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Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway receives LEED Certification from U.S. Green Building Council

July 24, 2012
Abingdon, VA  – The Southwest Virginia chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council presented the Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification to Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway in a ceremony held there.  Accepting the award were People Incorporated President and CEO, Rob Goldsmith, project architect, David Bandy, and Heartwood project manager, Rob Jones.

“This achievement underscores Heartwood’s efforts to contribute to the very growth we intend to stimulate through this venture,” said Goldsmith.  “It is in keeping with our mission to promote economic, environmental, and community sustainability within the framework of a place-based economy.”

“Heartwood epitomizes all the features of sustainability in one place,” adds Jones.  “It is rewarding to be part of a project that has the potential to help transform our region’s economy while simultaneously representing an innovative and sustainable design that I believe will become iconic to the region.”

The recognition acknowledges the sensitive placement and coordinated sustainable engineering practices that were employed in the design of the 30,000-square-foot building by Roanoke-based Spectrum Design and project architect, David Bandy, in collaboration with 1717 Design of Richmond.  It was built by MB Contactors, Roanoke, Virginia and over 30% of the construction material used in Heartwood was sourced directly from within the Southwest Virginia region, including locally harvested native woods.  25% was recycled, as was 75% of the post-construction waste.  LEED compliance was independently verified by Commissioning WorCX of Jamestown, North Carolina, throughout the process.

“The design of Heartwood was inspired by Southwest Virginia’s agrarian architecture,” says Bandy.  “It was fitting to incorporate sustainable design practices that drew so heavily from within the very creative economy from which this opportunity came.

“The concept for Heartwood was a very simple idea that developed into a quite complex design,” Bandy continued.  “It is rewarding that in addition to its outstanding support of local artisans, it is also a leader in the community on how buildings are viewed and how they can serve.”

Interiors are finished with low-VOC paints, glues and carpet.  Geo-thermal wells minimize heating and cooling costs, while insulated skylights and windows make the most of available light.  Energy efficient appliances reduce water consumption by as much as 40% above code, and native plants and grasses filter storm water runoff being leaving the site.

With this achievement in measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance, Heartwood joins Southwest Virginia businesses Emory & Henry College, UVA Wise, Virginia Tech, the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, Appalachia America Energy Research Center, One Main Financial in Wytheville, and the Wytheville Social Security Department in gaining LEED-certified status.

Heartwood is located at Exit 14 on I-81 in Abingdon.  For more information please visit www.heartwoodvirginia.org.

About People Incorporated
People Incorporated is a non-profit Community Action Agency and Community Development Corporation committed to providing opportunities for people to reach their goals in order to enhance their lives, families, and communities. People Incorporated develops programs and strategies that are designed to move people and communities into the economic mainstream. In 2011, People Incorporated provided services to nearly 7,400 clients and generated an economic impact of over $164 million in communities throughout Virginia. For more information about People Incorporated’s programs and services contact the Abingdon office at 276-623-9000.