Richmond, VA



By laurenlicklider
Oct 21, '13 4:35 PM EST

RICHMOND, VA (August 13, 2013) – Baskervill is taking the lead in affordable solutions for sustainable housing with its recently completed net-zero energy building at Beckstoffer's Mill.

The senior housing complex is located in the historic neighborhood of Church Hill in Richmond. Baskervill provided architecture and design services for phase two of the project, which included the addition of an EarthCraft™-certified, net-zero energy building to the recently renovated H. Beckstoffer's Sons Lumber & Millwork, a 22-unit adaptive reuse project developed by Better Housing Coalition. The complex also includes a 32-unit, EarthCraft™-certified senior apartment building across the street.

The goal of the net-zero energy building was to offer affordable housing with reduced energy costs for low-income seniors.

"Energy costs are an important aspect of affordable housing," said Mark Larson, AIA, principal architect for the project. "In setting the goal of net-zero energy, Baskervill and Better Housing Coalition looked at each element of design that demanded or reduced the use of energy."

The net-zero energy building is Better Housing Coalition's first net-zero energy multifamily development and one of a handful net-zero buildings in the city. The seven-unit building boasts 98 photovoltaic solar panels and six hot water panels on its roof that supply energy for electricity and hot water. The building's panels have the ability to store surplus energy to be used during periods of time in which the sun does not shine. Other features include an energy recovery ventilation system that brings fresh air in and takes stale air out, EnergyStar appliances, low-flow toilets, and high-performance, double-glazed windows. The units are also handicap accessible and universally designed.

The building was constructed within feet of a former lumber mill established in 1897. This historical context significantly influenced Baskervill designers, as Better Housing Coalition, along with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, wanted the net-zero housing to complement the renovated red-brick lumber mill. The net-zero building is designed to look like a metal shed standing next to the historic mill, and the materials used in this project—corrugated stainless metal, black window and door frames, and charcoal-colored brick with silver reflective coating—seamlessly work together to successfully evoke this design concept.

"The net-zero energy housing at Beckstoffer's Mill demonstrates that sustainable design can be part of any type of project," Larson said. "While this residential project is designed to be net-zero in energy consumption and EarthCraft™-certified, it is also affordable, designed for seniors with disabilities, and approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources as a structure that is complementary to its historic setting."

About Baskervill Sustainability
Baskervill has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, efficiency, and longevity, working with clients to achieve their facility goals. Baskervill has completed many LEED projects, ranging from platinum to certified. Our clients include large corporations looking for energy efficient buildings with a long lifespan to small businesses seeking sustainability in a cutting edge design. With nearly 20 LEED APs and a Certified Energy Manager on staff, our sustainability professionals are prepared to collaborate and offer their expertise on any project.

About Baskervill
Baskervill, an international, award-winning, full-service architectural, engineering, interior design firm, delivers world-class services to a diverse client base, ranging from hospitality, government, education, corporate, healthcare, advanced technologies, retail, financial, and transportation technologies to Fortune 500 companies from its offices in Richmond and Vienna, Virginia. Founded in 1897, Baskervill offers a rich history of ingenuity, integrity and technical expertise that has made them a premiere service provider across the country. To learn more about Baskervill or to see a project portfolio, visit


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