Moseley Architects accepted the James River Green Building Council’s “Green Building Leadership Award” for the renovation to the administration/activities building at the Virginia Rehabilitation Center for the Blind & Vision Impaired (VRCBVI) in Richmond, Virginia. Annually held, JRGBC Green Leadership Awards foster the encouragement and development of green building in Virginia. The project, which featured a 22,400-square-foot renovation and two small additions totaling 1,320 square feet, was recognized in the category of Adaptive Reuse.
The VRCBVI, operated by the Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI), was established in 1970 to provide comprehensive adjustment services to severely visually impaired Virginians. The center teaches blind persons strategies and skills to adapt to living without sight, and teaches people with partial blindness ways to use their remaining sight more effectively.
In accordance with Commonwealth of Virginia Energy Conservation and Environmental Performance Standards, sustainable features were incorporated into the building design and construction. The installation of translucent skylights and glare control treatments created open, bright space while electric vehicle charging stations were added to promote the use of low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles. The roof was replaced with a standing seam metal system coated with a highly solar reflective paint that reduces heat gain to the building caused by the heat island effect.
New low-flux bathroom plumbing fixtures were installed that are estimated to save the facility 34,000 gallons of water per year. All HVAC equipment, ductwork, and associated controls were removed and replaced with a new variable air volume (VAV) system with energy recovery technology. Carefully designed metering will allow for long-term energy use measurement and verification. Indoor air quality was protected by using low-emitting building materials and furnishings, separating and ventilating chemical storage areas, providing entryway mat systems to reduce dirt tracked into the building, specifying high-efficiency HVAC filtration, and the Owner worked to prepare and implement a green housekeeping plan.
As a result of these efforts, the project exceeded its goals and achieved LEED certification at the Gold level. The renovated building is now an attractive, efficient, sustainable, yet highly functional building well-suited for its very unique population.