In 2005, we built our headquarters in Gainesville -- Virginia's first Gold-certified building under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Our goal was to incorporate innovative design and sustainability practices into a showcase office building and grounds that supports our work and stewardship ideals. Our design includes a variety of low impact development (LID) stormwater management techniques, solar energy, water-efficiency and energy-efficiency measures, and recycled and rapidly renewable materials, along with landscaping and a rain garden that support wildlife. WSSI staff have walkable access to restaurants, stores and housing (and our office bicycles to use); our community fruit and vegetable garden; and our dog kennel.
Our fully-integrated LID design uses detention, retention, and evapotranspiration to reduce storm water volumes and peak flow rates. In contrast, a "traditional" site would utilize curb and gutter practices to remove storm water as quickly as possible with no provision for reducing the volume that is discharged. WSSI’s LID design employs a myriad of small-scale Integrated Management Practices to closely mimic the hydrology of a forested site. Our design components include a green roof, an indoor cistern (used to flush toilets), an underground outdoor cistern (used for irrigation), a rain garden, four types of pervious parking surfaces, a bioswale, and extensive native landscaping. Our office is both a laboratory and a classroom. See the aerial photo below for the location of many of the practices.
In 2018 the office earned Audubon at Home Wildlife Sanctuary certification after we demonstrated that the environment was attractive to a number of targeted Sanctuary Species and we pledged our commitment to wildlife-friendly habitat stewardship.
In the same year, WSSI replaced approximately 1,100 s.f. of impervious concrete paving at the rear employee entrance with a permeable CU-Structural Soil® patio. CU-Structural Soil® is a specialized soil blend that when compacted during installation, maintains approximately 30% void space within the soil matrix for tree roots to fill and is designed to support pavements while still allowing healthy tree root growth. Additionally, the void space has the added benefit of stormwater storage. Click here to learn more about the patio and using CU-Structural Soil® to support healthy root growth in paved environments.
Click here and below for details on all of our LID practices
- GravelPave2 pervious pavement
- Naturalistic landscape
- Permeable concrete pavers
- Green roof
- Living wall
- CU-Structural Soil® Patio
- Underground cistern
- Rain garden
- Pervious concrete
- Porous asphalt
- Underground gravel bed detention
- Dog kennel and dog waste composter
- Community garden
- Native forest and nature trail
Site Plant and Seed Lists
Additional: Sustainable Stormwater Resources