November 24, 2014 AdminHBA Design, Events, General News


HBA recently submitted newly completed projects into competition for the HRACRE awards. These projects receive recognition as outstanding facilities in the Hampton Roads area.


Chesapeake Beach Fire Station was given an Award of Excellence in the category of Best Institutional/ Public Building.

The project team awarded this design-build contract for the new two-story 13,900 square foot fire station with three apparatus bays was given a complex set of criteria to meet in order to be successful. The RFP issued by the City of Virginia Beach included a schematic site plan, floor plans and elevations. The floor plan issued was approximately 15,200 square feet, which exceeded the City’s desired program area of 13,800-14,200 square feet. The limited site area dictated that the fire station would be two-story. It was also critical to the City that the total project budget of $3,200,000 not be exceeded. It was determined during preparation that the allotted budget could not be met with the design provided in the RFP. As part of the new proposal, an alternate design that would meet the City’s needs and could be completed within the City’s budget was provided.

Only one team redesigned the fire station, where material and building system alternatives were explored, so that the fire station could be completed within the City’s budget. The proposed design and alternates submitted did not affect the overall program requirements, nor would they compromise the Fire Department’s ability to service the community. The total building square footage was reduced from 15,200 square feet to 13,900 square feet, without reducing the programmed space requirements; additionally, the building layout was adjusted to be more efficient and utilize less area for circulation.

The first floor includes Office Space, Watch/Radio Room, Day/Training Room, EMS Day Room, Kitchen and Dining, Apparatus Bays, Air/SCBA Room, Decontamination Room, Work Room, and EMS Storage. The second floor includes ten private Bunk Rooms, Toilet and Shower Rooms, Physical Training Room, as well as support and storage spaces.

The Chesapeake Beach Fire & EMS Station is within the Shore Drive Corridor Plan area and the design incorporates the Shore Drive Corridor Design Guidelines. The key components of the Shore Drive Corridor Plan are as follows:

  • The Shore Drive Corridor is a residential community;
  • The Shore Drive Corridor is a community with rich physical character; and
  • Pedestrian access in the Shore Drive Corridor is critical to maintain its residential character.

The design of this Fire Station reflects the residential character and respects the entrance to the Chesapeake Beach neighborhood at Greenwell Road. The location within the Shore Drive “Gateway Zone” provides an opportunity to establish visual interest at the Shore Drive and Northampton Boulevard interchange. Although the Fire Station is a commercial structure, the scale and context of the building fits with the residential style and scale and relates to pedestrian as well as automobile traffic.

The Chesapeake Beach Fire Station incorporates hardboard siding, shingles and trim at exterior walls while reducing the masonry to less than 50% of the total facade as outlined in the guidelines.

The landscape design for this Station follows the general guidelines of the Shore Drive Transportation Plan, Shore Drive Corridor Study, as well as the Shore Drive Design Guidelines. The station site falls within the “Gateway Zone” of the guidelines and landscape design falls within the guidelines as set forth in the Shore Drive Corridor Plan and the Shore Drive Recommended Plant list (1999).

The Chesapeake Beach Fire & EMS Station enhances the context of the Shore Drive Corridor and surrounding neighborhoods by providing a recognizable public structure designed in the local “beach” vernacular. The quality of life in this area of the City will be enhanced by a station that is more centrally located and is designed to house the apparatus, equipment, and latest technology that will serve to protect the residents and businesses.

Chesapeake Beach Fire Station_Montage

Gold Key PHR Corporate Headquarters was given an Award of Merit in the category of Best Interior.

Gold Key|PHR is a developer and operator of premium hospitality facilities, serving both the hotel and timeshare markets. They have grown organically, and their many functional departments were spread out in a number of facilities throughout Hampton Roads. The purpose of this project was to bring the groups together to benefit from the synergy of ideas and economy of scale, yet to continue to meet their diverse functional requirements. The opportunity for this project came as the result of a new mixed use development project, the Sidney Kellam Office Building, where GK|PHR retained one and one-half floors for their use.

The top floor of this project, which Gold Key|PHR shares with a wealth management firm, was used to bring the entire executive team together around a core of support and conference spaces. It presents the corporate image of the company as an operator of luxury facilities. The conference room utilizes high-end finishes, such as granite and travertine, and showcases expansive views of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

The full floor immediately below organizes all of the functional departments around a space that welcomes and celebrates the employees of the entire organization, including those who work at the many hotel and timeshare facilities. Office spaces are located around the core, organized for functionality and ease of access. Carpeting and tile differentiates pathways and circulation, while varying finishes on the walls activate and characterize spaces by function.

Although the two floors use a varied palette of materials, both are designed to create a unity and flow from the building core areas into the functional areas and to expand the sense of place beyond the bounds of the individual suites occupied by the groups.

Gold Key PHR_Montage

Kellam High School was given an Award of Excellence in the category of Best Educational Building.

