The James River Green Building Council (JRGBC) announced the winners of its Seventh Annual Green Building Leadership Awards at an Awards Event and Exhibition on November 10th at the Glen Allen Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, VA.
Every fall, the JRGBC honors organizations and their leaders for outstanding contributions to green building in Virginia. In addition, the JRGBC also recognizes outstanding green building projects in our Central Virginia region The JRGBC presents one award in four categories to those organizations and individuals who well-represent the Chapter’s mission to inspire and promote the transformation to a sustainable built environment.
The 2011 winners in the categories of non-profit, government, private sector and individual, respectively, are National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Trane, and Alicia Zatcoff, Sustainability Manager for the City of Richmond. The 2011 winning projects are Virginia Commonwealth University’s Cary Street Gym in the category of New Construction; Virginia Association of Counties Headquarters Building in Richmond, VA in the category of Adaptive Re-Use; The “Phoenix” by Watershed Architects in the category of Residential; and The Smith Aquatic Center in the City of Charlottesville for the Juror’s Favorite Award.
Attendees to the program heard keynote speaker George Bandy Jr., Vice President, InterfaceFLOR speak about staying the course and remaining inspired and committed to change for the built environment and also visited with green exhibitors from throughout the Central Virginia Region after the program.
The awardees are described below:
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has provided funding for a multitude of educational, research and construction projects targeted at reducing pollution to local water bodies and the Chesapeake Bay. NFWF has provided over 8.6 million dollars of grants for over 40 projects to localities, state agencies and non-profit organizations within the JRGBC area. These have encouraged innovative and sustainable designs leading to increased green infrastructure and sustainable site improvements.
The Virginia Trane operation is considered a leader in the industry with respect to manufacturing and servicing the most energy efficient equipment and controls, creating and implementing large scale energy strategies for their clients, developing sustainability challenges for various trade groups, and being proactively involved in their communities. In September, they hosted an event at the Federal Reserve Bank recognizing architects, engineers and building owners for their energy and sustainable projects. They’ve worked with many public bodies to renovate building infrastructure by leveraging wasted energy.
Their projects represent local, state and federal governments, public schools and healthcare organizations. Coming up, they are currently partnering with the International Facility Managers Association (IFMA) to create a sustainability challenge for commercial office space that will be introduced in 2012. Trane is very active in the business and local community. They have multiple associates participating on various Boards & Committees (JRGBC, VSBN, Hanover Business Council, VCU Engineering School, VA-AREA, etc.) and are actively involved in Sustainability Conferences.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools
For the past eight years Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) has been working to develop a culture of sustainability throughout the school division. The following three goals are instrumental in that process: 1. Develop a Sustainable Building Infrastructure, 2. Integrate environmentally sustainable practices throughout the school division, and 3. Educate the Public about the importance of Environmental Sustainability. Virginia Beach currently has Nine LEED projects in various stages of completion, construction or design.
The Renaissance Academy (LEED Gold), which opened for classes on January 4, 20lO, is the first of these new schools to utilize rainwater harvesting, solar hot water, photovoltaics, and geothermal heating and cooling systems – to name a few of the building’s sustainable features. These buildings function as teaching tools for students and the local community through web based metering and educational signage. In addition, they become models for other school divisions and municipalities across the country. Since September 2008, the school division has diverted 3,980 tons from the waste stream. Sixty schools currently have environmental clubs with a membership of 1,005 students. For more information on what is currently taking place in Virginia Beach City Public Schools, please visit http://www.vbschools.com/greenschools.
Sustainability Manager, City of Richmond
As the city’s first Sustainability Manager, Alicia Zatcoff has the challenging task of developing and implementing a complex and city-wide Sustainability and Energy Management Program. Ms. Zatcoff is managing the city’s $2.1 million Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant to implement projects that reduce the city’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. She is leading the effort to create the first Sustainability Plan for the Richmond community, planned to be finalized by the summer of 2012. Ms. Zatcoff oversees the implementation of Mayor Dwight Jones’ Order for Green Government. This is a sweeping initiative to create more efficiency and less waste in city government and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from government operations. Ms. Zatcoff was instrumental in developing the city’s Community Garden Program called “Richmond Grows Gardens” to enable the city to offer vacant and underutilized parcels to the public to turn them into productive community gardens. Ms Zatcoff helped create the Green Events Team as part of Mayor Dwight Jones’ Green Richmond Initiative to work with special event promoters to “green” special events that occur within the city limits through educational awareness, enhanced solid waste reduction efforts and decreasing the overall environmental impacts of events. She has spearheaded the city’s electric vehicle preparation efforts and is a key member of the regional electric vehicle planning group that includes infrastructure development and the creation of government and utility policies to support electric vehicles.
