Alexandria Renew Enterprises (ARenew) operates one of the most advanced wastewater reclamation facilities in the United States, located on a 35-acre site within walking distance of Old Town Alexandria in Northern Virginia. ARenew serves about 350,000 people in the City of Alexandria and Fairfax County, processing an average of 13 billion gallons of wastewater every year. As part of the regional efforts to clean up Chesapeake Bay, ARENEW committed to reduce total nitrogen loading in its effluent stream.
As part of this system upgrade, ARENEW constructed a new headquarters building (Environmental Center). The joint venture of Clark Construction Group LLC and Ulliman Schutte Construction LLC (Clark/US) provided CM-at-risk services for this project, as well as acting as CMAR for the associated system upgrades at the adjacent Nutrient Management Facility (NMF) The Environmental Center is a six story, 63,000 SF, Class A, LEED Platinum office building. Levels 1 and 2 of the headquarters are public spaces open to customers and will also house ARenew administrative staff and leadership. Levels 3 and 4 house additional offices for administrative staff but are not available for public access. Level 6 is a public space and houses the ARenew Board Room, which will be open for public meetings. Level 5 is left unfinished as a future office space to outside tenants.
This cast-in-place concrete building sits on prestressed concrete piles due to the project being over the site of an abandoned landfill. The building facade is configured to allow ample natural light to brighten the building and achieve LEED daylight credits. It consists of structural glass wall and a point supported glass wall on the north facade, curtainwall and brick on the east and west facades, and stone, brick, metal panels, and ribbon windows on the south facade. The east and west facades are covered with vertical sunshades that regulate the amount of direct sunlight on the building, allowing for diffused light while preventing excess heat gain. The south facade has horizontal sunshades with integral solar panels that block direct sunlight and heat gain while also supplying supplemental electricity. Solar panels will also be installed on the south, east, and west sides of the mechanical penthouse as well as the roof. The PV panel system will supply 117 KW of power and feature 471 panels.
The main entrance of the Environmental Center on the north-west corner of the building connects to a fountain which utilizes water reclaimed and filtered by the nearby wastewater plant. The reclaimed water cascades over the vestibule and down an adjacent stone water channel where it trickles down step face stone onto a water table. Inside the main lobby, educational elements show the mission of Alexandria Renew and a 6,900 salt water aquarium re-creates the Chesapeake Bay environment ARENEW works to sustain. The lobby also contains a two story biofilter wall, a living green wall integrated into the building HVAC system to filter and improve indoor air quality.
Immediately adjacent to the Environmental Center on the east is the Connector Deck. The grade level of the Connector serves as a 28,000SF parking lot for ARENEW staff. The upper level of the Connector a landscaped seating area for the adjacent soccer field, which Clark/US constructed on top of the NMF project water storage tanks, also for ARENEW. The connector will also function as the starting point for a future elevated park that will be constructed to the north by a neighboring developer.