan State University and engineers, Andropogon Associates, Cahill Associates, and Vanderweil Engineers, received a $25,000 prize from the state of Maryland for the innovative design of the Western Maryland Visitors Center. The design was an environmentally friendly rest stop in Frederick County. The design employed state-of-the-art ecological strategies with a goal of incorporating environmental strategies producing long-term savings while minimizing additional first costs.


Technologies incorporated include:

  • Geothermal Heating

  • Trombe Wall

  • Composting Toilets

  • Photovoataic Solar Energy Generation

  • Repurposed Materials

  • Rainwater for NonPotable Water Uses

Western Maryland Welcome Center
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