Fort Belvoir Residential Communities, a public-private partnership with the U.S. Army, planned, operated, and constructed military family housing communities for Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Virginia. Initial development, which spanned eight years, included demolition and construction of 1,192 new homes, renovation of 170 historically significant homes, and major renovations of 694 homes on base. The project also encompassed five new neighborhood centers, one of which became the military's first new construction project to achieve LEED® Platinum status. The partnership manages a total of 2,154 homes for the U.S. Army for fifty years.
Building Green at Fort Belvoir Military Family Housing
Fort Belvoir Military Family Housing includes the renovation of 170 historically significant homes and the military's first new construction project to achieve LEED® Platinum. Incorporating a number of green features to create an environmentally-friendly community for military families, each of the five villages at Fort Belvoir is compactly designed and includes a large green space with centralized mail kiosks and playgrounds. In addition, Fort Belvoir is home to the first mixed-use town center of a Department of Defense installation, offering walkable retail destinations and reducing the need for cars on post.
Not only does the land planning design of the villages introduce smart growth and new urbanism principles, but great environmental emphasis is also placed on the construction phase, of which the main objective is to reduce development footprint through sustainable civil design. Through the use of bio-retention ponds, extended detention basins, stormwater filters, and other erosion and sediment controls, stormwater management practices prevent harmful compounds from flowing into surrounding streams and the Potomac River. The project’s construction techniques have also protected and promoted existing vegetation over 1,000 trees have been saved since the project began, and upon completion, more than 4,000 trees will have been added. Additionally, construction waste recycling efforts were increased in 2008 to 80 percent of waste material, diverting an immense amount of waste from local landfills. Close to 80,000 tons of concrete have been recycled on-site at Fort Belvoir. Every new home – over 1000 to date – that is built at Fort Belvoir is Energy Star® certified.
One of the most recent sustainability initiatives at Fort Belvoir is a recently-completed 4,200 SF Neighborhood Center that was designed and constructed to achieve LEED® Platinum Certification. Some of the key “green” features of the building include renewable energy systems such as roof-mounted solar panels a geothermal heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system that utilizes the temperature of the earth to heat and cool the building, a native/adapted species educational butterfly garden, recycled building materials such as countertops made from plastic bottles, paper, and post-industrial metal shaving scraps rapidly renewable building materials such as bamboo floors and sunflower husk cabinetry and reclaimed building materials such as salvaged brick from Jadwin Loop Village, a former playground in Belvoir’s Fairfax Village. The Neighborhood Center also provides a valuable educational tool for military families and raises awareness of sustainability throughout the community.