VCU Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences, Charles City County, Virginia
The Walter L. Rice Education Building at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Rivers Center, situated on a bluff overlooking the James River, houses lecture and laboratory classrooms, a conference room and administrative offices, as well as an outdoor classroom pavilion. This living laboratory provides a place for research, teaching, and public outreach programs focused on environmental sciences. It also serves to inform faculty, students, and the community about the benefits of sustainable building practices.
The 4,900-square-foot education building was not only built at the highest level of green building standards, but is operated and maintained at the highest level of green building operations. The award-winning building became the first LEED Platinum building in Virginia thanks to its array of features: geothermal heating and cooling, solar electrical power generation, sustainable building materials, a vegetated roof, advanced water recycling, rain gardens and landscaping with native species.
This project received the award for Excellence in Architecture from the Virginia American Institute of Architects and was the recipient of the Governor's Environmental Excellence Award, as well as various other regional awards celebrating green buildings and sustainable construction.