Last weekend we took a roadtrip to Little Rock, Arkansas — an end-of-summer getaway for the family before school starts back up. At the top of the kids' must-see list was Wild River Country, the state's largest water park where we spent the better part of a day. But at the top of my list was visiting the world headquarters of Heifer International, the nonprofit, humanitarian organization whose goal is to end world hunger and poverty through self-reliance and sustainability. I'd read and heard about their Platinum LEED-certified building and was anxious to see their Earth-friendly, green headquarters up close and personal. I was not disappointed.
From the granite gravel parking lots which allow rainwater to seep through sand filters before funneling to a retention pond for later use, to the open floor plan which allows natural light to illuminate each work station, conscientious thought has been given to every detail of this place. As a result, the building requires 55% less energy than a conventional office building of similar size and the savings will pay off debt for the nonprofit in record time.
Formerly a 22-acre railroad switchyard — 60% of which was paved — the site is now a thriving ecosystem including created wetlands where turtles, ducks and other wildlife have made their home. The site is also home to Heifer Village, a hands-on, global education facility with interactive exhibits displaying solutions to global hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.
You can see more photos on our Facebook page, but I strongly urge you to visit. You will be inspired by both Heifer International's mission and the way they are putting their beliefs into action with their sustainably designed headquarters.
Thu, August 6, 2009
by Jay Perdue filed under