NVAR has a new green built headquarters in Fairfax, VA
Over a year after breaking ground, Northern Virginia Association of Realtor’s new, sustainably built headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia is open for business! A beautiful building set back behind the former office building, NVAR took care to ensure that all green details were seen to in their new home! Working with a team of LEED certified professionals, NVAR chose to create a building that would be both environmentally friendly for the community, healthy for the staff, and a beautiful fixture for the Realtors who utilize the space for furthering their education of their trade.
Late this summer, At a Young Leaders meeting at the new NVAR building, the outdoor entertaining area, complete with a built in gas grill was christened by dozens of happy young professionals. All of these folks were eager to get a tour of the very green new building which is slated to be a LEED Gold project once they have finalized the certification process.
When one drives up to the building, parking is a plenty, and something immediately noticed is the gentle slope of the ground towards the living roof system that surrounds the building and is on top of the main parking garage. Covered with various varieties of succulents and sedums, this roof is designed to manage rainwater run off from the gutters as well as cool the surrounding area and diminish the urban heat island effect that is often a problem with buildings of this size (24,000 sf). Upon first glance, the green roof system looks just like a lawn. The difference is that (aside from that the greenery are sedums and succulents in lieu of grasses, these plants (after a year of being watered by the NVAR staff) will be able to “do their job” of cooling and purifying the surrounding air by surviving off of run off and straight rain water. The specific varieties of plants will also give quite a show in the fall and winter as they go dormant and shift from green to a rusty red.
Once inside, there is that “new building smell” of freshly laid carpet and new office equipment. Ainsley McDougal of NVAR took the Young Leaders group through the main floor making sure that everyone takes note of the lay out. All of the offices are along the middle of the building, while the cubicles are towards the glass walls. The offices have a wall of glass that allows an enormous amount of natural light to filter in and nearly eliminate the need for artificial light. Also, all lighting systems are on motion sensor- so lights come on as needed. Speaking of high tech, once inside the main conference room, which is uniquely designed for all to be able to view a high power projection screen from all angles, one will notice the power controlled black out window screens, dual plasma screen televisions for optimal viewing of presentations and numerous plugs throughout the custom designed table for any AV needs. Beyond the blackout window shades, the views are quite nice from the conference room and the work space, as the building is nestled back on Pennell St. backing to a lush natural forest-scape.
On the Top floor, more office space is available and in the top floor men’s and women’s bathrooms, showers are available for those employees who choose to cycle into work. The bathrooms are equipped with the Dyson hand dryers which eliminate the need for paper towels to dry your hands; they are super energy efficient and highly sustainable products. A staff kitchen area is again open and bright and outfitted with extremely functional and sustainable products. While the tour was going through, the building was being cleaned by the “green cleaning service” who uses all sustainable products, and recycles all of the office’s recyclables.
Down below on the bottom floor, you will find the NVAR Realtor’s store, membership department and numerous conference rooms and training facilities all nicely outfitted to be very high tech, and environmentally friendly. Each trash receptacle area is designed to be a complete recycling center. Space for your paper products, cans and bottles, and then actual garbage have been carved out to ensure that everyone who uses the NVAR facilities will do their part to recycle.
NVAR recently posted this information to their site to help identify how the building has taken steps to achieve the LEED Gold Status:
Energy and Water Conservation:
• Energy efficient building envelope and efficient heating and cooling systems contribute to far greater than average energy savings in the operation of the building.
• HVAC system is “chilled water”-based as compared to “self-contained packaged” system.
• Higher efficiency translates to lower overall operating costs and lower energy consumption; calculations show performance that is 40 percent more efficient than current code requirements.
• Many sustainable operational practices already in place.
• Housekeeping will be “green,” using non-toxic cleaning products.
• Tenant guidelines have been established to enforce recycling and other sustainable practices.