Bonstra Haresign’s New Construction, The Macedonian Building on Shirlington Road, brings a deeper sense of Community and a new shade of green to Nauck in Arlington.
Situated in the thick of things, the new construction just in front of the Macedonia Baptist Church on Shirlington Road will bring a deeper sense of connectedness and community to the Village of Nauck. Architect Matthew Corell of Bonstra Haresign answered a strong call for a building that could enable low income families to live in homes that are “environmentally and community responsible”.
Part of Bonstra Haresign’s mantra is that they are “rooted in community values and collaboration [Bonstra Haresign is] a full service architecture firm committed to design excellence and client service.” They saw this community in need, and set out to achieve a building that is not only EarthCraft Certified, but also a community incubator program. Corell mentions that this 35 unit building of one and two bedroom homes isn’t just a pretty new face on the Nauck Village Center map, “The Macedonian and it’s big sister The Shelton (across the street) are the first two buildings to be developed according to the Nauck Village Action Plan and act as a gateway from the low-residential single family homes to the north and the soon-to-be density to the south and on down to the more developed Shirlington area.” Corell and his team utilized the difficulties of the Nauck Village Action Plan (the planning and zoning for the community) to their advantage- creating a sleek, yet modest profile with some rather interesting, thoughtful touches. Note that this building is going through the rigorous EarthCraft Virginia testing to verify that the property is being built to health living standards.
From bottom to top, The Macedonian is something special for the Nauck Community. This 5 story building looks like a four story building from some angles, this is part of the zoning that provided Corell the opportunity to create something a little bit different with this building. In the first level of the building, you will find offices and “incubator” rooms for community members who are seeking to begin their own small businesses; this incubator area gives them a head start with office space to commence working on excelling. The one and two bedroom floorplans are available to families who meet specific income requirements to that they can live in a building which has been constructed to high energy efficiency and green building standards. The slight step in the building where it becomes a 4-5 story building, is an open air roof-top green space: an intricate system of sedum and other succulents called a living roof. Corell recalls this living roof would “add a center piece for the tenants and a private outdoor space that they could enjoy year round. The green roof, by LiveRoof, also has huge environmental impacts: diverting water from the local sewer system, reducing the heat gain of the building and providing an additional layer of insulation… The upper roof is also energy efficient and is called a “cool roof” due to its high albedo rating. It has minimal mechanical condensers and fans. ” The living roof is just one way that his team brought a beautiful and effective way to bring energy efficiency and performance to the project.
The standards that the Bozuto Construction company took in creating the Bonstra Haresign design has been that of advanced framing techniques, high performance energy efficient insulation strategy and healthy indoor air systems through proper air sealing techniques and the utilization of a fresh air intake system for the whole property. The HVAC system is a topic that the whole design and construction team struggled with; Corell wanted a product that would allow for the fresh air intake system but would not be the typical “farm” of HVAC units on the rooftop. One of their engineers suggested the Mitsubishi unit, that they ultimately opted for after much discussion with the HVAC subcontractors who were not familiar with this type of ducted fresh air intake system. The Mitsubishi unit that they purchased is a product that is often utilized in commercial buildings, but is quite widely used in Japanese construction of all sorts. One of the many bonuses of this system is that it will “provided ducted fresh air to each unit.” On the energy efficiency front, this system “will send it’s cooling refrigerant to the condensers in the garage which will then convert this and send it to the west side. So instead of converting 100 degree air to 70, the Mitsubishi takes the 74 degree refrigerant and converts it to 70;” thereby reducing the conditioning needs since air will be constantly tempered. Something that, again, sets this building apart is the light colored roof designed to reflect light and keep the building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, as Corell referenced before regarding the “high albedo”.
Not only is The Macedonian project an energy-efficient, low income, multi-family project in Arlington, but it is also a community development project. It’s prime location with close proximity to 395 access, a number of ART buses and even the main S. Glebe thoroughfare, The Macedonian is a great place to kick this historic community back into high gear for its inhabitants. The incorporation of a project such as this within walking distance to the historic Drew Model School, walking distance to the Nauck Town Center and even a gentle stroll to the Village of Shirlington shops, and restaurants- is bringing new life and new opportunity to this section of the Nauck Community.