City of Virginia Beach Unveils a Better, Greener Bow Creek
By J.C. Douglass, PWD, LEED AP, HRGBC Communications Chair
Image source: City of Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation.
Virginia Beach, Virginia, March 9, 2015. Hampton Roads Green Building Council Board and Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation Foundation Members received an early sneak peek tour of the Bow Creek Community Recreation Center on March 3rd from Mr. Michael Kalvort, Director of Parks and Recreation, and Mr. Chad Morris, Planning, Design, and Development Administrator. The new, green, state-of-the art $28 million, 68,000SF facility is built on the location of the former rec center. Bow Creek lives up to the City’s dedication to their Sustainability Plan and the principles and performance that have brought the Green Schools National Conference to the City, which was just held at the VirginiaGreen Certified and LEED Gold Convention Center. Mr. Morris reported that the new facility is targeting a LEED 2009 Certified rating, in no small part thanks to the ~300-well geothermal mechanical system, which serves as a heat source or sink depending on the season. The locker rooms feature low-flow fixtures and sensor-operated showers to help conserve water. The facility is the first city building to featureboth interior and exterior LED lighting for even more energy and cost savings, as part of the City’s new initiative to upgrade to energy efficient lighting across sectors (Virginia Beach switching to LED lights for roadways, Virginian-Pilot, December 17, 2014). Even more impressive is the City’s dedication to storm water management, reaching beyond the scope of the building alone. “After a heavy rain, this area would sometimes stand a foot deep in water. The existing ditches just could not keep up.” Mr. Kalvort told the tour group. The City undertook a regional storm water management approach for the surrounding 100-acre watershed. The result is a large, tiered storm water feature which wraps around the Rec Center, not only offering rainwater treatment but a unique landscape setting for the facility. The facility was designed by the team of Moseley Architects, Hastings and Chivetta Architects, and WPL and is registered on USGBC’s GBIG, undergoing LEED certification. The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Bow Creek Recreation Center will be held on Friday March 20, 2015 and will hold a grand opening celebration on March 21, 2015.