Fairfax Village Neighborhood Center

Fort Belvoir, VA

Fairfax Village Neighborhood Center

Fort Belvoir, VA

The Fairfax Village Neighborhood Center is part of the U.S. Army Residential Communities Initiative (RCI) to upgrade, redevelop and provide market rate residential housing and amenities for the men and women of our armed forces. The 3,770sf building and related improvements and infrastructure are located in Fairfax Village on Fort Belvoir, within Fairfax County. This project is the result of efforts by the project team to top all other sustainable efforts at Fort Belvoir and showcase the Fairfax Village Neighborhood Center as the greenest possible building. Accordingly, the project was awarded LEED-NC 2.2 Platinum Certification by the United States Green Building Council in April 2009. This is the first Certified LEED Platinum project on a United States military installation, only the second Certified Platinum project in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and one of only several hundred Platinum projects world-wide. This project exemplifies the standards set forth in the objectives of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor’s Environmental Agenda.

The physical location of the Neighborhood Center creates a walkable destination for residents in the surrounding villages. With jogging and bike trails connecting to the site, community engagement and outdoor recreation are encouraged and accessible. The Neighborhood Center is located on a previously developed site and the low impact development (LID) approach to site selection and design minimizes the footprint and maximizes vegetated open space. Approximately double the development foot print is provided as open space in the form of tree saves, onsite plantings, as well as the butterfly garden. All plantings are native or adaptive - drought tolerant species which require no permanent irrigation and thus reduce the use of potable water. Rain water from all impervious surfaces is collected in roof drains and directed to either a rain garden or similar best management practices (BMP) device. Parking has been reduced to the fewest parking spaces required by ordinance, and pervious pavement has been used in the parking areas and for onsite walk ways, which further mitigates the effects of development, and promotes water quality. The net effect is that stormwater runoff leaving the project site has been restored to the quality and quantity levels that would be expected from a natural site in good forested conditions.

The Fairfax Village Neighborhood Center is a building with exemplary energy performance. This building achieves a 59.4% energy saving by cost as compared to a standard building. This building also produces 22.65% of its yearly electrical energy consumption on-site through the use of photovoltaic (solar) panels. The HVAC and controls system contribute greatly to the buildings excellent energy performance. The ground source/geothermal heat pump system draws from the constant temperature of the earth to provide heating and cooling to the building. The Neighborhood Center also uses much less water than a traditional building. With the use of dual-flush toilets, low-flow urinals, low-flow lavatory faucets with sensors, low-flow shower heads and low flow aerators in the kitchen, the building achieves a 43.1% potable water use reduction.

Over 10% of the materials used at the Neighborhood Center contain recycled-content, including the concrete paving, aluminum roofing, tile flooring, countertops and carpeting. Over 20% of the materials used were harvested or produced within 500 miles of the site. Over 75% of the non-hazardous waste generated during demolition and construction were reused or recycled, and diverted from landfills.

Bowman Consulting provided civil engineering and surveying services for this project. The innovative Low Impact Development (LID) approach to the site design and storm water management was noteworthy. Bowman’s work also contributed to the reduction in potable water usage, the geothermal HVAC system which minimizes pollution and lessens reliance on fossil fuels, the use of recycled materials in construction, provided preferred parking for car pool and hybrid vehicles (which reduces air pollution and promotes alternative transportation), and used high reflectance paving and walkways which minimize the heat effect and the effect on global warming. This project was recognized with a White House GreenGov Award and a Fairfax County Exceptional Design Award.