New Construction Project:
Virginia Commonwealth University Cary Street Gym: LEED Gold
The Cary Street Gym is Virginia Commonwealth University’s sole venue for recreational sports to the Monroe Park Campus and provides students with opportunities for recreation, wellness, socialization and relaxation. Water efficiency, both on site and inside the building, is a main feature of the project. Two 6,000 gallon cisterns collect runoff from the building’s roof for us in a drip irrigation system. Inside the building, traditional plumbing fixtures have been given a sustainable upgrade. These updates conserve 1.3 million gallons of water annually.
Indoor air quality management began during construction when special care was taken to protect materials from contamination by dirt and moisture. Low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints and coatings were used to help prevent volatile organic compounds from off-gassing and circulating throughout the building. Carpet and composite wood materials were also chosen according to low-emitting standards. Lastly, the project’s location in downtown Richmond provides ample opportunities for alternative means of transportation by either bus or bicycle.
Adaptive Re-Use Project:
Virginia Association of Counties (VACo Headquarters): LEED Gold
The VACo headquarters is a 21,000 square foot, 145 year old structure consisting of four floors and a basement. Built in 1866 as part of the reconstruction of Richmond’s downtown after the fire of 1865, it is one of only three remaining complete cast-iron facades in the city. This building is a Virginia Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places. VACo, which represents all 95 counties in Virginia, purchased the property in 2006. The project was certified LEED Gold in 2009.
Incorporating sustainability and high performance design on this project was essential. Reusing an existing building located in the heart of Richmond provided numerous environmental benefits and reduced further impact to the natural environment. Alternative transportation by bus, bicycle, or walking is strongly encouraged, and promotes connection to the vibrant surrounding community. By extending this building’s life and repurposing this structure VACo preserved resources, materials and energy required to produce new materials. Hazardous materials, such as asbestos and lead-based paint, were remediated from the building during the renovation. New building materials manufactured regionally and/or with recycled content were utilized wherever possible.
The Phoenix: LEED Gold
By Watershed Architects
From the outset, “The Phoenix” was a fitting moniker for the 1417 Grove rehab, as it was a project born of commitment to breathing new life and vitality into the burned-out shell of 1920′s row house: rising from the ashes of a devastating fire, the property was transformed into a modern home that exemplifies healthy design, both on a personal and planetary level.
An overarching goal of the project was to take the energy profile of this 100+ year old building to the highest level possible. The building’s environmental integrity is manifested in storm water management through a living roof, rainwater harvest, rain garden and pervious paving; reclaimed flooring, regionally harvested cladding & decking, non-Portland cement plaster, non-toxic paints, an interior living wall. Also, extensive envelope improvements (low energy fixtures, closed cell foam insulation, high performing windows, etc.) are complimented by a PV array that occupies the original low-slope main roof, as well as a solar thermal system that supports primary hot water needs.
Juror’s Favorite Project:
Smith Aquatic Center: LEED Platinum
City of Charlottesville
The program offers competitive and recreational swim activities in an indoor facility including a family recreation/ leisure pool with a double water slide and a lazy river, and a six-lane, twenty-five yard competition pool with diving board. The building includes a fitness center, multipurpose room, wet classroom, staff offices, locker rooms, family changing rooms, pool support spaces and a spectator viewing area.
The steeply sloping site provided a number of opportunities for locating the facility with regard to energy efficiency. In order to minimize the environmental exposure of the building, the two-story facility was constructed into the hillside with the main entrance on the upper level and the locker rooms and natatorium on the lower level. To further enhance the energy efficiency of the building, a geothermal ground source heat pump system was installed below the main parking area consisting of five deep standing column wells which helps reduce the total building energy demand by 50%. In addition, solar exposure was modeled for placement and treatment of exterior fenestration to maximize natural lighting within the natatorium and accessory program spaces while minimizing direct glare and solar gain. The natatorium is designed to strategically allow natural daylighting from many different orientations, i.e. high windows on the east side, low windows on the west, north facing clerestory, while carefully preventing glare on the water surface. Vertical and horizontal shading devices are used to restrict direct sunlight into the natatorium and thermally modified wood louvers are used at the main lobby and the fitness center west wall.