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Heifer International World Headquarters
Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
Heifer International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty, needed a larger headquarters and wanted the project to minimize the use of earth’s resources. Heifer identified a long-abandoned railroad yard in the city’s old warehouse district and decided to transform it to suit their needs.
The building’s design captured every opportunity to achieve LEED® points and reflect the overall mission. The combination of the building’s narrow floor plate and the curtain wall allows natural light to penetrate to the center of every floor, while strategic interior glazing continues the indoor/outdoor aesthetic and keeps individual offices bright and open.
FROM BROWNFIELD TO SHINING STAR: “LEED”-ING THE WAY IN LITTLE ROCK
A nonprofit organization dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty, Heifer International provides livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially disadvantaged families around the world. Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, the organization was faced with the need for larger headquarters, but wanted the project to minimize the use of earth’s resources. Heifer identified a long-abandoned railroad yard in the city’s old warehouse district, an environmentally dirty site known as a brownfield, and made the decision to transform it – the “green” way. One of the first of its kind in the area, the project was designed with careful consideration for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification standards.
Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Architects, Ltd. developed the building’s design, capturing every opportunity to achieve LEED® points and reflect the overall mission. Glazing contractor ACE Glass Company, Inc. and the product manufacturer/design engineering team from Kawneer North America were called in to collaborate on the project. Completed in March 2006, the project is LEED Platium®.
- The curved shape of the building served to take advantage of the solar orientation by stretching in an east/west direction and maximizing sun exposure. To block excessive sunlight, the team integrated sunshades into the exterior, while Kawneer’s InLighten™ Interior Light Shelves were installed on the interior of the wall to bounce natural light up to the ceiling and reflect it into the building.
- Deeper, custom sunshades were created to be hung vertically between the punchouts, a unique design feature that served to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional, as they protect the interior from both east and west sun exposure.
- The combination of the building’s narrow floor plate and the curtain wall allows natural light to penetrate to the center of every floor, while strategic interior glazing continues the indoor/outdoor aesthetic and keeps individual offices bright and open. Fixed and storefront framing systems, in conjunction with swing and sliding entrances, were used throughout the interior offices and conference rooms. In addition, clear, frosted and green glass added a light and modern aesthetic.
- The complex design required the customization of several existing Kawneer products, and the curved building footprint complicated fabrication.
- The increased focus on recycled materials (per the Materials & Resources category under LEED®) required the coordination of a sizeable order of secondary aluminum billet necessary for the project. In fact, 97% of the building materials used for the project contain recycled content.
ARCHITECT: Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon and Porter Architects, Ltd., Little Rock, Arkansas
GLAZING CONTRACTOR: ACE Glass Company, Inc., Little Rock, Arkansas
Photography: ©Timothy Hursley