Heifer International Headquarters: Little Rock, AR
Passing on the Gift
As a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to relieving global hunger and poverty, Heifer International provides gifts of livestock and plants, as well as education in sustainable agriculture, to financially disadvantaged families around the world. Heifer teaches sustainability by giving a gift and instructing the recipients of that gift to use that resource efficiently. This act, known as passing on the gift, became a main theme for the design team as they began a building that would receive the first U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED® New Construction (NC) Platinum rating in Arkansas. The building provides views of the Arkansas River, Riverfront Park and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. The 22-acre reclaimed site is among the largest brownfield recoveries in Arkansas. Approximately 97% of building materials on the site were recycled, providing enough fill material to cover demolition costs. The narrow arc of the building allows daylight and outdoor views for every workstation. A raised floor system enhances comfort, flexibility and sustainability. Water stored in the wetlands irrigates the site with little reliance on outside sources. An inverted heavy timber roof directs rainwater through an exposed collection system to a tower for reuse as gray water within the building. Natural convection pulls cooled air off the water's surface and up through the glass-wrapped stairs. No part of the floor is more than 30 ft from a window.