Sustainable Features in the Firm’s Headquarters

Moseley Architects’ headquarters at 3200 Norfolk Street, Richmond, Virginia

by Lisa Demmel, Director of Marketing

Moseley Architects’ headquarters in Richmond is a renovated industrial building originally constructed in 1930. A mezzanine level was added to substantially increase the amount of usable floor area. The office is designed to accommodate more than 200 full-time staff.

Because the building is in a historic district, the design was reviewed and approved by both the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the National Park Service. Designers worked with the Department of Historical Resources to carefully modernize the facility without compromising the historical integrity of the structure.

The approach required incorporating the original skylights and garage bay openings into the design, which contributes to one of the most interesting aspects of the facility—the natural daylight filtering into the building. Restoring the brick and steel also required careful planning to maintain the facility’s historical status. Although the exterior only needed cleaning, the exposed brick inside the building was painted by previous occupants. As such, the paint was stripped, and the brick was subsequently cleaned and resealed to serve as one of several of the facility’s design elements.

A major goal of the project was using the facility as a teaching tool to staff, clients, and consultants so they could observe high-performance design strategies functioning in the workplace. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design strategies include daylighting and views of the outdoors; preferred parking for staff who carpool or drive a fuel-efficient vehicle to work; environmentally-friendly cleaning practices; use of rapidly-renewable materials like bamboo and sunflower board during construction; low-flow plumbing fixtures and waterless urinals; and an aggressive stormwater management plan.

“It’s a living laboratory. Our clients can walk through the building and see how to solve the problems of meeting sometimes conflicting standards of environmental and historic excellence.”

Bryna Dunn, Vice President and Director of Environmental Planning and Research

In 2009, it became one of what was then only three buildings on the historic register to achieve LEED Platinum certification. It was the first building in the City of Richmond to receive the coveted honor, and it was the only building in Virginia to qualify for both the Platinum designation and for historic tax credits.