Morgan State University’s Center for the Built Environment & Infrastructure Studies

CBEIS Building

CBEIS Building

By James E. Whitney II, Engineering/Morgan

The Morgan State University Center for the Built Environment (CBEIS) building is one of the newest buildings constructed on the Morgan State University (MSU) campus. Ground-breaking for building construction was on April 2, 2010. The building opened on September 20, 2012 with an official opening ceremony including Maryland State Governor Martin O’Malley, past and current MSU Presidents Earl S. Richardson and David Wilson, respectively, Dean of the Engineering School, Dr. Eugene Deloatch, and Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, Dr. Mary Anne Akers and several other dignitaries. The CBEIS building houses the School of Architecture and Planning, Urban Infrastructures Studies, Transportation Studies, National Transportation Center, and Civil Engineering programs.

Interior view of the CBEIS Building

Interior view of the CBEIS Building

The building was a collaborative effort between The Freelon Group architecture firm, CSD Architects, and MSU’s Office of Design & Construction, School of Architecture and Planning, and Civil Engineering Department. It contains 34 classrooms, 100 offices, 10 group study rooms, architecture studios, an earthquake simulator, four model shops, and several wind tunnels.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) uses five different categories to judge a building’s sustainability: 1) site location, 2) water conservation, 3) energy efficiency, 4) materials, 5) indoor air quality, and a bonus category for innovation and design. The building easily received LEED certification, an independent third-party verification that a structure was designed and built to achieve high performance in key areas of human and environmental health. The CBEIS building is LEED ‘Gold’ certified, that is, next to the highest quality.

The building has won several awards including: 2013 AIA MD Public Building of the Year (State); 2012 AIA North Carolina Merit Award (State); and, 2012 AIA Baltimore Design Award, Sustainable Design (Local). Here are a few of the ‘Green’ features of the building:


A section of the CBEIS ‘Green Roof’

Green Roof: The CBEIS “green roof” has a total area of 52,582 square-feet, and includes eleven different species of plants which are set into trays. There are also paved reflective areas incorporated into the roof to reflect the sun’s energy away from the building and keep the interior cool.


One of the CBEIS retention ponds and bioswales area

Retention Ponds and Bioswales: These areas collect rainwater and runoff and control effluence to the watershed through a soil and sand filtration layer.  These environments also provide a habitat for native plants and animals.


The main CBEIS photovoltaic array

Solar Arrays: There are 3 different types of photovoltaic panels located on the CBEIS Building.  The east roof contains 247 solar panels which generate approximately 30kva of electricity, and there is a small example system on the south side of the building. While usage and efficiency statistics are currently being calculated, early modeling calculates a possible reduction in operating costs of approximately 30%. There is also a set of solar panels which provide all of the hot water for the building.

For further information, visit the ‘Green Board’ in the atrium of the CBEIS building.


Achimuagole, Violet, “Opening Day Approaches for Morgan’s CBEIS Building”, Morgan State University Newsroom, July 3, 2012.

Coleman, Clinton R., Nash, Kevin, “MSU Breaks Ground on New CBEIS Facility”, Office of Public Relations & Communications, 1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, 109 Truth Hall, Baltimore, MD, 21251, April 2, 2010.


‘Green Board’ multi-media display, Morgan State University, CBEIS building.

Green Building Council, “LEED Rating Systems,”

Herboth, Mark. Some of the CBEIS Photos.

“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”, Wikipedia.

“Leed Certification Levels,”  Make It Right.

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