From the beginning, this new 2,000 student high school was envisioned as a prototype for 21st century learning. We established three clear objectives that would define success for this project:

  1. Involve full spectrum of stakeholders in collaborative planning and design processes to maximize the value of design-thinking across diverse networks and also to achieve user and community “buy-in” to the solutions.
  2. Design a high school facility that will facilitate and support the implementation of a new curriculum and assessment model founded on the principals of student-centered challenge-based learning and focused on developing skills in critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration and communication.
  3. Create challenge-based learning opportunities for Kellam HS students that are integral to the planning and design process for the new school and that are collaborative efforts with the design team; incorporate design themes and elements into the school facility that will encourage students to become engaged as lifelong “sustainable citizens”.

Collaborative Planning & Design Processes
We firmly believe that collaboration between stakeholders of diverse viewpoints adds value to planning and design.  Accordingly, the design team facilitated many collaborative planning and design processes that resulted in forward thinking and unique solutions that have culminated in a truly remarkable educational facility for 21st century learning:

  • Educational specifications workshops
  • Building planning & design charrette workshops
  • Site planning & design charrette workshops
  • Furnishings & equipment planning & design charrette workshops
  • Educational courtyard design charrette workshops

Design for 21st Century Learning
Student-centered challenge-based learning is successful when the educational model provides for inquiry-based, multi-sensory, multi-path, collaborative learning that has real-world context. Students come to understand that problem solving is an interdisciplinary and iterative process, and that there is no one right answer; rather, that there a multitude of possible solutions and that each has benefits and consequences.  The new Kellam High School features educational environments that facilitate and support this type of learning model with:

  • 6 subject-integrated Learning Communities.
  • Learning Commons spaces with flexible infrastructure and “soft” furnishings to support informal and small group learning.
  • Student “Maker” spaces within each Learning Community that provide access to small tools and storage for raw materials.
  • “Wet” Labs joined with Experiential Labs that support experimentation and making things.
  • Paired classrooms separated by operable walls to facilitate team teaching of integrated subject matter.
  • Breakout spaces with flexible furniture for small group student collaboration and project work separated from the Learning Commons by sliding glass doors.
  • Demonstration spaces and presentation spaces within the Learning Commons and throughout the school to support a new assessment model that emphasizes “showing” and “telling” over test taking.
  • A high degree of transparency around learning spaces which promotes active learning and peer review.
  • Interdisciplinary Teacher Workrooms to support planning of integrated learning experiences.

Challenge-based Learning as Collaborative Design
As the organizational model for the new school evolved to a central core of shared learning and support spaces surrounded by satellite learning communities, the outdoor interstitial space became a focal point for sustainable challenged-based learning opportunities. One of the primary sustainable strategies for Kellam HS (target LEED Gold) was to harvest 100% of the rainwater that falls onto the building and the site, store it, and infiltrate it back into the ground in an environmentally responsible manner. The design team facilitated a 3 week challenged-based learning project with 120 AP Environmental Science students to design a three-zone Educational Courtyard that consists of an Edible Garden, an Interactive Gathering Garden and a Bio-Retention/Infiltration Garden. Students worked collaboratively in teams to develop a design theme that tells the story of how water moves through the environment from structured management systems to natural ecosystems and incorporates the following design elements:

  • Edible Garden
  • Collect and store rainwater from adjacent roofs and use for irrigation
  • Raised planter beds for gardening
  • Greenhouse and cold frames for plant propagation
  • Composting bins for food waste from adjacent Culinary Arts Classrooms and school Kitchen
  • Integrate Edible Garden planning, seed propagation, planting, monitoring, maintenance, and harvesting with high school curriculum in as many ways as possible
  • Outdoor classroom space with log benches made from reclaimed hardwood trees.
  • Interactive Gathering Garden
  • Collect rainwater from adjacent roofs and irrigation run-off from Edible Garden and flow this towards Bio-Retention/Infiltration Garden in a “riverbed” element
  • Spaces for student gathering for multiple groups sizes
  • Meandering walking paths around and through gardens
  • Vertical gardens
  • Bio-Retention/Infiltration Garden
  • Collect rainwater from adjacent roofs and flow from Interactive Gathering Garden and infiltrate into ground via bio-retention strategies in a marsh type ecosystem
  • An elevated walking path crossing through the marsh with outdoor classroom spaces

The new Kellam High School has truly been designed from the inside out, planned to support and facilitate a challenge-based learning model focused on engaging students in their own learning, and collaboratively designed by the stakeholders who will benefit from its realization. The unique planning strategies and processes that the educational planning team designed and facilitated have resulted in learning environments that directly respond to the needs of specific learning activities and learning styles, and these strategies and processes will serve as the model for how we go about planning and designing schools for the future. In a sense, you could say that we have engaged the entire community in challenge-based learning opportunities that foster the acquisition of 21st century skills.
Kellam HS1_MontageKellam HS2_Montage

To see all of the winners, please click on the following link: