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ABC-VA Headquarters: Aiming for LEED Gold
July 20, 2010
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Topics Green

ABC-VA HeadquartersAssociated Builders & Contractors Virginia Chapter (ABC-VA) has officially opened its quite impressive new headquarters location.  The building project was managed by J.J. McCarthy as owner's representative, head of its green building committee.  The project featured numerous ABC member contractors and design professionals, including BE&K Building Group as general contractor and Morgan Gick McBeath & Associates, P.C. as architects.

The project is in the running for a LEED gold rating at this point which is truly remarkable given that it is built as the first property in an office park well outside of Dulles Airport.  Forget about going for sustainable sites credits, surrounding density, and available subway transportation lines that provide so many easy points for urban setting LEED projects.

The project incorporates a lot of interesting features (outlined complete with photos in this detailed presentation), some of them quite cutting edge, including:

  1. Using pervious concrete for the parking area, eliminating storm drains and piping and reducing heat island effect;
  2. Using rapidly renewable resources, including not just bamboo flooring but also bamboo cabinets;
  3. Use of low VOC carpets and paint;
  4. Dramatic reduction of energy usage (17%), including use of LED lighting, T-5 lighting, motion sensors, daylighting, solar hot water heating, and exterior glare and heat load reduction via sun shields;
  5. Dramatic reduction of water usage (44%), including dual flush toilets and waterless urinals;
  6. Extensive use of recycled materials;
  7. Installation of a white roof;
  8. Extensive diversion of waste from landfills by recycling (estimated at 90% of waste from the project recycled).

The project highlights how a shared vision and team philosophy amongst the owner, contractor and design professionals can really translate to dramatic success.  Handling a project as mutual members of an organization for that organization helps create that environment, but those shared values and an attitude of mutual respect and success can be fostered on other projects.  ABC-VA deserves tremendous kudos for pushing its vision of sustainable construction as well, this project really is worth visiting to check out in person.

Photo by

Eric Taylor

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    Timothy Hughes is the managing shareholder of Bean, Kinney & Korman. He also represents clients in construction and commercial litigation, as well as corporate, contracts and general business matters. With over 20 years ...