18th STREET

Virginia Beach, Virginia 2006

Description

While technically classified as a humid sub-tropical climate, Virginia Beach has had a low probability of major storm damage being situated too far north for most Hurricane tracks, and too far south for major north Atlantic storms. Unfortunately in the face of global climatic change, this is probably no longer valid.

Originally a two parcel lot, development of this site sought to establish a new urban mixed-use prototype as part of the City of Virginia Beach re-development corridor. The clients, partners in a prominent design firm, required professional office space as well as two separate residences and a rental apartment

Site

Located just three blocks from the beach, the project was designed in anticipation of the harsh realities of a changing costal environment. As a flood strategy, a six foot high block wall wraps the site and most of the grade is lifted three feet above flood level. Hurricane shutters, rain water collection systems, whole house generators, and future photovoltaics were also included

Materials

Durability, low maintenance, and economy of means were important for the client. Concrete block walls and steel bar joists sit on concrete friction pile foundations. Selected for their strength and energy efficiency, structural insulated panels are used for roofs and upper level walls.