GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE™ RECOGNIZES FIRST FAMILY HOMELESS SHELTER IN VIRGINIA TO BE BUILT GREEN
—The Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter Honored for Excellence in Environmental Design—
FAIRFAX, Va. (September 24, 2007) — Today, the Fairfax County Government celebrated a milestone when the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter became the first homeless shelter in the country to be recognized by the Green Building Initiative's (GBI) Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system for commercial buildings.
The GBI's Erin Shaffer presented local leaders with a plaque recognizing the building's rating of one Green Globe at a meeting of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at the Fairfax County Government Center. The shelter, which is also the first facility of its kind in Virginia to be built green, was recognized for its merits in the minimization of energy and materials through efficient use of space, the incorporation of an integrated approach and the minimization of site disturbance.
Green Globes for new construction was adapted from a system that is widely used in Canada, where it is one of only two green building rating systems recognized by the Canadian federal government. Under the trade name Go Green Comprehensive it is also the basis of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Canada's national energy and environmental program for existing buildings.
The 16,931-square-foot building serves as a home for about 20 families, mostly mothers with school-age children. The shelter provides a safe, temporary home for families where they can begin developing a plan to locate permanent housing.
To achieve a verified rating, the design team from the architecture firm Wisnewski Blair & Associates, building contractor Brechbill & Helman Construction Company and the Fairfax County government used the Green Globes tool to assess and rate the building, which was then verified by a third-party building science expert who reviewed the construction documents and conducted an on-site inspection.
"The cornerstone of this project has been Fairfax County's commitment to environmental stewardship and its 10-year plan to end homelessness," said Reuben Hameed, Project Designer and Manager for Wisnewski Blair & Associates, who handled the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter project. "Green Globes was helpful due to its interactive framework and stark functionality, and we found the suggestions and solutions provided with the questionnaires particularly insightful. Most importantly, using Green Globes helped us and the County in our focus of achieving sustainability."
The Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter is just one of the buildings that have recently completed certification in the United States using the Green Globes system. Other buildings include: Blakely Hall in Issaquah, Wash.; the Pfizer Inc. Clinical Research Unit in New Haven, Conn.; the RenewAire, LLC corporate headquarters in Madison, Wis.; the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark. and the Summit County Materials Recycling Facility in Summit County, Colo.
For more information about the GBI or Green Globes, visit www.thegbi.org.
ABOUT THE GREEN BUILDING INITIATIVE: The mission of the Green Building Initiative is to accelerate the adoption of building practices that result in energy-efficient, healthier and environmentally sustainable buildings by promoting credible and practical green building approaches. A not-for-profit education initiative, the GBI is supported by a broad cross section of organizations and individuals with an interest in residential and commercial construction. For more information on the Green Building Initiative, please visit www.thegbi.org.