The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia is a 32,700-sq-ft green facility with four interconnected buildings surrounded by a courtyard. The building is projected to achieve LEED Gold status.

Photo Courtesy Martin Horn Inc.

In addition to serving as the new administration center for the foundation, the Jefferson Fellows Center offers graduate fellows spaces to study, teach and conduct research and lectures.

To facilitate construction, contractor Martin Horn and architect VMDO used value engineering to cut roughly $1 million in changes.

Mother Nature also challenged the construction team. Wells drilled 300 ft in the ground for the closed-loop geothermal heat pump system tapped into subterranean water flows so forceful that they created geysers up to 40 ft high. Because the storm-drain system for the project was designed to eliminate the need for water to be piped offsite, the severe water flow created a water management/sediment and erosion-control problem. The contractor devised a series of pumps that circulated water among the various retention basins to virtually eliminate offsite runoff.

Also, a fire ravaged a portion of the building as it neared completion. The contractor assembled a remediation team and fast-tracked the supply of replacement materials to get the project back on track.

Despite these impacts, the administrative center took occupancy nearly two months ahead of schedule.

Key Players

Owner: Jefferson Scholars Foundation
Contractor: Martin Horn, inc.
Architect: VMDO Architects
Civil Engineer: PHR&A
Structural Engineer: Structural Concepts, Inc.