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The Project

RK&K was the civil engineer for this project and assisted in the evaluation and implementation of sustainable design practices and LEED credits. This project is the only house in America listed on the elite World Heritage List of the United Nations, and was awarded LEED Gold certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The center is a modern reinforcement of the many vernacular aspects of Jefferson’s architecture. Nestled in the forested hillside a quarter mile from the historic house, the visitor center exists as a village of buildings sitting lightly in the landscape, each rising one story above the previous.

The 42,000 square foot facility includes a ticket pavilion, orientation theater, three education classrooms, a hands-on discovery room for families, exhibition galleries, a museum shop, café and support spaces. The administrative campus combined staff into a single location and removed some of the disparate departments of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation from current spots on the mountaintop.

The master plan for the development of the new Visitor Center and Administrative Campus was based on the largest ever special use rezoning effort in Albemarle County. For the effort, RK&K provided preliminary site layouts, traffic analyses, initial water and sewer impact analyses and technical addendums for the re-zoning package.

RK&K assisted in the evaluation and design of several of the LEED Sustainable Site and Water Efficiency factors including: Site Selection; Alternate Transportation; Site Development – Open Space; Stormwater Management – Quantity; Stormwater Management – Quality; Reduce Heat Islands – Green Roof; Light Pollution Reduction; Innovative Wastewater Technology.

The Center ultimately achieved LEED Gold Certification, with sustainable elements including a geothermal heating and cooling system; two green roofs; the extensive use of locally sourced, sustainably produced building materials; energy-efficient elements such as double glazed-windows and louvered blinds; advanced stormwater removal; water conservation measures; enhanced

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