Biophilic design elements inside and outside the building highlight one of AlexRenew’s key products: reclaimed water. At the main entrance, a cascading water fountain creates a gateway experience for the project and accentuates the building entrance. Drawing reclaimed water from the facility, the fountain cascades over the entryway and into a water table for calm reflection. Inside the lobby, a 2-story living green wall–irrigated by reclaimed water–is integrated into the building ventilation system, delivering filtered oxygen to the public spaces on the first two floors. The lobby also features a 6,000-gallon aquarium containing reclaimed water and fish indigenous to the Potomac River to re-create the Chesapeake Bay environment. These design elements express the value of clean water artistically, allowing occupants and visitors to visualize the impact of the water treatment process.
Surrounding the building are public park spaces, built above the facility’s parking garage, and a trail that will connect to the wider Alexandria trail network, further servicing the employees and greater Alexandria community. Adjacent to the Environmental Center is a synthetic turf athletic field for the City of Alexandria Parks and Recreation, built above the 18-million gallon Nutrient Management Facility holding tanks. The planting design for the site includes a native landscape that provides habitat for wildlife and reduces maintenance and environmental impact on the community. The Environmental Center offers tours to local schools and community groups to inspire visitors of all ages to practice water stewardship.