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. The initial development plan, which spanned eight years, included the demolition and replacement of 1,192 new homes, the renovation of 170 historically significant homes, and major renovations of 694 homes on Fort Belvoir. The project also encompassed five new neighborhood centers, one of which became the first new construction project in the military 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, which comprises five villages in 18 phases, includes the demolition and replacement of 1,192 homes, the renovation of 694 homes, of which 170 are historically significant, and the construction of five new Neighborhood Centers, including the military’s first LEED® Platinum new construction project. Land planning principles established during the design phase focused on one main standard to create an environmentally-friendly community for military families. In order to accomplish this objective, the CRC team incorporated numerous green features. First, each of the villages at Fort Belvoir includes compact design and a large green space with central mail kiosks and playgrounds. In addition, four Neighborhood Centers and a resident Welcome Center, the first mixed-use town center on a Department of Defense installation, are walkable destinations, reducing automobile use 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.