King's Crossing, Alexandria, VA
A mix use development competition in downtown Alexandria, a 20 minute Metro ride from Washington DC.
Project comprised of 4 live-work loft units facing busy King Street and adjacent to Highway 1, with a private courtyard to the rear.
An additional (4) double storey townhouses with attached single car garage and private entry court were located within
the private courtyard. This provided a sense of security to the inhabitants and provided a place of refuge from the busy streets
Project was oriented to maximize solar gain in the winter with high clerestorey windows that trapped the natural daylight and brought it
into almost 85% of the spaces within the townhouses. An innovative "light tower was used to bring daylight into the lower levels.
The clerestorey windows (operable awning windows), are utilized in the hot humid summers to achieve a vertical
stack effect for natural ventilation. Hot air rises to the top of the clerestorey towers and are literally pulled out of the building by the winds that flow through the site.
Extensive site studies were carried out to find the optimum orientation to capture both wind and sun.
The curving roofs actually dump snow during the winters onto flat roof decks. These in turn help prevent snow from falling on people below and add additional insulating values
during the cold winters. All roofs are oriented so that no slope ever dumps snow onto pedestrian alleys or where there maybe people congregating.
Walls were to be reinforced concrete with rigid insulation. The concrete enables us to add flyash as a recycled content. Any wood utilized was to come from certified forest
and flooring materials were to be manufactured from materials like bamboo and wheat. All fast growing and easily renewable.
These are just some of the many "green" features incorporated
within the project.
Gerard Lee, AIA principal in charge and responsible for the design and execution of this project.
Whenever possible, buildings should give back to the environment as opposed to harming it.
The costs of "greening" a building in recent studies is now relatively on par with traditional building methods.
But the cost savings and ease of maintenance of green buildings usually creates long term savings and in some cases revenue
(if the project attempts to generate it's own power and is tied to the local utility's grid))
for the buildings owners.