NWF's Headquarters Selected a Top Ten Green Project by AIA

NWF puts into practice the common-sense conservation for which it is known

04-19-2002 // NWF Media Team

Heralding its design as sensible stewardship of the organization's financial resources while at the same time protecting the environment, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has named the National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) headquarters in Reston, Virginia in its annual Top Ten "Green" projects. The award, given in time to coincide with Earth Day (Monday, April 22), is given to projects that address significant environmental challenges with designs that integrate architecture, technology and natural systems. NWF's selection of "state-of-the-shelf" construction technologies and materials was praised for its efficiency, allowing NWF to put into practice the common-sense conservation for which the organization is known.

"This building is a leading example of meshing form, function and mission," says Joyce Lee, chair of AIA's Committee on the Environment. "The design provides occupants with not only a sense of place, but also the essence of their work." Selected by a jury of renowned architects, the winning projects were evaluated for their contribution to their site's ecosystems, connections to the surrounding community, use of high-performance technologies, energy use, and sensitive use of materials and resources. Some of the NWF building features that stood out in the minds of the judges were the:

  • Native plantings that support local wildlife and reduce the need for irrigation and frequent mowing.
  • Building's orientation which capitalizes on solar energy sources to reduce energy expenditure and increases natural light.
  • Facility's north exposure, which overlooks Lake Fairfax Park, is a curtain wall of glass offering beautiful vistas and floods the interior spaces with light to create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • Vertical trellis on the south side of the building planted with deciduous vines that leaf in the summer to provide shade and are bare in the winter allowing sunlight to heat the facility. The trellis also provides a vertical habitat for indigenous wildlife.

Completed in January of 2001, the 95,000 square foot headquarters building houses 250 employees dedicated to conserving our nation's wildlife and wild places. Designed by Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum (HOK), known for their leadership in sustainable design, all the building features strike a sensible balance between efficiency, cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness. Instead of using expensive state-of-the-art environmental features that only a committed conservation group might choose, NWF opted for more readily available equipment and materials. Environmental education is a large part of NWF's mission and they wanted to teach businesses and organizations everywhere that they can meet their facilities needs, benefit the environment, and still maintain their bottom line. The organization proved that financial stewardship and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand. NWF was impressed with HOK's commitment to meet NWF's stringent requirements and also to Teknion for its leadership in providing open-plan office furniture consistent with NWF's vision.

"This prestigious award is acknowledgement that NWF's vision of creating a model building that balances the health of the environment with a sensible bottom line has been realized," says Mark Van Putten, NWF President and CEO. "We wanted to send a message about what the National Wildlife Federation stands for and we have done that."


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